aids related

Nadine Gordimer (1924-2014) was a South African autor who, in 1991, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was a political and social activist, with an interest in the anti-apartheid movement and AIDS-related causes. Some of her works were banned under the apartheid government.

She was a close friend of Nelson Mandela, and often helped him create and edit his speeches. She was a member of the African National Congress when the organisation was still illegal, and aided many of its leaders in escaping punishment. She also led an effort to raise funds for HIV/AIDS victims through an anthology of South African writers.

#tbt to 1995: “Video Spaces: Eight Installations”

#tbt to 1995: Video Spaces: Eight Installations surveyed recent work by nine major video artists working in “environmental video”—three-dimensional video installation or video sculpture. These three-dimensional experiments had “emerged as the most fertile forms of video art,” curator Barbara London argued in the exhibition catalogue. “By releasing the image from a single screen and embedding it in an environment, artists have extended their installations in time and space.” The artists in the show included Bill Viola, Tony Oursler, and Teiji Furuhashi (who passed away from AIDS-related illness one month after the exhibition’s close). Furuhashi’s video work Lovers (1994), an immersive, room-sized multimedia installation featuring projections of Furuhashi and members of his Kyoto-based artist collective Dumb Type, was the artist’s only solo work.

Read the catalogue, see the original 1995 exhibition website, and more at 15 of #52exhibitions

A government-supported public discussion broadened and deepened in the period between the 1985 conference and a second held in the city of Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1988.

Hillhouse concluded in her 1990 article that “The new openness concerning homosexuality was evident not only in literature and scientific publications, but also in print and broadcast media. In 1984 the popular monthly health magazine, Deine Gesundheit (Your Health), began printing a series of readers’ letters on homosexuality; soon after, several other major publications published substantial articles on sexual orientation.”

More than 200 articles on homosexuality were printed in the GDR during the 1980s, she continued, mostly about gay males. (Slavic Review, Winter 1990)

Articles about same-sex love appeared in the press and were incorporated into some state radio and television station programming. Much of this information was aimed at youth–an audience with many questions about sexuality.

When public media focused on AIDS education, same-sex relations were not portrayed as a central feature. And it is important to recall that everyone in the GDR enjoyed free medical care.

The television health program “Visite” broadcast a report in September 1987 “that described homosexuality as an entirely natural variation of human sexuality.” (Hillhouse)

The following year, the state film company DEFA, working with gay and lesbian activists, produced East Germany’s first documentary about “the satisfactions and problems” facing same-sex couples, called “Die andere Liebe” (The Other Love).

In 1989 DEFA also released “Coming Out,” a feature film about a gay teacher.

The same year, literature with gay themes was published, including a book about the life histories of several gay men in the GDR, compiled and written by a gay man.

“Important social institutions also began to implement reforms with great speed,” Parsons continued.

“For example, the Commission on Marriage and the Family, which is responsible for running a system of counseling centers, passed a resolution asserting that the national network of sexuality and family counseling centers should aid in dismantling prejudices regarding homosexuality and foster the integration of gay men and lesbians into society.”

Same-sex love was significantly included in a new sex education curriculum for the public school system.

A chapter on lesbian and gay identity in the 1984 edition of the standard sex-education textbook presented homosexuality as a natural variation of sexual identity. Lesbianism was part and parcel of this chapter. The book included among its sexually frank and romantic photos two men together and two women lying naked in each other’s arms.

And most significantly, the book acknowledged that the main problems faced by homosexuals result from persecution and isolation, which themselves stem from social discrimination and homophobia.

