Y You Mean So Much
One score ago, while in my late teens, I was working out at the YMCA and returned to the locker room to change and hit the west village in NYC for some underage (at the time bar entry wasn’t as carefully screened) drinking. As I pulled on my hang-out shorts and t-shirt I turned and came face to face with a buff brown-skinned man, a perfectly sculpted beauty mark gracing the warm smile on his face. A conversation ensued and the man joined me for drinks. As I recall, we actually drank beer on the pier – yeah, it was cool back then. We talked for hours and soon the man visited my home and we became fast friends…maybe even “friends with benefits.” I still remember some heavy-duty love making on the roof of my, then house, in the Bronx. It was summer and the steamy night added to the beauty of it all. Yesterday, my heart broke when the man called to remind me that it was his birthday. My fast paced life had betrayed my good intentions and I forgot a special day for a very special friend. One of his most glaring character characteristics was he was ever-forgiving (still is…) and he made me feel as though it wasn’t a big deal. You are a prince among men and such an important part of my life. We don’t say it enough – if at all – but it’s imperative that you know today (in a very public forum) that you played a big role in my development and have been with me from my teens, through my twenties – and yes, even now, through my thirties. I love you Chris Stewart. “Happy birthday,” would’ve been nice yesterday, but “thank you for always being there and making me feel very special,” sounds more appropriate.
What’s In a Name?
AIDS advocates have lost the battle to keep the names of HIV+ and AIDS victims out of state records as all 50 states will track the names of everyone who tests positive for the virus. The CDC says that code systems didn’t necessarily work and many of those tested were counted twice; leading to an inaccurate count of those infected. A 2005 security breach in Florida made the issue of keeping names secure and out of the hands of the general public a very serious concern. Now, state officials nationwide say that security measures are in place to insure no name is ever relayed and those that are privy to the information are sworn to confidentiality agreements. In addition, laws are being enacted to allow anyone who has their name disclosed the option to sue the state that failed to safeguard their information. Ultimately, with the serious concerns that permeate in minority communities about the anonymity of testing, the new name-based tracking system may serve to hamper the drive to have everyone get tested. The stigma HIV+ and AIDS patients endure today isn’t much different than the anxiety and ignorance they experienced 20 years ago. The reality is that the Federal Government will not fund any program that does not use the name-based program. Your life is still more important than your name. Get tested; know your status; live your life.
Who Could Ask For Anything More?
The unstoppable force that is FM (aka Melinda Doolittle) wowed American Idol viewers last night, leaving no doubt that unless you're deaf, dumb and clueless, you have identified her as the obvious winner for season six. So why do we watch week after week? The answer is simple. FM may have secured a future career as a lead singer, but she doesn’t necessarily have AI in the bag. Past seasons have proven that the best singer doesn’t have the title guarantee. Some folks still look back at season two of AI and think that Clay Aiken won the show, when in reality Ruben Studdard took the top prize. Hey, my Golden Sunshine (aka Sanjaya Malakar) is still in the running and the AI voting majority is showing their penchant for voting with their eyes, rather than their ears. Heck, I’d still rather wake up to sweet whispers from my Golden Sunshine than the prospect of running down the hall, slamming my bathroom door shut and keeping out the FMs.
With Good Friday just around the bend, give us your take. What does the death of Jesus Christ mean to you? Do you see his life/death as the ultimate sacrifice OR do you simply see him as a prominent figure in religious history?
Keep passin’ the open windows…