WORLD AIDS DAY marked a new dawn in my life in 2001.
As a boy, I dealt with dyslexia to a gross degree. This brain condition caused me to work ten times harder to study and learn and was not commonly known in the early 1960s or 1970s.
So I persevered. My weak spelling ability meant carrying a dictionary everywhere I went as a young professional.
Do you realize how difficult it is to look up a word when your brain can't put simple English words together worth a damn? It's a buzz kill when you're in a hurry.
In December of 2001, I was writing for a small gay rag in Long Beach called the POST with Caitlin Crest as my Editor (she is still my Editor 20 years later) A popular gay magazine named The Blade came calling and asked me to write a story for World AIDS Day.
40+ articles were published because editors liked my voice and edited all my pieces.
The day I went to the newsstand and saw my name on the printed page of a magazine changed my inner life forever.
I was no longer going to be kept quiet when it came to the written word. Watching a few close friends die from AIDS before my very eyes caused me to be brave and simply do my best to tell the story of this day to the loyal gay audience in Southern California.
I'm only sorry this day came to exist. We're still fighting to rid our world of this dreadful killer.
For many people, COVID is their first epidemic. Many of us have lived through two now and we tuck and roll.
Live life without shame and DO Epic Shit!