—  Leslie Feinberg, Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series part 22, Workers World newspaper (Dec. 9, 2004)

anonymous asked:

is being hiv positive considered a disability automatically, or is it not inherently disabling? i'm curious because many chronic infections are considered disabilities but not all, and hiv can sometimes have similar symptoms to many disabling chronic illnesses. (i'm chronically ill and hiv negative, for context.)

i don’t consider hiv an inherent disability because the virus itself does not affect my abilities. i take a few more meds than hiv- people, but i am in good health overall. violent serophobia has impacted my life profoundly but it is a societal reaction to the virus, not the virus itself.

however some folks are absolutely disabled as a result of hivaids. for example: two of my former coworkers became blind as a result of aids and one of the youth i mentor at the clinic must use a wheelchair as a result of aids-related wasting. several of my friends are chronically ill with recurring pcp. it’s very important that able-bodied hiv+ people work to make our activism inclusive and accessible to hiv+ people with disabilities, regardless of whether their disability is hivaids-related or not.

VOCALS - The Show Must Go On
  • VOCALS - The Show Must Go On
  • Queen
  • Innuendo

VOCALS - The Show Must Go On - Queen

Written by Brian May, the song shows the effort to Freddie Mercury to continue to write and sing despite the approaching end of his life. The artist was dying of AIDS-related complications. The singer was ill and could barely walk when the band recorded the song in 1990. Brian was unsure whether Mercury was physically able to sing it.

“I said, ‘Fred, I don’t know if this is going to be possible to sing.’ And he went, ‘I’ll fucking do it, darling’ — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal.“

Freddie recorded it in one take, one of the most remarkable vocal interpretations of the artist in his later years.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Untitled, 1991

Billboard; dimensions vary with installation.

“Between February 20 and March 18, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (1991) peppered the New York skyline, on six billboards throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. With locations ranging from 10th Avenue near the Javits Center to the far corners of Brighton Beach, the work reached diverse populations and altered the associated media landscapes. The provocative yet ambiguous image on each—an enlarged black-and-white photograph of the artist’s recently shared double bed—stood out amid the text-heavy advertising signage that dominates the city. Devoid of the text, logos, or captions typically associated with billboards, this work summoned a second look or even a momentary pause, the introspective quality of the image bringing a perceptible stillness to the surrounding bustle of the city.

…Throughout his work, Gonzalez-Torres (American, born Cuba. 1957–1996) questioned the notion of the unique art object, making series of works based on identical pairs (two clocks ticking side-by-side, two mirrors embedded in a wall) or finding inspiration in the possibilities of endless reproducibility (stacks of sheets as give-aways for visitors, piles of candy to be continually replenished). He wanted his work to be disseminated, to exist in multiple places at the same time, and to be realized completely only through the participation of the viewer, which he described as “one enormous collaboration with the public,” in which the “pieces just disperse themselves like a virus that goes to many different places—homes, studios, shops, bathrooms, whatever.” Reproducibility, collaboration, and circulation—sound familiar? His particular approach, which has been enormously influential for contemporary artistic practice, also made Gonzalez-Torres an essential presence…

For Gonzalez-Torres, art was an effective means of addressing social concerns—even more so when it could be multiplied. Inhabiting the familiar forms of Minimalism and post-Minimalism with his stacks and floor pieces, the artist embedded subtle but insistent references to current issues, from political violence to gay rights. In billboard projects like “Untitled”, the artist played with the powerful juxtapositions that could be generated between private and public spaces. By choosing this photograph of his bed, the artist exposed this most intimate of spaces, emphasized by the rumpled sheets and the recent impressions of two heads in the pillows. In the early 1990s, with controversies surrounding homosexuality and the AIDS crisis simultaneously wreaking havoc across the gay community, the bed also represented a site of conflict, symbolizing both love and death. That Gonzalez-Torres’s partner, Ross, died of AIDS in 1991 brings an intensely personal note to this work, but does not diminish it of its universal associations with comfort, intimacy, loneliness, or loss.

