Thursday, June 24, 2010

Everyday Heroes: Olivia Ford

The Lord works in mysterious ways. So does the Interwebs. The Holy Ghost in the Machine has brought me a new Everyday Hero.

For almost a month now, I have been blogging at The Body is an online resource focused on HIV/AIDS. The website has everything from a medical staff that answers questions to public policy. The Body also maintains a cadre of bloggers and blogs that discuss a range of topics related to living with HIV/AIDS.

When I was asked to be a guest blogger and then a regular blogger for, I was scared as hell. I am still scared as hell. But, there is one person that absolutely helps mitigate that fear, which allows me to write as openly as I can, and that is Olivia Ford.

I am not sure what Olivia's job title is at, but she is my editor. I haven't yet had a chance to meet this wonderful human being (though we discovered early on that we run all around the same circles of peoples), but I have to say that this woman has been an unlooked for and welcome blessing. Her ability to comfort, support, and give real and truthful feedback, hear your truth and help you see that it is beautiful even when it is hard, is something that I have rarely experienced before (for those of you that know Susan Raffo...she is another one of those rare spirits with the same gift). If she has judgments about the things she has read, those judgments have never come across in her communications.

I want to be just like Olivia when I grow up, though I think her gifts may be beyond my I will stick to writing ;-).

Thank you, Olivia, for being an Everyday Hero, for sharing your gentle spirit and your critical eye to the work of living. You are appreciated.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Queendom is Back! Bebe Zahara Benet at NYC Pride

In May, I was blown away watching Bebe Zahara Benet's debut one woman show: Queendom.

Well...the Queen is back.

If you missed the SOLD OUT STANDING ROOM ONLY show in May, then do yourself a favor...come see the show this time.

This time there are two showtimes, 7pm and 9pm, and the show is at a larger venue. So come out, check it out, and love it.

For more information click here: Queendom Show Times and Ticket Purchase Page.

I will be there, with VIP tickets in hand. Where will you be? Thursday, June 24th...join me at Monkey for Queendom presented by Embrace TV NYC.

If you are on Facebook, you can see the official invitation to the event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

POETRY: First Taste

Starting this week, each Friday will be Poetry Fridays at My Feet Only Walk Forward. A big thank you to my friend and fellow poet Christy NaMee Ericksen that inspired me with her poetry Thursdays.

Until this Friday, though, here is a poem I wrote during one of my visits to NYC some time ago.

First Taste

The first taste of him
His tongue slid sweetly
Bold flavors washed over my lips
I drank him
Tasting reflections of myself
pressed against him
I lost myself in his bouquet
He seemed familiar
As he laid his head against my neck
Rose to meet me
Drank me
I moaned
On the couch
In mid-sentence
He poured himself across my body
Strong his flavor
Mixed with mine
I rose up to meet him
Wrapped myself around him
We moaned
Our tongues danced
Sharing a common language
De donde son tus sabores
Estas uvas tenemos en común

The skin of this grape was lighter than mine
But it was familiar
Across the Rhine
I found him
the muscles of his back intoxicated me
firm skin
fermented to ripe perfection
I drank him deeply
He moaned
We paused for a moment
Tongues soft inside of each other
Slowly we explored the subtle hues beneath them
Smoky, layered, I sipped him reverently
Tossed him against the back of my throat
Eased him forward
Exploring his complexity
mango con arepa y coco con ron
Caribbean sunsets below the N train
A hurucán of near intoxication on Ditmars Boulevard
His bare chest a revelation of vines thick, refined
Drinking him
I was a sommelier
This one best served slowly at room temperature
Respected for its intensity
His legs perfectly balanced
On mine
I pulled him closer
Almost impossibly
Such a rare vintage
in Queens
by the church
as the saints watched us take communion
he kissed me goodnight.

-Brandon Lacy Campos
-New York, NY

Saturday, June 12, 2010

GI Joe Needs to Go to Washington

I think COBRA Commander must be running Congress because lord knows that COBRA Benefits for the unemployed are not.

In the 1980s cartoon G.I. Joe, COBRA Commander was a character with a mirror face, but when the mirror was removed, you found an evil snake like man-creature with a lisp and a penchant for all out drag queen temper tantrums. COBRA was an evil organization out the rule the world.

Outside of the lands of Hasbro, COBRA is a government program, created in the 1980s, that allows workers leaving or let go from their jobs to continue their health care benefits for up to 18 months by paying the associated premiums and a small administrative fee.

COBRA led by snake face is bad. COBRA led by the U.S. government is good.

