I just got back from hearing a presentation by AIDS Activist Bob Bowers, which was interesting. He was an engaging speaker and he had a good point and I liked his approach. He's one of the few survivors from the early eighties, and he reports being in good shape (undetectable viral load, and a t-cell count that was low a bit low, but still present). He was very candid and honest, and seemed to put a real face on the disease. I think it was a good counter to the sort of healthy but undetectably sick image that we've see far too much of. Nevertheless the one thing I wanted him to talk about that he didn't (which was what it's like to be a straight man infected with a "gay" disease), because even if infection rates are down among gay men and up among heterosexuals (which I don't buy 100%) HIV is still identified with the gay community. Part of me wants to own that and make it my struggle, and part of me likes that it's part of a broader struggle. It's all good. But going to this talk, allowed me to think about a few other issues.
I just sent out my request for submissions, for the Affinity Story Project, to seven of my awesome-ist friends, so I should be able to get eight stories (there's another guy whose email I can't find) (I hope) to use as examples, or as a sample for publishers. I've decided to call it Where We Ought to Be: The Experience of Young Gay Men, for now. (Yes it's a reference to "Simple Gifts," the shaker hymn.) That's still a rough title, so it may shift a little, depending on how post-structural I'm feeling. This is a really cool thing, and I think it may just work, which makes it an even cooler thing.
But it strikes me, what I'm really looking for in WWOTB is the pure essence of what it means to be gay and young in today's world. What draws us together, what differences make us diverse and unique, how do we relate to the "gay struggle" of years past. What's it like to wake up every morning?
I started writing this entry days ago, and I remember being so excited about it, and now, I haven't a clue as to where I was going. Sorry for being so distant late. But I have been getting things done. Cheers. -- sam.