Saturday, February 27, 2010

My AIDS...a Comedy by Daniel Horrigan


Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids,
Anti-Volence Project, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Men’s Sexual Health Project, Trinty Place Shelter, Gay Men’s Health Clinic and the Ali Forney Center

The 30th Street Theater
February 13 - March 1

At Hand Theatre Company (Justin Scribner, Executive Director) announces that its production of Dan Horrigan’s MY AiDS will benefit several LGBT organizations at each performance.

Hetrick-Martin Institute February 14th
The Hetrick-Martin Institute creates a safe and supportive environment in which LGBTQ youth, ages 12 to 21, can reach their full potential. Through a comprehensive package of innovative and creative after-school programs, supportive services, and referrals, Hetrick-Martin, with its experienced professional staff, is a leader in caring for our most vulnerable at-risk youth. We are also host to the Harvey Milk High School, an inclusive voluntary New York City public high school focusing on the educational needs of children who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment.

Anti-Violence Project February 15th
The New York City Anti-Violence Project is dedicated to eliminating hate violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities through counseling, advocacy, organizing, and public education. The New York City Anti-Violence Project was founded in 1980 in reaction to neighborhood incidents of anti-LGBT violence and the failure of the criminal legal system to respond. AVP remained an all-volunteer organization until 1984, when the first full-time Executive Director was hired. With the addition of full-time staff, AVP was able to broaden its services to provide professional counseling to victims and survivors of hate violence. AVP also began expanding our work beyond bias-motivated violence to include services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and HIV-related violence. Today, AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) people each year from all five boroughs of New York City.

Men's Sexual Health Project February 20th
Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU School of Medicine now offer free, confidential testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections at two bathhouses for men who have sex with men in New York City. This innovative project, under the direction of Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, combines the Bellevue clinical service of HIV testing with NYU research in sexually transmitted infections and prevention. Accesible testing hours and a judgment-free environment streamline the availability of testing for infections impacting our community. The Men's Sexual Health Project offers the following on a walk-in basis: Rapid HIV antibody testing, with results available in 20 minutes, HIV PCR/viral load testing to identify recent HIV infections, Testing for sexually transmitted infections, including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis, and Risk reduction counseling with a doctor or trained HIV counselor.

Trinity Place Shelter February 21st
Trinity Place Shelter is a non-sectarian, 10-bed transitional shelter that is open all year to provide LGBTQ youth with a safe place to sleep, eat, store belongings, and have access to transportation. Through strong local community partnerships, we are able to provide access to comprehensive medical services, case management, education, career counseling, art classes and mental health services. All youth referred to Trinity Place have been identified as interested in, or are actively seeking, employment or schooling. We provide a unique, family-like environment where the youth receive the respect, individualized care, and basic services so often denied them. There are as many as 10,000 LGBTQ youth currently living homeless in NYC and only 250 beds or fewer that are specifically available for this population. These youth often experience abuse in other shelters. Our goal is to expand our program to provide homeless LGBTQ youth with the basic services and skills necessary to make independent living a reality, and to make a positive difference for as many as possible in the midst of this crisis.

GMHC February 22nd
GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. To end the AIDS epidemic, we need comprehensive solutions that promote education, increase awareness, improve care, reduce stigma, elevate policy and build strong, supportive communities. Whether it’s getting tested, living with HIV/AIDS, succeeding at home and work or elevating our voice for policy change, we provide answers that give hope. We understand the root causes of the disease and take a holistic approach to care — from medical treatment and counseling to legal services and job placement — that promotes total well-being for your whole life. We help you develop meaningful relationships within the GMHC community, receive support and give back to others along the way, so you feel a sense of confidence and pride that empowers your life on your terms. AIDS is not over. In fact, awareness is down as new infections are up — including among women, people of color and men who have sex with men. The roots of the epidemic are wide and deep, from stigma and misinformation to the increasing cost of care. At GMHC, we believe we can end the epidemic by addressing the underlying causes, shifting cultural beliefs and promoting smart behaviors that empower a healthy life for all of us. In 1981, six men united against fear and death from a disease then known as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The group set up an answering machine in the home of Rodger McFarlane and the first AIDS hotline was born — receiving over 100 calls the first night. Today, GMHC continues to pioneer HIV prevention, care and advocacy. Fight AIDS. Love Life. Since before AIDS had a name and until the epidemic is over, GMHC will continue to fight AIDS and love life.

