TheBody || June 18, 2021
Exploring What It Means to Be Black and Queer: An Interview With Podcaster Brandon Nicholas
On June 20, the day after Juneteenth and a week before New York City’s Pride parade, a new podcast will take to the airwaves. It’s called, Let’s Get Back to Queer (LGBTQ), and it describes itself as “a mixxy podcast that explores the magical, mundane, and messy experiences of Black LGBTQ culture.”
them || June 18, 2021
Rising Pop Artist Dizz on Ending HIV Stigma and Celebrating Black Freedom on Juneteenth
The leader of the queer pop group rIVerse discusses disclosure, tapping into “the Divine Feminine,” and plans for the band’s upcoming Juneteenth virtual concert.
TheBody || June 17, 2021
It’s Time for a Civil Rights Movement in Medicine
For Givens, who is Black and a cardiologist, as well as an assistant professor of medicine and associate director of the cardiac intensive care unit at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the dismissal of two people in leadership was neither the goal, a cause for celebration, nor a sign that “racism was over.” Rather, he believes that in order to accomplish true change, “There has to be a civil rights movement for medicine.”
TheBody || June 11, 2021
Honoring Ulysses Dove, 25 Years After He Died From HIV
Ulysses Dove, the brilliant choreographer and dancer, died from AIDS 25 years ago on June 11, 1996 at the age of 49. At the time of his passing, he’d already reached stratospheric heights as one of the world’s leading dance makers for ballet companies, including American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), Ballet France de Nancy, Basel Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal.
TheBody || June 11, 2021
The CDC Is Updating PrEP Guidelines. Here’s Why I Wish These Updates Existed Sooner.
In late May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updates to its guidelines for prescribing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that, studies show, reduces the risk of acquiring HIV through sex by 99%. That’s good news because those guidelines have not been updated since 2017. The previous update occurred in 2014, the same year that I tried and failed to receive PrEP on six different occasions.
TheBody || June 10, 2021
From Pilot to Finale, ‘Pose’ Lived for Our Community
In the face of criticism that it was perhaps too much, it is important to acknowledge that our community’s representation is not promised. Knowing that we could go another few years before seeing Black and Brown trans and queer people living their lives like they’re golden, Pose made sure that we had more than enough to get us through any drought.
Christian Science Monitor || June 8, 2021
A prickly mother-daughter bond sustained by Korean food
In an interview, Michelle Zauner describes how writing the memoir “Crying in H Mart” helped her cope with losing her mother.
TheBody || June 8, 2021
Building the Road to Black Queer Liberation at the Native Son Awards
Wilbekin created the Native Son Now platform five years ago as a safe space for Black queer and gay men to celebrate, love, and nurture each other while affirming their right to live openly in a world that often fears and judges them. Recognizing that asking others to live openly demanded that he lead the way by revealing his own truth, Wilbekin used the first award ceremony in 2016 to disclose that he was living with HIV.
TheBody || June 7, 2021
A Plan to End Hepatitis C in Michigan Through Harm Reduction and Compassionate Care
As with any treatment program, policies must be shaped to help the populations they profess to serve where they are, rather than where the architects would like them to be. Because HCV is predominantly spread through intravenous drug use, that means that mandating sobriety will prevent those who are in need—people who are living with drug dependencies—from accessing care.
TheBody || June 2, 2021
Serving Self-Advocacy, Just Like Naomi Osaka
As with dealing with mental health, there is no singular way to solve one’s HIV needs. But one thing is for sure: Anyone who tries to get into a pissing contest with you about your health is not on your side. If you find yourself in a situation where the person who should be helping you refuses to do their job, think of Naomi Osaka, walk away, and work with someone else.
TheBody || June 1, 2021
Respectful Communication Can Save HIV-Positive Lives
We’re focused on survival, but we know that if we go to this place and deal with these individuals, we will become drained. And that is not conducive to our survival, so we will stop going there. When I was back home in North Philly, I stopped going to a clinic where my doctor was based for two years because every time I went there, I never felt like a human being.
