Friday, April 25, 2008

A Very Courageous Man Speaks the Unspeakable

When I was in graduate school, I interned for an organization called Incest Help. This was long before the groundbreaking cover of Ms. Magazine featured from front to back the names of incest survivors. At that point, community mental health in San Francisco didn’t know what to do with victims of incest and would send them to “the transvestite clinic.” In an effort to break the silence surrounding incest, members of Incest Help would stand on street corners of the city handing out business cards with organizational information that said:

I know what incest is
and I can help

That was 1980.
Soon another “unspeakable” would enter our lives: AIDS
Soon I would lose three beautiful friends: Bruce, Christopher, and David

It’s been 25 years since the AIDS epidemic began. After a quarter century, we are still in denial, still fearful, still unable to speak about HIV/AIDS openly and competently.

Today is National Day of Silence – a day devoted to shining a light on the suffering endured by our gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. This suffering is the result of a society which is unable to understand and speak openly and competently about sexual orientation and gender variance -- but instead responds out of
ignorance and fear .

Today my friend Todd Heywood
has broken the silence on another unspeakable.
Todd has come out in his column on Michigan Messenger

and revealed that he is HIV positive.

I urge you to read Todd’s column and allow yourself to stand for a moment in his shoes – to feel the isolation and fear that accompanies this diagnosis and to challenge yourself to learn and become more compassionate to those who walk this path. I hope you will be able to say Todd and other brave individuals like him who are willing to disclose their status:

I know what HIV is.
I can talk about it competently.
AND, I will stand beside you on your journey.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Larry King Speaks Out!

National Day of Silence -- April 25th, 2008

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Michigan Federal Prosecutor Hagen Victim of Justice Department Injustice

Michigan's award-winning federal prosecutor, Leslie Hagen, becomes part of the inquiry into the firings of US attorneys at the Justice Department under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The inspector general is investigating whether Hagen's contract was not renewed, despite receiving outstanding evaluations, because of rumors regarding her sexual orientation.

Click here for story "Justice Probes Lawyer's Dismissal Amid Gay Rumor."

Click here to read Leslie Hagan's final evaluation at the Executive Office of US Attorneys where she received the highest possible performance rating.