Every time I passed by my “local” billboard, on Queens Boulevard and Van Dam Street, I stopped to take it in again. It is a commanding work, even capable of overshadowing the roar of the elevated 7 train and the honking cars exiting the Long Island Expressway (not an easy task!). The presentation in Print/Out marks the 20th anniversary of the first realization of “Untitled”, for MoMA’s Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, organized by Anne Umland in 1992. Imagining the future reception of this work, Umland presciently wrote in that exhibition’s accompanying brochure, “A photograph promises the possibility of replication, of reemergence in a different time and under different historical circumstances, a moment when this poignant image of ‘a dwelling in the evening air’ may come to mean very different things.” I look forward to seeing the next iteration!”

-Kim Conaty

of psychos and psychotics

In the clinical-speak of psychology and psychiatry, ‘psychosis’ is a broad term used to refer to a condition where the patient is experiencing a significant loss of contact with reality, persistent delusions, and/or hallucinations.  Psychosis is a prevalent feature in schizophrenia, yet is not exclusive to schizophrenia and can occur as the result of physical and/or psychological trauma, exposure to substances, as a facet to Bipolar Disorder, as well as a facet of many medical conditions that have a neurological component (including Alzheimer’s Disease, AIDS-related Dementia, and Paraneoplastic Syndrome).

As a medical term, ‘psychosis’ was first coined by the German physician, Karl Friedrich Canstatt, in 1841.  The term in based on a Latin phrase that roughly translates to ‘animation by the soul,’ but may be better understood as ‘created by the mind.’  While psychosis can be a useful term that encompasses disturbances across a broad spectrum of psychological conditions, it can also be a very misleading and confusing term; especially in terms of its verbal similarity to psychopathic.  Although they sound similar, psychotic and psychopathic are extremely different constructs and it is of the utmost importance that one not be confused with he other.  

‘Psychopathic,’ is derived from psychopathy, which refers to a suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.  Psychopaths (or sociopaths) is the more colloquial label for individuals identified as suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder.  The primary feature in Antisocial Personality Disorder is an extreme difficulty in feeling empathy toward others that frequently leads to malicious acts, disregard toward others, and a prominent, poignant sense of interpersonal loneliness and disconnection.  

As clinical labels, psychotic and psychopathic differ from one another in many ways, but one of the more important distinctions to keep in mind is that psychopathic entails a heightened risk of aggressive behavior and violence toward others whereas psychotic does not entail such a heightened risk.  

Statistically speaking, individuals suffering from a psychotic illness are no more violent or aggressive than individuals not suffering from a psychotic illness and there has been no legitimate studies identifying a positive correlation between psychosis and violence.

This matter notwithstanding, individuals suffering from psychotic conditions like schizophrenia have garnered the reputation as being dangerous, aggressive, and violent.  I imagine this misassumption arose from age old fears that psychotic delusions and/or hallucinations were the result of witchcraft or demonic possession.  In more modern times, psychosis has been utilized as a plot device in countless novels, TV shows, and movies where individuals suffering from psychosis are portrayed as dangerous, deranged criminals.  

Furthermore, the similarity between the terms ‘psychotic’ and ‘psychopathic’ has likely strongly contributed to the erroneous assumption that individuals suffering from psychosis are likely to be violent, hostile, and murderous.  

And all of this may be further compounded by the way in which the term ‘psycho’ has become such an endemic a colloquialism in the english language.    In the common vernacular, ‘psycho’ acts as a quick way of describing someone or something as out of control and dangerous… such as ‘my psycho ex’ or ‘that guy is driving like a psycho.’   

Most people are likely to make the correct assumption that term, ’psycho,’ in such contexts is derived from ‘psychopathic.’  Yet others might jump to the wrong conclusion and assume the term is derived from ‘psychotic.’  And this further enforces the notion that individuals with schizophrenia or other psychotic illnesses are predisposed to dangerous, hostile behavior.  

There’s no way of controlling the assumptions that people tend to jump to.  There is, however, the ability to control the clinical and diagnostic labels employed by psychology and psychiatry.  It might be time for the field to retire the term ‘psychotic’ - doing so as a means of trying to reduce the stigma all too often associated with individuals suffering from schizophrenia and other schizophrenic-like conditions.  ‘Dementia, ‘delusional,’ and ‘schizophrenic features’ are all suitable alternatives for psychotic that are less likely to reinforce erroneous and harmful assumptions about what these disorders entail.  


