January 6, 2012
First and foremost, what I remember about Bonnie is that she was persistent and for that, I am so very grateful. During the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008, my stepfather drove me to work every morning, and every morning he asked me the same question: what do you want to do (with your life)? Every morning I would give one unsatisfactory answer after the other, eventually defaulting to "I don't know," although I knew I wanted to do something AIDS-related, study sociology, and write. My indecision somehow led to me enroll in career college in November of 2008 to become an office assistant because, as my stepfather said, I had to do something.
Beyond the Bad News: Highlights of 2011
December 15, 2011
Sometimes I feel like the bearer of bad news. It's not a job I chose, but it is one I do well -- maybe the disproportionate amount of bad news that flows into my inbox daily has something to do with it. But I do delight in sharing the good news -- even if it doesn't come as easily. So here is my list of some of the good, and downright awesome, highlights this year.
The Conversation You Should Be Having on World AIDS Day
November 23, 2011
One of my favorite lines from the musical Rent comes from "La Vie Boheme": "To people living with, living with, not dying from disease." I love the idea of people living well with HIV/AIDS, and seeing this concept in action every day online and off is amazing. AIDS is no longer the death sentence it seemed to me to be when I was in the sixth grade.
Notes for a Young Activist
October 28, 2011
This summer I had an awesome experience. Back in early 2010 I decided that when I got on permanent at my day job I wanted to go on a real vacation, something I had never been able to do in my adult life. So this year when it was a "sure thing" I e-mailed Olivia from TheBody.com and said, "Can we meet?!" To which she replied, with her characteristic enthusiasm which has been so valuable to me since I started blogging for TheBody.com, "Of course!"
My Birthday Wish List
August 19, 2011
As children we are taught that if we tell our birthday wish(es) it won't come true, but as an adult, I believe the opposite is true: If we don't tell our wishes they won't come true ... people aren't psychic after all. My birthday is in a few days, so with that in mind I want to share my wish list with all of you in hopes that you can help make some of my wishes come true:
The Guilt Myth
August 4, 2011
My very Christian friend won't pray for my friend with AIDS who is currently going through a rough time medically. Yes, I am pissed off. This is a person who will pray -- without hesitation -- for a man with lung cancer who smoked a pack a day (or more) since the age of 12 and is now sixty-odd. But because to my Christian friend's mind anyway, my friend had to have done something to get AIDS, s/he will not pray for him/her. Where's the logic in that one?
The Homophobic Response to AIDS
July 9, 2011
I spent a recent week rereading Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, and there is an exchange between Ned Weeks and his brother Ben that sticks out in my mind as I write this. Ben says, "My agreeing you were born just like I was born is not going to help save your dying friends." and Ned responds, "Funny -- that's exactly what I think will help save my dying friends." Ned, of course, is right.
I Am What I Am
June 14, 2011
When asked if she would help her employer, Otto Frank (father of Anne Frank), and his wife and children hide from the Nazis, Miep Gies did not hesitate. She said "Of course!" Asked why, after the war, she said because it was the right thing to do. She'd have done it again in a heartbeat.
Larry Kramer's Inconvenient Truths
April 27, 2011
According to his post on Twitter, a few months ago, Lt. Dan Choi (anti-Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell activist extraordinaire) met Larry Kramer and whatever the reason for their meeting, if I'm being totally honest, I'm jealous. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you right here and now that I love Larry Kramer. Of all the AIDS activists I haven't had the opportunity to meet, Larry Kramer is at the top of my list. He's outspoken and controversial, and he wrote a fabulous piece decrying Anderson Cooper's "lacklustre" AIDS special. What's not to love?
HIV/AIDS in Hollywood Today
December 9, 2010
Does Andre Charles (RuPaul) have AIDS? People on the Internet Movie Database want to know. Apparently he's been looking a little gaunt. But I'm wondering why, 20-some-odd years into this epidemic, it's still the prime suspect when a gay man gets, or is suspected of being, ill. A double standard exists in our society because if Stephen Moyer looked ill, I wouldn't be writing this article. No one suspects that a straight star has AIDS, period, but if a star is gay, that's the only thing it can be.
Aless Piper is a 20-something office assistant by day, world-changer by night. She is a voracious reader, and addicted to iced caramel correttos from her favorite coffee shop. She has been reading TheBody.com for more than half her life.
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April 26, 2013 - Meet Bob Bowers: A Blog Entry by Aless Piper
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October 8, 2012 - Fifteen
August 16, 2012 - Flaming Red's Birthday Wish List 2012: A Blog Entry by Aless Piper
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