The Ali Forney Center February 28th
As the visibility of LGBT people grows in our society, more and more LGBT teens are finding the courage to come out of the closet. Tragically, as many as 25% of these teens are rejected by their families, and many end up homeless on the streets. Homeless LGBT teens are more likely than straight homeless teens to be subjected to violence on the streets, and in the homeless shelter system. They suffer from inordinate rates of mental illness, trauma, HIV infection and substance abuse. The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June of 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. We are committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together. -- Ali Forney was a homeless queer teen who was forced to live on the streets of New York during the 1990s. Ali was dedicated to the safety of other homeless queer youth; he was a committed HIV prevention worker, and aggressively advocated that the NYPD investigate a series of murders of the homeless queer youth he had befriended. Ali was an inspiration to those who knew him. In December of 1997, Ali was murdered on the streets. His tragic death called attention to the atrocious conditions for homeless LGBT youth in New York. Ali's murderer has never been identified.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS March 1st
BC/EFA is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $175 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors’ Fund - including The AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Dancers’ Resource and three supportive housing residences. BC/EFA also awards annual grants to over 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide.

My Aids a comedy will run February 13 – March 1 and is set to open February 15 at The 30th Street Theater (259 West 30th Street). Dave Solomon (NYMF’s Marrying Meg) will direct the 80-minute solo comedy
Armed with only his wit, storyteller Dan Horrigan does battle with evil bosses, loses true love, and confronts being HIV positive... all while searching for the perfect set of kitchenware! With humor and candor, he shares his story about grappling with growing up and accepting himself.

Best known for POP!, their annual production of short plays, At Hand Theatre Company has previously presented the plays Lila Cante, One Nation Under, Silence!, Trickster at the Gate and Cake and Plays...But Without the Cake

MY AiDS plays February 13 through March 1
Saturdays at 10:30pm;
Sundays and Mondays at 7pm at The 30th Street Theater (259 West 30th Street)
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by phone at (212) 868-4444 or online at .
Dan Horrigan

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Raise My Taxes Please!

A brilliant woman that I do not know half as well as I would like, but I do love and appreciate for her work supporting queer families, Betty Tisel, posted on her Facebook page a status that read

I was thinking about Republicans today - and the tea partiers — and I was thinking that they have FREEDOM and GREEDOM mixed up — please speak up if you disagree. I love good infrastructure and the only way we have good infrastructure is with taxation. BRING IT ON.

I totally agree with Betty, and more than that, I have always maintained that I am delighted to pay out most of my earned income in taxes if I have a short list of 10 things guaranteed by the federal government.

Let me state publicly that if the U.S. government in partnership with the states and local municipalities can guarantee the following 10 items, I will gladly pay out 80% of my income in taxes, and I will do so with a smile:

1) Anyone in the United States regardless of status would receive full and free healthcare including unlimited mental health care including drug/alcohol treatment,

2) An extensive mass transit system in every major metropolitan that was quick and affordable including FREE transportation for the homeless and the working poor,

3) Rapid rail lines connected every major metropolitan region of a state AND bullet trains in between major metropolitan areas from state to state connecting the entire nation in a web of super fast/green travel,

4) Free, quality, elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education through the PhD level (with every school receiving even a single federal dollar required to enact a decision making structure, including financial decision making, with equal representation from community and school based constituencies: students, instructors, professional staff, union staff, administrators, and representatives from the geographical locale in which the school is located),

5) Federally guaranteed maternity and paternity leave, for each parent or a guardian of the parents choice, with two months fully paid salary with the cost to be split between the federal and state governments with a 1/3 covered by the employer.