Up until May 31, 2010, there was a provision that was included in the stimulus package that paid subsidies of 65% of COBRA benefits for eligible workers that lost their jobs. As quoted in an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, for a that has health care payments of $1,500 a month that subsidy drops the payments down to $525, a much more manageable figure.

As we all know, the latest unemployment figures still have unemployment hovering near 10% (9.7% to be exact), and while there has been slow growth in the economy, the numbers of jobs added have been pretty much pitiful. So it would seem to make sense that since the need for the COBRA subsidy is still great, and since the economy is only just beginning to recover that it would make sense to reauthorize the $7 billion dollar program. Right?

Wrong. Turns out that COBRA Commander (evil snake face) is alive and well and living in Washington. Blue Dog Democrats are howling at the moon because it is an election year and they fear that voting to re-extend the program, which will add to the deficit, will hurt their re-election chances.

Two notes here for you Blue Dogs, 1) Your job in Congress is to serve the people, not your re-election efforts, and 2) if you are an incumbent, you should start packing your bags any old ways cuz this year just ain't your year.

But, seriously, seriously, we are spending $12.2 billion dollars a MONTH on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan according to an article in U.S.A. Today published on May 12, 2010. That, ladies and gents, comes out to $145 billion (and some change) a year on those two wars. And, now we have some asshole Congressmen, such as Democrat Rep. Cardoza of California, magically worried about deficit spending of $7 billion for a year to cover millions of unemployed Americans?

We will pay to kill people living far far away, but we won't pay a fraction of that amount of money to keep our own people healthy and alive. Fail.

Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio are offering an amendment to re-authorize the COBRA subsidy program to a bill in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits. The bill has already passed the House where douchenozzle Rep. Clyburn of South Carolina led the charge to strip the COBRA Reauthorization from the bill. I think Clyburn should stop working for the EVIL COBRA and worry about the crazy shit going on in South Carolina right now in the gubernatorial and senatorial elections.

In the end, failing to reauthorize the COBRA subsidy is not only wrong and bad politics, it is bad economics. When those folks that have been able to maintain their health benefits are forced off of their private insurers, they will be forced to join the rest of the unemployed masses in using the country's emergency rooms as primary care facilities. This is absolutely the most expensive way to receive health care in our system, and it will only overburden and overtax a health care system while at the same time forcing local and state governments to pick up the costs incurred.

Smooth move, Congress.

Please contact your Senators and let them know that you support the COBRA extension, and, if necessary, that you support bringing in GI Joe to deal with Evil COBRA and the Blue Dog Democrats.

General Hawk signing out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bebe Zahara Benet, Rakesh Satyal, and Emanuel Xavier To Perform


Contact Information
Contact: W. Brandon Lacy Campos, Development and Marketing Manager
Organization Name: Words without Borders
Telephone Number: 646-460-0551
E-mail Address:
Web site Address:

Bebe Zahara Benet, Rakesh Satyal, and Emanuel Xavier to Perform at Benefit for Words without Borders

New York City, New York, June 9, 2010—Words without Borders (WWB) magazine announces the line-up for Queer is the World/Word, a benefit hosted by Therapy Lounge and featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bebe Zahara Benet, Lambda Literary Award winner Rakesh Satyal, and actor, author, poet, director, and music artist Emanuel Xavier.

In celebrating LGBT History Month, Words without Borders continues its commitment to providing a forum for the stories that are often untold or hidden. The Queer Issue, the first in an annual series focused on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, features stories and poetry from around the world that explore the queer experience.

The event will take place at Therapy Lounge in New York City at 348 W. 52nd Street from 6pm-8pm on Wednesday, June 16th. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds benefit Words without Borders. Tickets can be purchased online at

Bebe Zahara Benet, Rakesh Satyal, and Emanuel Xavier will all read selections from the "Queer Issue." Mr. Satyal, also a talented jazz singer will perform musical selections for the audience, and Emanuel Xavier will be debuting his new music video, “Legendary,” as part of the evening’s performances.

Rohan Kamicheril, WWB Editor, stated,”We’re delighted to pair this stunning company with the work from WWB’s Queer Issue. It’s a fine testament to the new vitality that art gains when we bring it across borders and into the hands of new readers, and artists like Bebe Zahara Benet, Rakesh Satyal, and Emanuel Xavier.”

Words without Borders is committed to creating new and innovative forums for the best translated literature from around the world. Our occasional reading events are designed to bring these works to life for as diverse an audience as possible.

All three performers will be available for media. To schedule interviews, please contact W. Brandon Lacy Campos.

