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lgbt_icons.jpgLGBT History Month, an annual project of the Equality Forum, honors an LGBT person, living or dead, each day of October. In 2014, there were five HIV-positive honorees. Nominations for 2015 are being accepted. The deadline is Friday, December 12.

The 27 HIV-positive honorees to date are certainly impressive: Zackie Achmat, Alvin Ailey Jr., Reinaldo Arenas, John Boswell, Glenn Burke, Michael Callen, Tseng Kwong Chi, Michel Foucault, Rudy Galindo, Keith Haring, Bill T. Jones, Cleve Jones, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Greg Louganis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Leonard Matlovich, Freddie Mercury, Paul Monette, Simon Nkoli, Marlon Riggs, Vito Russo, Randy Shilts, Lou Sullivan, Sylvester, Tom Waddell, Phill Wilson, and Pedro Zamora.

Sean Strub
Sean Strub
Peter Staley
Peter Staley
However, there do seem to be two names conspicuously absent: Peter Staley and Sean Strub. I admit to being totally biased about this, but I also think it happens to be true. Both of them should be on the list.

I submitted their nominations, but I encourage everyone to do the same. And, of course, there are countless more deserving HIV-positive LGBT folks to be nominated, so please submit those as well. Click here to submit.
For the 2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which is commemorated annually on November 20, the It Gets Better campaign has partnered with Gender Proud to encourage trans people to share their stories.

Watch the video:

TDoR was founded to fight back against transphobic violence and hate. Countless trans people around the world are killed and attacked for being who they are.

Click here for a list of names from 2014 of trans people killed. Click here to read a 2012 POZ cover story on how HIV intersects with violence against trans people.

Click here to find a TDoR event near you.

We Are Young

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The December 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online, in which we introduce the 2014 POZ 100.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

Having spent my youth expecting to die, I admire the courage of young people living with or at risk of the virus who have joined the HIV/AIDS fight. Their hope for a better tomorrow is based on their belief in being part of the solution today.

Even if a cost-effective cure and vaccine were here now, we still would most likely not get to the end of this epidemic without the leadership of the next generation. We must encourage them to lead. To that end, it is my great honor to introduce the 2014 POZ 100, which celebrates youth power.

Our fifth annual list spotlights the efforts of 100 unsung heroes under the age of 30. These young leaders come from across the country--and some from around the world. Some have HIV and some do not, which seemed appropriate. Regardless of their HIV status, everyone should be encouraged to join the struggle. Click here for the list.
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.
POZ-003.jpgPedro Zamora died November 11, 1994, which is 20 years ago today. The former MTV reality star and AIDS activist was a fellow Cuban American. After I was newly diagnosed with HIV in 1992, I drew a lot of inspiration from him during his time on The Real World: San Francisco. Sadly, he didn't live to benefit from the HIV drugs that saved so many.

Although gone for two decades, Pedro is not forgotten. His legacy continues on in many ways. Earlier this year, the National AIDS Memorial Grove recently renamed its youth scholarship to honor Pedro. AIDS United offers a public policy fellowship in his name. In 2011, the Equality Forum made him an honoree for their LGBT History Month. And in 2009, MTV premiered a movie about his life.

In 1994, Pedro graced the cover of POZ on our third issue. Click here to read his cover story. As I mentioned in my June 2014 letter from the editor marking the 20th anniversary of POZ, I don't remember for sure which issue of POZ I saw first, but I distinctly remember the Pedro issue. I never had the privilege of knowing him in person, but I was captivated -- and I still am.

LGBT History Month 2014

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October is LGBT History Month, an annual project of the Equality Forum. An LGBT person, either living or dead, is honored each day of the month. In 2014, five of the honorees are HIV positive.

They are: AIDS activist Michael Callen (Oct. 9), photographer Tseng Kwong Chi (Oct. 10), Olympic figure skater Rudy Galindo (Oct. 16), rock star Freddie Mercury (Oct. 26) and singer Sylvester (Oct. 31). Of these five honorees, only Galindo is still living.

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Click here to read a Q&A with historian Martin Duberman, author of Hold Tight Gently, on why we should never forget Michael Callen.

Go to lgbthistorymonth.com for more information about all the honorees.

Die Another Day

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The October/November 2014 issue of POZ magazine is online, in which we explore pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV transmission.

Here's an excerpt from my editor's letter:

Our PrEP cover story dives deep into the controversy. We also explore the effect of PrEP on gay men, but our goal is to broaden the conversation.

As the article makes clear, PrEP isn't a silver bullet. So what is it? We look at all the arguments and then attempt to answer this question: Can personal choice and public health find common ground in PrEP?

As for me, I admit that my opinions about PrEP have evolved ...
To read my complete letter from the editor, click here.


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