6) During recessions or other economic emergencies anyone that loses his or her job would immediately qualify for state funded re-training in a new vocational field OR a new post-secondary degree in a field substantially different than his or her original and/or one full year of unemployment payments for any employee that wishes to remain in his or her field of choice but is let go from a position for anything short of willful malfeasance that would qualify as materially damaging to the organization/company or is punishable as a criminal/civil offense,

7) A minimum livable wage requirement with mandatory cost of living adjustments AND merit pay increases except when a company could prove to a labor relations board comprised ENTIRELY of wage workers and union representatives that it would be an undue burden to the company to increase wages (also, in any year that a company has laid off workers, executives in that company would be banned from any level of bonuses including long term stock options,

8) Any military expenditure would have to be matched dollar for dollar by domestic entitlement, federal grants to nonprofit organizations, block grants to states, aid to local governments, and social safety network spending that directly supported the lives and well being of U.S. residents specifically excluding now and forever abstinence only education programs,

9) Long term low interest or no interest loans for first time working class home buyers REGARDLESS of credit history as long as a steady income stream is proven and has been maintained for at least two years, and

10) A constitutional amendment to ban anyone from public office for all time that voted for, is related to, or ever had a relaxing dinner at home with anyone connected to the Bush family. (I am willing to be flexible on this one).

Raise My Taxes Please!

A brilliant woman that I do not know half as well as I would like, but I do love and appreciate for her work supporting queer families, Betty Tisel

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Prediction

Call me Miss Cleo or believe that I am channeling the spirit of the now deceased Zelda Rubenstein (aka Tangina) but I have a feeling that some shit is about to break off up in this piece sometime very soon.

We got angry white men flying airplanes into IRS buildings and the media refuses to call it what it is: Terrorism (fucking racism)

We have angry ass white men in Tennessee calling for a return to Jim Crow (fucking teabaggers).

We have an angry white woman in Washington State calling for the lynching of U.S. Senator Pat Murray (more fucking teabaggers)

Finalists are being eliminated from American Idol for shenanigans and skulduggery (fucking FOX)

And I got the shits.

Oh yeah...something real is about to break off up in this piece.

Obama has reached up inside himself, grabbed his nuts, and pulled them out of his abdomen and is letting the Republicans have it.

The Republicans are firing back a full 41 gun salute in the Senate (damn you Massachusetts). And Nancy Pelosi is off getting Botox when she should be in Harry Reid's office slamming his forehead into his desk.

And Carnie Wilson has gained all that weight back that she lost from gastric bypass surgery.

The world is going straight to hell.

The good news is that the economy has rebounded, some. And I know a lot of gay boys in finance that are making money hand over fist or fist inside anus, however you want to phrase it.

But even with Spidey Sense tells me that something for real for real is going to break off this week. Something unexpected or perhaps some shit we should have expected but thanks to a gaff by the CIA, NSC, FBI and PBS we are going to be caught with our pants down, our cheeks spread, and a baby Jesus butt plug in some hard to explain places.

Call me Nostrahomodamus....but grab your implants boys and girls...we are in for some real shit, really soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tom Tancredo Rhymes with Jim Crow

To invoke the power of the great blogger Divine Grace, former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo is a douchenozzle.

He is also a racist bastard that, during his opening remarks at the Tea Party (I calls 'em Teabaggers) Convention, stated that "Obama was elected because we don't have a civics, literacy test in this country before people can vote in this country." (Read the article)

Jim Crow say what?

Speaking in the Nashville, TN, in a South that has never healed from the physical, spiritual, and psychic wounds of slavery and Jim Crow, Tom Tancredo said in his "outside voice" that Jim Crow era voting barriers should be reinstated to keep the ignorant from participating in Democracy. And by ignorant he meant to say niggers. Teabaggers are ok but carpet baggers will not be tolerated.

And wouldn't you know it, the crazy ass fuck nuts in the audience applauded. Holy shit.

When I first read this story yesterday, my jaw hit the table so hard that I left a dimple imprint in the Formica. It is a new fucking day and a great big leap backwards when white folks are no longer afraid of backlash or severe outward consequences by saying uncoded racist shit in public. Pre-Obama it would have been the immediate death knell of the Tea Party if a speaker at their "convention" aka "klan rally" said anything resembling what Tancredo said. There is no way in hell a former Vice Presidential candidate would have kept her appointment to give the keynote speech. Republican legislators would have immediately decried the organization, and it would have quietly broken apart or pulled their sheets back over their heads and returned to burning crosses in colored folk's front yards.

