December 1st is World AIDS Day, a chance to not only memorialize those who have died from AIDS, but to promote activism, education, and community engagement on all matters related to HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, and this year, Philadelphia-area organizations will offer a host of events that will feature the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the AIDS Fund Traveling Timeline titled “1981 Until It’s Over.” We rounded up local 21 events where guests can view the quilt, the timeline, and, in some cases, both, along with speaking engagements and workshops of how to add a square to the quilt.
Prevention Point Philadelphia: Display of quilt. Now through Sunday, December 13th, 8 pm to 11:30 pm, free, Prevention Point.
William Way Community Center: Display of quilt. Now through Monday, December 7th, various times, free, William Way Community Center.
A portion of the AIDS Timeline.
Siloam Wellness World AIDS Day: Display of quilt. Now through Monday, December 7th, 10 am to 5 pm, free, Siloam Wellness.
Jefferson World AIDS Day: Display of quilt. Now through Friday, December 4th, 10 am to 5 pm, free, Dorrance H. Hamilton Building. Read more »
A scene from the Pennsylvania Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”
An innovative new partnership between the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Comhar Community Living Room will bring adults that have mental illness and HIV/AIDS into the world of dance for a special program this holiday season. Read more »
My chat with Dito started a few minutes early because he feared he’d face a long commute going to his gig at People’s Light: It was the day that a man shot at a police offer on 676, and then proceeded to ram his car into a school bus.
“This is why we need art,” I said.
“Exactly,” he replied. “There’s a Leonard Bernstein quote about this.”
I believe I found the quote after a little searching: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” Ironically enough, that’s exactly what van Reigersberg will be doing during his new show playing the Kimmel Center’s SEI Studio in December. Read more »
The Twitter feed of Kathryn Knott, the now-lone defendant in the Center City gay bashing case, was the focus this morning at a pre-trial hearing. Judge Roxanne Covington heard motions brought forth by prosecutors and the defense as to whether or not Knott’s social media posts could be used as evidence against her during her upcoming trial. Read more »
From Patti LaBelle’s Cooking Channel show.
If you’ve been stalking Walmart shelves waiting for a shipment of Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie, I have a better suggestion: Head on over to the William Way LGBT Community Center this weekend for gatherings that are surely better than trampling over people to get a big screen television set at Best Buy. Read more »
Marcel Williams Foster, Messapotamia Lefae and Michael Pomante at TOY 2014.
The Delaware Valley Legacy Fund’s TOY event is celebrating nine years on Saturday, December 5, and community members are invited to make the annual fundraiser a little more merry this season by purchasing a ticket and an unwrapped toy. Read more »
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
It was a very interesting time to chat with Olympic superstar Greg Louganis: I spoke with him shortly after the Charlie Sheen interview that caused our collective culture to have a broader discussion about HIV, about stigma, and about a lack of practical knowledge on the virus. Louganis, who has become a visible and vocal advocate for HIV/AIDS education, will be in Philadelphia on December 3 for Philadelphia FIGHT’s annual gala, where he will present a talk on a variety of health-related matters. The diving star opened up about society’s view on HIV and his own perceptions of gay youth living in the 21st Century.
You’ll be in town for the Philadelphia FIGHT gala. What are some of the things that you’ll be speaking about? I’ll share a bit of my history and part of my story, and how far we’ve come with HIV treatment and care, as well as stigma. Fighting stigma is a huge issue, and the only way is through education, education, education. We have to educate those that we love. It’s interesting: A good example of that is that many people assume my husband is HIV positive, but he’s not. We get tested regularly and we take care of each other.
Last week was certainly been an interesting one for public awareness on HIV after the Charlie Sheen interview. I’m curious to hear from you about how that interview went and what impact it might have, if any. It shows that stigma is still there, but it is also a different day and age then when I was diagnosed back in 88. It’s no longer a death sentence. You know, it is devastating. We’re so uptight about talking about sex in this country when it is a natural thing. When I go and talk to 14, 15, 16 year olds, it’s a free-for-all. I usually do a Q&A and they ask questions about sex, drugs, depression, all of these things that are part of our society. We need to have open and honest conversations about things that are around us. Read more »
Even if you are over
Adele’s completely overplayed totally self-indulgent newest tune, “Hello,” there’s a new video of the song performed by the Muppets that is pretty sure to make you pick up the phone and call someone…to tell them to watch it. Read more »
After this week’s Charlie Sheen interview, it’s clear that our population still has grave misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and how it impacts individuals. However, long before Sheen’s interview, ActionAIDS was planning an innovative street campaign scheduled to deliver factual information about those living with HIV/AIDS. Read more »
When a bill is signed into law, most ceremonies are invitation only and take place in government buildings. That’s why today’s signing of Philadelphia’s gender neutral bathroom bill is such an interesting twist. The ceremony is taking place at Fergie’s Pub, a location that isn’t necessarily the first to come to mind when thinking about the transgender community, despite it being located pretty much in the Gayborhood. Read more »