We are looking for all types of media for an upcoming zine that challenges the current stasis in the queer community. We are very interested in all spectrums of sexuality and visual 2-D media, so please feel free to submit poetry/prose, sketchbook scans, text pieces, short stories, essays, opinion pieces, reviews (art, music, film, books, theory, etc), experimental writing, concrete poetry, photographs, digital images, documentation, visual pieces, etc. If you’re dying to call out the whiteness of radical queer culture, share some trans poetry or artwork, or tackle the prison industrial complex, then this is your space to do so. This is a demo zine and will be printed on tan paper with black ink. You will be compensated for your work and the turn around is pretty dang soon.

Deadline: December 16th, 2015.
Email entries + questions to:

Introducing a forthcoming Queer zine dedicated to art, culture, literature, critique, & resurgence. Because the contemporary gay rights movement is not enough. Because queer cultural representations are often dominated by Western perspectives that have been anglicized & propogated through centuries of colonization, political & religious persecution, & societal pressures to exert gendered traits in stereotypical/easily identifiable manners. Because radical queer politics are not enough. Because homosexuality is a Western construct that does not need to impose its values on other countries or communities. Because we understand that cultural diversity begets ®evoltion. Because we come from diverse cultural backgrounds/traditions. Because we are divisive & our aspirations have led us to create & survive. Because we come home from queer parties feeling even more alienated & alone. Because we were not exposed to positive role models. Because we are struggling with negative forces & want to learn to love ourselves. Because we are artists, activists, visionaries, allies, & alive. Because we wish to learn more about HIV/AIDS, Trans Politics, and Indigenous Queer cultures in order to feel informed & empowered so we can dismantle stigma, patriarchy, & colonization/genocide. Because we grew up in small towns. Because all we know is urban decay. Because we want to rewrite the future. Because we are not doing enough to understand one another. Because the internet will never be big enough to contain our dreams, desires, identities, & realities.


Act Up in Anger
David Handelman, Rolling Stone, Issue 573, 8 March 1990

A controversial group has become the catalyst for innovations in the way we fight AIDS

It was September 14th, 1989; more Americans had already died of AIDS-related causes than the 58,000 that had died in Vietnam. And, sneaking into the New York Stock Exchange, wearing suits and fake trader ID badges, carrying chains, handcuffs and foghorns, Peter Staley and six colleagues from ACT UP — the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power — were fighting a war too.…  More >

Felix Gonzales-Torres - “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)

An allegorical portrait of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

It is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s death.

Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile be continuously replenished, granting perpetual life.
Victoria Beckham helps raise HIV awareness in Ethiopia
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé and UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Victoria Beckham raise awareness about HIV in Ethiopia.

Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths. Let’s make it our mission.
100% of proceeds from this exclusive ‪#WAD2015  t-shirt will benefit the organisations and initiatives of @unaidsglobal. At and ‪#‎VBDoverSt‬ 

Speaking of trans history, there’s a huge gap in history around trans women and the AIDS epidemic, which has somehow turned into trans dudes worshipping at the altar of Lou Sullivan as the iconic trans person with AIDS. Trans women’s history during the plague years has been largely ignored in favour of looking at the development of white, middle class, lesbian-dominated support group culture among transgender and cross-dressing communities in the 1980s. Even Susan Stryker’s excellent Transgender History failed to address AIDS in any significant way – and in fact, I would argue her conclusions related to AIDS are off the mark.

One important touchstone for thinking about this missing history is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (the play, not the film) – trans women are mentioned several times in the play derisively by the founders of the fictionalized version of GMHC (they argue about trying to distance themselves from transvestites and street queens). When these were the attitudes of the founders of perhaps the first ASO, it is unsurprising that trans women were, until the mid-1990s cut completely out of the HIV/AIDS picture.