For additional information, please contact:

Contact: W. Brandon Lacy Campos, Development and Marketing Manager
Organization Name: Words without Borders
Telephone Number: 646-460-1462
Email Address:
Website Address:

Founded in 2003, Words without Borders is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has translated over 1,100 pieces of literature and poetry representing 80 languages by writers from 111 countries. WWB has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Guardian (UK), Vanity Fair, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as in various foreign-language papers and numerous literary blogs. We were selected as a featured “pick” by Yahoo immediately after our launch issue and voted one of Time magazine’s “Fifty Coolest Websites” in July 2004.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Working Through It

So, after Friday nights exchange with my teammate, whose name I shall not use as he asked oh so politely that I not do so. And even though I would be completely justified in ignoring a request that was made so lovingly, I will go ahead and respect the request boxed inside the venom.

I have been struggling hard core since Friday night. Today, I finally came to the astounding conclusion that the voice that I keep hearing, in Dolby Digital Stereo Surround Sound repeating that I am a piece of shit isn't my teammate's voice, it's my own.

Frankly, I have no power over the opinion that someone else has of me. I suppose if I lived my life in a cubicle and never made any mistakes, small or fucking huge as I have done, then I suppose, controlling for all that, I could influence someones opinion of me. But change it? Nope...that's not a power I have.

But I can interrupt those tapes inside of me that are determined to keep me kicking my own ass until my motherfuckin' foot falls off or gets wedged somewhere in my colon.

Colostomy, table of one, please.

Now...considering the voice that has declared that I am a piece of shit is, in fact, a part of my own psyche, which means, technically, I do have control over it, one would assume that one could just flip the off switch and away it would go. Unfortunately, to get to the off switch you have to wade hip deep in the Bog of Eternal Stench, with giant leeches the size of Rush Limbaugh's ass trying to suck the life out of you, as you have to do a back hand spring through a mine field covered in old syringes filled with nitroglycerin and all piled on top of a nuclear warhead that goes by the nick name of Bubbles and is on a hair trigger held by a 98 year old man with cerebral palsy and the DTs.

But if you can get through all of that, well, by all means, turn that switch right off...and...while you're at it...cure AIDS, homelessness, and cold fusion.

So, since I am not Mary Lou Retton inside of a cybertronic Voltron-on-steroids intergalactic gymnastics suit, I get to sit with the mother fucking feelings until I can get a handle enough on them to step outside of my front door.

This weekend I did a lot of isolating and a lot of hiding. I didn't go to the gym. I skipped my softball games, and it took a supreme act of will and effort to go to the BBQ and Hummus parties that I attended. It took all of my energy to put on my happy face and go play well adjusted and normal for several hours at a stretch.

But that's just it...I'm not normal. No matter how much I want to be, I am not normal. I am a recovering meth addict that is HIV positive. No matter how much I want those two things to be different. They won't be. Not in this lifetime. No matter how much I want to be just like everyone else (well, ok...even if I were not a positive addict, I am too fuckin' weird to be just like everyone else), but no matter how drunk I get or high I get to permission myself to act like a self-absorbed person just looking for a little human contact without any barriers, I don't get to be that person anymore. This fucking (these fucking) disease have taken that away. And though it is fucked up, foul, wrong, unjust, uncool, and just plain oppressive that people living with HIV are held to a higher, different standard of behavior (ie....if a straight guy and girl fuck without a condom and the girl gets pregnant, no one gets called a piece of shit...if two dudes are on a three day meth binge with needles in every vein but neither of them IS or KNOWS that they are HIV positive...they might get called stupid but they aren't a piece of shit...if two guys get drunk and fuck without a condom...and one is unsure of his status or both are and neither knows for sure...they aren't a piece of shit......get the picture?) but positive folks...that fuck up just like every other sexually active person FUCKS UP does so....we (I) are moral reprobates, intentional bastards, pieces of shit, fucked up, inhuman, demonic (let's pretend this is a MadLib..insert your favorite negative dehumanizing adjective here), etc. ad infinitum.

There is ill intent assigned to what we were doing instead of asking...what....other than a demonic and devilish desire to cause harm...could possibly motivate someone to get drunk and/or high and have unprotected sex even when they know that they are HIV positive, or worse, lie about their status? Hmmmm...asking that question forces people to look to damn closely at their own desperate desire to fit in, be loved, be, dare I say, normal.

