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Aless Piper

Flaming Red

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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"More Life": World AIDS Day 2010
December 1, 2010

Tony Kushner wrote, in the Playwright's Notes for Act 2 of Angels in America -- Perestroika, that Harold Bloom translated the Hebrew word for "blessing" as "more life".

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The Beginning
October 26, 2010

The question I am asked most often, second only to, "Isn't AIDS over?" is how I met Edward, 13 years ago this month. It must seem odd to outsiders that a grade six student, who up to that point had lived a textbook sheltered life, should suddenly meet an HIV-positive man who is in his mid thirties, a stranger, in the course of a school science project about a disease.

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Flaming Red

Aless Piper

Aless Piper

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 for more than half her life.

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