Watch on

Klaus Nomi was literally sent from space to save the human race, but earth failed him. He was one of the first (and relatively unpublicized) celebrity victims of a systematically violent and homophobic health system, government and willfully ignorant straight public, dying in 1983 from AIDS related complications a year before Rock Hudson was diagnosed with HIV. Rest in power, Klaus. Za Bakdaz.

On the occasion of Pride Month, we’re looking back at our own history of LGBTQ pride.

“David Wojnarowicz: A Fire in My Belly, A Work in Progress (1986-87)” (1999)

David Wojnarowicz is a widely respected artist whose first U.S. retrospective was held at the New Museum in 1999. The film, A Fire in My Belly, A Work in Progress (1986-87) is a poetic meditation on man, life, death, faith, and suffering made in part as a response to the AIDS-related death of his close friend, artist Peter Hujar. 

“The New Museum has always defended freedom of expression and continues to oppose censorship. We cannot afford to take hard won civil liberties for granted and need to remain vigilant and protect artistic freedom,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director.
hiv is not a crime
israa / 18 / woc / living with hiv for 2+ yrs

this is the home of my new hiv/aids-related sideblog! i’ll be making original posts related to history, the intersection of marginalised groups within the epidemic, contemporary resources, and encouraging awareness about current research, literature, and arts!

A Woman’s Place Library

This is a super long post, but strap in, ‘cause it’s a pretty important one, too.

From A Woman’s Place about page:

“A Woman’s Place (AWP) is the only 24-hour supportive residential services in San Francisco offering emergency shelter and long-term treatment programs to women and transgender women with special needs due to mental disabilities, sexual or domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV+/AIDS-related issues.

A Woman’s Place also accepts victims of sexual assault and domestic violence as well as transgender women and elderly individuals with special medical needs. Some of the specialized programs include a shelter program, an 18 month transitional housing program, the CARE program for primarily African American women and transgender women with HIV, and a substance abuse program.

Services also include health care, mental health counseling, case management services, and money management. The facility serves all women, catering to the chronically homeless who are most at risk and serving individuals other agencies turn away. Emergency housing is provided to single women without children, the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, those who experience mental illness, domestic violence, and substance abuse. AWP serves adult women of all ages and ethnicities who feel they have nowhere else to go. At A Woman’s Place, individuals receive the structure and support needed to attain permanent housing, a stable income, and if possible, gainful employment.


Doesn’t that sound like a place you wanna support?! Help them build a library for their trans clients. They’re seeking donations of books, zines, & other media relevant to trans experiences and trans women of color in particular.

From their donation request:

“We are currently asking for book, zine, or media donations that have to do with transitioning, being a trans person, books/zines on the intersectionality of being a transgender woman of color. Also, books on becoming, gender identity development, being genderqueer, or gender non-conforming would also be greatly appreciated. Any movies or documentaries that you have would also be greatly appreciated.

Some of the books we are looking to add to our library:
-Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
-Ceyenne Doroshow’s Cooking in Heels (2012)
-Ryka Aoki’s Seasonal Velocities (2012)
-Toni Newman’s I Rise (2011)
-The Lady Chablis’s Hiding My Candy (1997)

You can drop-off or mail donations to
Atten: Blake Summer
A Woman’s Place 1049
1049 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA

We offer tax credit for any donations made.”

There is an email and phone number to contact with any more questions. I would be happy to pass that on upon request.

I know I was just saying “books” yesterday. Books are my thing! I love 'em and I love sharing them. Are movies your thing? I don’t know ANYTHING about movies, so you’d be a big help! This a super easy thing we can all do (or not, we don’t have to make a mountain of books and DVDS, even a small handful is something where nothing once stood.) Pass this along, take 10 minutes out of your day to put that pristine copy of My Gender Workbook your aunt gave you in a box, and make the world just a little, little bit better.