TheBody || June 1, 2021
I Am Living With HIV and Nothing Can Drag Me Down
I’ve lost relationships, jobs, friends, and dreams because of my HIV status—and yet, while losing my literal shit, I was still giggling. “If you can laugh,” I told myself, “then you can breathe.” And if I can breathe, then I am alive. I am not proud that I was diagnosed with HIV, but I am proud to say that I am alive and nothing can drag me down.
TheBody || May 28, 2021
What if HIV Messaging Focused on Joy?
Love’s commitment to representing the community with truth and love comes from his own exhaustion at being pathologized as a Black queer man living with a chronic virus. But more than the stigma, what bothers him most is the messaging that medical agencies put out there about “the horrors of HIV.”
In an interview with TheBody, Love spoke with me about what he’d rather see from many of these misguided HIV prevention campaigns.
TheBody || May 28, 2021
Jonathan Capehart Is in the Sunken Place. Yes, the Police Should Be Banned From Pride
Jonathan Capehart shoved his foot down his throat in a Washington Post opinion piece this week that declared that queer members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), known as Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), should be allowed to march in New York’s Pride Parade. This comes after Heritage of Pride (HOP)—a nonprofit that manages the parade while shilling for corporate sponsorships—announced in mid-May that law enforcement would be banned from marching in the parade through 2025.
TheBody || May 28, 2021
Dancing Towards the Dream of Asian Representation
Last year, Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin kicked off Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, by interviewing a different ballet dancer of Asian descent, for each day of May, on their YouTube series, What’s The Tea?. For 2021, the duo leveled up by presenting work created by choreographers of Asian descent.
Ponyter || May 26, 2021
Writer’s block can weigh you down. Dancing can lift you up.
That’s how writer’s block manifests for me: as the weight of endless possibilities. But when I’m dancing, those possibilities guide me back to my true voice. I’ll bet that it can do the same for you.
Xtra! || February 9, 2021
Ballet comes out of the closet with a kiss
It turns out that I’m not alone: Rudd’s creation is the first romantic same-sex pas de deux in ABT’s history, and one of the first—if not the first—to celebrate queer lust so explicitly in ballet. Such a feat, while to be applauded, is long overdue for a world in which more than half of the men who perform in and champion the artform are members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, according to Dance Magazine. Maybe times are finally changing.
TheBody || February 9, 2021
Older Black Women Aren’t Being Told About PrEP to Prevent HIV
While the onus is frequently put upon Black people to advocate for their own health, Leisha McKinley-Beach says, “You can’t ask for something that you don’t know you need.”
McKinley-Beach, an Atlanta-based activist who has been fighting HIV and AIDS for nearly 30 years, says that if “providers are committed to ending the epidemic in Black communities, they’ve got to find ways to ensure that Black women are informed and aware that PrEP is for us.”
TheBody || February 4, 2021
Health Care Providers Aren’t Talking to Black Women About PrEP
Though HIV infection rates are decreasing across the U.S., Black women are still being pummeled by the virus. Yes, Black women saw a 21% decrease in seroconversions between 2010 and 2016, but they also accounted for 57% of new HIV infections among all women in 2018. Keep in mind that Black women make up less than 7% of the population in this country.
Anti-Racism Daily || January 29, 2021
Abolish Prison Labor
Slavery was effectively rebranded as “convict leasing” while continuing its most despicable aspects, including auctioning off Black citizens, delivering severe beatings, working people to death, and keeping them locked up for life.
Anti-Racism Daily || January 22, 2021
Trump’s attacks on multiculturalism have included rolling back long-standing civil rights protections, instituting a travel ban on mostly Muslim, declaring the “Black Lives Matter” sign on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue “a symbol of hate,” expelling migrant children to Mexico regardless of their country of origin, and banning diversity and racial sensitivity training at the federal level.
TheBody || January 15, 2021
Medical Racism, Casual or Overt, Has No Place in Patients’ Lives
In this make-believe world, where Omar’s white cisgender male doctor was a caring person, she would have left the clinic feeling cared for and relieved that the person she’d entrusted with her vision had considered every aspect of her health before determining which treatment plan to undertake.