Not now. There's a nigger in the White House. The coloreds done got uppity and forgotten their places, and it's time for Granny to pull up her knickers, rub on some extra Fixodent, and get to kicking ass and tying nooses.

I am listening to NPR this morning, and they were reporting on the convention, and low and behold there wasn't a word spoken concerning Tancredo's remarks. WTF man? Oh yeah....they get money from the gubernment, and there is a recession don't you know. Can't rock the boat by doing any real reporting.

Wake up people. The true measure of the state of racism in this country is not the fact that a black man is in the White House. The true state is measured by what the opposition says and gets away with impunity. Racism is alive and well, and it has taken off its white robes, put on a suit and started a new white power movement called the Tea Party.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Being of Facebook

There was a time when I felt that I was surrounded by brilliant individuals, and I wondered how it was that they came up with the ideas, thoughts, and reflections that I heard them speaking. I was once a member of a group called Visions Collective, which was a multi-racial/multi-gender/age diverse/sexuality diverse cohort of organizers/artists/academics. Some of the most brilliant people from the Twin Cities made up this group, and for almost four years we met on a regular basis, struggling together on a range of issues that began with the Israel/Palestine conflict and covered everything from war to sexuality. One of the most beautiful things about that group was that we permissioned ourselves to let the journey and the discussion be the outcome without requiring any tangible product. Growth, challenge, synthesis, confrontation, and conflict were the products and they were valued. But, even as a core member of that group, I felt like a fraud. The rest of the folks in the group seemed as if they thought deep thoughts and spent their waking hours dreaming up a better world. It seemed that their brains were always at work behind their eyelids.

I have never been a great thinker. I have always been a feeler and have let my emotions guide my tongue. Often I didn't know what I believed until I heard others espouse their beliefs. I would let their statements feed my emotions and based on my reactions to what others were saying, I came to an understanding of whether or not I agreed or disagreed. And my thought process started when I opened my mouth. And though others found value in what I was saying, I always felt like a charlatan. I didn't sit at home and think about the issues of the day. I didn't and rarely do now, ponder anything. But I am always feeling, there are always shifting morphing tides inside of me that, from time to time, erupt into a thought or idea that I spill out onto this blog, into an editorial, an article or in some other written format. Now and again I find myself in spaces that I once thrived in, those groups of great thinkers that are still trying to figure this world out and make it a better place, and in those places I am given the gift of being able to think out loud.

I have come to understand, though, that now adays my regular engagement with thinkers and philosophers, artists and academics is through the medium of Facebook. Folks like Staceyann Chin often pose questions that provoke long "conversations," artist like Isauro Cairo post photographs that stimulate everything from inquiry to outrage to lust and force me to rethink myself as a man, as queer, as an artist and my relationship to my body, masculinity, and desire.

And I don't feel as if I am a charlatan anymore.

I feel as if I am constantly surrounded by people that think deep thoughts and feel deep feelings, and I have come to understand that I think through feelings. Like an ant, which uses a complicated set of scents to communicate information and ideas, my body mass produces layers and layers of feelings that, in my own internal language, translate themselves into ideas and positions on myself and the world around me. And the world around me and myself seem to become more and more connected.

I find myself drawn, without judgment or expectation, to amazing new and exciting people from my partner David to my colleague Bill Martin, and all through a medium that allows me to engage with the little cues and stories that they tell, sometimes with intention and other times subconsciously, through the things that they post and the glimpses that they share into their lives, likes, dislikes, pains, discomforts, art, and celebrations. And I find myself, on a daily basis, falling in desire, lust, intellectual rapport, extreme distaste, hate, and downright rejection with people that I often do not know or only know through a small picture through a tiny window made up of fancy coding and ones and zeros on a commercial networking site.

But I know that so often the connections I have made in the real world are deepened through the online interactions, and I have made significant and meaningful connections that began as online admiration (or down right flirting) and transformed into real life friends and lovers. And throughout it all I have come to learn more about myself as a thinker and feeler, more about myself as an artist, and more about the world in which we live and the people that are also out there trying to make sense of it all.