The Glamorizing Of AIDS
Last night I caught In The Life, one of LOGO Channel’s one-hour documentaries on the gay, bisexual and transgender lives of Americans and the AIDS epidemic. Issues from what the current administration is doing – or not doing – to obliterate the disease, to the challenges of being black and gay in America. The issue I found most interesting was when Harvey Fierstein – of Broadway’s hit, Hairspray fame – mentioned how we may have glamorized being HIV positive and living with AIDS by depicting beautiful, buff and happy-looking models on posters for AIDS drugs and the like. The truth is, I haven’t seen one AIDS drug poster that depicted someone who appears to be truly suffering with the disease. Although it’s a triumph to have new drugs that help prolong the lives of those battling this deadly disease, the truth is, the drugs cause severe damage to the liver, heart and kidneys of those taking these life-saving medications; climbing mountains and partying all-night long are rarely the lives led by folks who live with AIDS. So where do we go from here? Yes, it’s important that we don’t see HIV and AIDS as a death sentence, but it certainly isn’t a cake-walk. No, we can’t discriminate against folks with AIDS, but we can’t continue to glamorize a disease that’s killing so many. Keeping people alive and negative has to be the ultimate goal. So don’t believe the hype. We’ve come a long way, but AIDS will never be glamorous, cool or hot. It will always be deadly.
Immigration; Now What?
Regardless of what side of the immigration debate you’re on, it stands to reason that we all want what’s best for America. Most of us wouldn’t be here if not for some form of immigration. America is known worldwide as the land of milk-and-honey. So why are so many opposed to having immigrants come to America legally? Well, first there’s the concern (for me at least) of homeland security. If we don’t know and can’t account for millions of individuals who enter our borders illegally, how easy is it for America to suffer, yet another, September 11-type incident? Also, if we can’t provide a higher education for our American youth, how can we give away millions of dollars in grants to immigrants? Finally, can tax-paying Americans stand to support immigrants who can’t fend for themselves after reaching our shores? There has to be an overhaul to our immigration laws, but all involved on both sides of the debate must have the true issues drive their votes.
The Magic Number Is 21
Four months after starting the work-out regimen and healthier eating I’ve lost 21 pounds. Yesterday, I had my physical and everything appears to be working fine. Coincidentally, I just hurt my lower back while sneezing in front of my bathroom sink – don’t ask! The great part about this health trek is that I’ve become less anxious about my size and have concentrated on simply following a more consistent lifestyle. Yes, I miss a day at the gym here-and-there and had an incredible pizza burger Sunday night – this after our 2-for-1 foray at the urban watering hole, but all things in moderation isn’t so bad – right? ::::Hmmm…the church better be saying, “Amen!” ::::: For the record, I don’t weigh myself regularly and I let my clothes be my barometer for progress.
Some things are better left unsaid. This is a hard rule to live by and it has taken me years – sometimes I think I’m still working on it – to realize that we don’t have to say everything that comes to mind. Words spoken in anger, haste or heat of the moment, can never be taken back. So while you may apologize for saying something you could’ve held back, chances are your cutting words will never be forgotten. Tell us of one occasion when you said something (true or not) and regretted the words ever left your mouth. What effect do you believe your outburst had on your relationship with the listener? Have you been hurt, surprised or bewildered by someone’s outburst?
Keep passin’ the open windows…