Anti-Racism Daily || January 12, 2021
Abolish the Death Penalty
According to Ngozi Ndulue, the Senior Director of Research and Special Projects for Death Penalty Information Center, “The death penalty has been used to enforce racial hierarchies throughout United States history, beginning with the colonial period and continuing to this day.”
Anti-Racism Daily || January 8, 2021
Pay Black Women
“Black women saved us.” That’s a slogan of ill-advised praise that white people deliver for Black women whenever a horrorshow candidate loses an election. We heard it in 2017 when 98% of Black women helped to defeat Roy Moore’s Alabama senatorial ambitions, and it’s happening again with the most recent presidential election, during which 91% of Black women cast their votes for Joe Biden.
TheBody || January 4, 2021
People Living With HIV Need Advocates to Help Them Navigate Health Care
I was diagnosed with HIV in 2015 on the day before my birthday. After discovering that I’d seroconverted, I adopted a new mantra: “Don’t feel sorry for yourself, bitch.” I rejected my doctor’s offer to commiserate by rationalizing that I wasn’t living in the ’80s and therefore could stiff-upper-lip it and carry on.
Native Son Now || December 25, 2020
Black Gay And Queer Men Who Made Impact In 2020
Read the profiles that I constructed of 101 different Black, Gay, and Queer men who created culture-shifting change throughout 2020, despite the pandemic.
Dance Magazine || December 23, 2020
Ballet Black’s Cassa Pancho Is Fighting Racism in Ballet Across the UK
Revolutionizing ballet in England was not part of the original plan for Cassa Pancho. That all changed in 2001 after she decided to write her dissertation on Black ballerinas and discovered that there were none employed by any of the country’s ballet companies at that time.
TheBody || December 14, 2020
I Am Jealous of COVID-19
A competitive COVID vaccine costs $4 billion dollars more than the current budget to end HIV by 2030. And that has everything to do with which communities are most disproportionately affected by the bloodborne disease: Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+. In another sign of systematic racism, Black and Latinx communities are also the most hurt by COVID-19, but because it can also affect and easily infect white people—including the science-mocking president—it gets all of the money that it deserves.
Christian Science Monitor || December 11, 2020
‘Nutcracker’ redux: Ballet world wrestles with stereotype, tradition
In recent years, many in the dance community have been asking how to reconcile this ballet that they love with the stereotypes that it has helped to perpetuate. They wonder if it is possible to transform “The Nutcracker” to remove its racial stereotypes and aristocratic origins while holding onto its traditional charms.
TheBody || December 7, 2020
Having More Options Makes PrEP More Viable
This latest data supports the understanding that if HIV is to be eliminated, Black women and marginalized people must be empowered against infection. New data indicate that the best way to do that is to provide people with numerous harm-reduction options.
TheBody || December 1, 2020
For Long-Acting PrEP to be Effective, It Might Be Best for Patients to Inject Themselves
Cabotegravir PrEP has not yet been approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. While waiting for that approval, it is important for community health organizations and care providers to think about what it will take to administer the drug effectively to women who are interested in using it.
TheBody Pro || December 1, 2020
Remembering New York City Mayor David Dinkins and His Love for People Living With HIV
In writing about his accomplishments, many have neglected to highlight his incredible record as a champion of people living with HIV—or AIDS, as it was known during his tenure. Indeed, Dinkins was ahead of his time in addressing the virus and establishing programs that have come to be recognized as essential to harm reduction and providing care.
TheBody Pro || December 1, 2020
Write It Out! Celebrates 12 Playwrights Who Are Living With HIV on World AIDS Day
After 10 weeks of online virtual sessions, the inaugural cohort of Write It Out! is premiering its work on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. These online, staged readings are being produced by the National Queer Theater—which partnered with Love in creating the program—and will feature professional actors who worked in close collaboration with each writer to bring their vision to life.
TheBody Pro || November 30, 2020
Meet the Woman Who Made Sure Voters with HIV in Georgia Got Registered to Vote
Leading up to the election on Nov. 3, Nina Martinez was working at the ground level to ensure that people living with HIV in Georgia were registered to vote and enrolled in marketplace health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Token Theatre Friends || November 25, 2020
Ep. 21: Putting Black Gay Lives Centerstage (Feat. Donja R. Love)
In this episode Jose and Juan Michael speak with Donja R. Love, the award-winning Afro-Queer playwright about why authentic representation is essential.
TheBody Pro || November 5, 2020
‘PrEP for Women Too’ Campaign Aims to Bring This Empowering HIV Prevention Tool to More Black and Latinx Women
Earlier this fall, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) launched a new campaign that focuses on connecting cisgender Black and Latinx women to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that protects users from HIV transmission.
Online SOS || October 27, 2020
Bold Type: How I Learned to Reject My Online Abusers
What began as a deluge of forty messages a day, from across numerous social media platforms and emails, soon slowed down to between ten and twenty. Unfortunately, these hanger-ons seemed obsessed with scaring or taunting me into responding in ways that only caused me harm.
TheBody || October 26, 2020
With ‘Being Seen’ Podcast, Black Queer Men Tell Their Own Stories
With Being Seen, a new podcast—produced by the New York City–based creative studio, Harley & Co.—Darnell Moore bursts through homophobic, anti-Black oppression by creating “a virtual space that centers and celebrates Black, queer, trans, bi, non-binary, gay men; where we are not the backdrop to a conversation but at the center of it.”
SYFY WIRE || October 23, 2020
Luke Cage Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker Says That Diversity in TV is About “Protecting What’s Real.”
In a first for a major television series of this sort, Luke Cage exuded diversity on camera and behind the scenes, as well. It did so by following Coker’s vision of hiring not only the best people for the job, but those with the lived experience to give the work authenticity.
TheBody || October 20, 2020
Trump and Reagan’s Willful Incompetence During Epidemics
This desire to defeat the COVID-19 epidemic is admirable, especially after so many people have died. It leaves one wondering how many lives would have been saved if Reagan had invested the same energy into AIDS, or if this administration, in pursuing its plan to end the virus by 2030, would make the same investment.
Anti-Racism Daily || October 14, 2020
Make the Outdoors More Equitable
It may be a small step over the mountain of racism, but through grassroots and political initiatives, together we are all building a coalition to reclaim our birthright. Instead of “40 acres and a mule”, we Black people deserve access to every golden valley, from sea to shining sea.
TheBody || October 9, 2020
It’s National Coming Out Day. Tell Yourself Who You Are.
This Sunday, in whatever way that you feel comfortable doing so, please go to a mirror and tell yourself who you are. Out loud. Even if it is only in a whisper, say the words, ‘I am,’ and then let your truth speak for itself.
TheBody Pro || October 1, 2020
How to De-Escalate Conflict in HIV Care and Community Health
For AIDS service organizations and community health centers, delivering care to people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) requires clear communication and use of effective conflict-management strategies. That was the key takeaway from SYNChronicity 2020’s Sept. 10 presentation on de-escalation.
TheBody || October 1, 2020
Processing an HIV Diagnosis Mirrors the Five Stages of Grief
Dr. Nathaniel Currie, D.S.W., LCSW, explains how processing an HIV diagnosis “mirrors the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance”, as well as the support that people living with HIV need.
TheBody || September 25, 2020
Cardi B’s Divorce Is Arousing the Morality Police
Once again, people are slamming Cardi B on social media. Normally celebrated for her incisive knack for spilling the tea and telling it like it is all over her Instagram stories, this time around, the former Love & Hip-Hop star and Grammy-winning rapper has run afoul of the morality police, who have decided that she’s gone too far with spreading her WAP on top of the Billboard charts and daring to divorce her husband of three years, the rapper Offset.
SYFY Wire || September 24, 2020
30 YEARS AGO, CAPTAIN PLANET AND THE PLANETEERS IMAGINED A KINDER WORLD. WHAT CAN WE DO BETTER NOW?
Captain Planet and the Planeteers is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, and even though the show looks like a gentle relic now, back then it was hailed for its commitment to educating children about the role that they could play in preserving and protecting the world