I mean, I can't imagine why someone would do such a dastardly thing. I mean....our society loves, values, and in no way stigmatizes HIV positive people, does it? I mean, I have never been in a club and heard folks talking about this or that person that is positive and how they can't believe anyone would sleep with them? I mean, I have never been interested in someone, disclosed my status, and watched their face shut down and despite their insistence that it doesn't really matter, they never call back? I mean, I don't see imagery on TV and in the media about how FAGS deserve AIDS and deserve to die. I mean, I didn't grow up with Fred Phelps telling me that I got what I deserved. I mean, I didn't learn messages that it was ok to have HIV if you got it through a blood transfusion or through a surgical accident (which meant you were to be pitied instead of reviled) but if you got it through consensual, even if stupid, unprotected sex then you got what you deserved. I mean, on top of racism and homophobia, adding being HIV positive to the mix of ones life isn't too fucking much so that sometimes you are willing to do anything and go to any lengths JUST TO FEEL THE WAY THAT EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO FEEL ALL THE TIME...AKA wanted, desired, loved, valued, beautiful, caring, cared for, and cherished----even if all those things are found only in a 30 minute hook up with someone, somewhere...that you never see again....

Silly silly me. Feeling untouched, unwanted, and completely disconnected from everyone around you while walking the streets in a city of almost 9 million people is normal. Right?

But, guess what, I get to change that too. I can't change what I've done. I've said that before. But I can change what I am going to do. I can't change what other people think of me, but I am changing the way that I think and feel about myself.

And I will tell you one damn thing, I am NOT running away. Not this time, not every again. So, I sent an email to my softball team letting them know that I will be showing up this weekend for the games. And I will show up the next week and the week after. It is going to be, for me, awkward as fuck showing up at our meeting spot for this weekend's games. But I am going. Because if I don't isn't my vitriolic teammate that wins, it's the voice in my head telling me that I am a piece of shit that wins.

And that motherfucker has won quite enough thank you. It's MY turn now.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rough Night

It is 4:25am, and I am sitting at my desk working on not crying and chatting with a friend from junior high and high school on Facebook about the royally screwed up discrimination her daughter is experiencing in her Minneapolis suburb school district.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

For example, I believe that it is not coincidental that La and my good friend and ex Chris were both online dealing with their own emotional issues when I logged in with my own baggage in tow.

Nothing like someone else's life problems to give you some perspective on your own.

I also logged in to Facebook to find that a reader of, recently diagnosed as HIV positive, read my story there and sent me a very kind and caring email. That is exactly why I took the step of writing openly about my life and struggles and celebrations as an HIV positive man, including allowing to post my recent blogs concerning my failure to disclose and the possible outcome of that.

For that express reason, I am writing this blog, tonight, just a couple of hours before the summer sun makes its extremely early morning appearance.

This evening, I was devouring a Domino's pizza around Midnight (don't judge). I had put in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and I was having a text war with my partner David. I closed down my computer and settled into bed with David and my gorgeous Jack Russell Mimzy, when I fired up the old cell and was going to entertain myself with a good game of Scrabble. I noticed I had an email from one of my softball teammates. He had left a comment on one of my blogs recapping a recent game. The blog started shitty and ended with "fuck you."


Being who I am, a gay Virgo, I shot him an email and a text message asking him if he had indeed made that comment and, if he did, why. I also explained that if anything in my blog offended him, it was all written with an eye towards humor, and I would gladly remove anything that he found personally offensive that referenced or included him or his loved ones.

He wrote back and told me that he thinks I am a "piece of shit."

Laissez les bontemps rouler!

I don't know this guy. Really. We've played on the same softball team for one full season. He is one of the guys that never goes out with the team afterwards, and he rarely participates (if ever) in our email discussions. So I don't know much about him except that he is a lawyer that works in the public interest. So, when I got his message tonight, I was, needless to say, completely and totally floored.

Now, though I play a blonde in everyday life, I have a genius level IQ, which means I am pretty much stupid and useless most of the time, but my powers of deductive reasoning are generally dead on. I know, for example, that this guy does the AIDS Ride each year. In fact, I pledged $100 towards his ride this fall. I know that I have posted on and on my blog about my recent failure to disclose and some of the emotional fallout from that experience. So, my conclusion was that either he knows the person involved in the story or that he read my blogs and decided that I am, indeed, a piece of shit.

And, of course, being a recovering addict living with PTSD and the survivor of abuse and sexual assault, the negative tapes kicked into high gear, I accepted that I am a piece of shit, and now I am writing a blog at nearly 5am. Hell, the birds just started chirping outside, which means that the sun is about to wake up, and I have not even gone to bed yet. Against all that I know to be true about humanity and myself personally, I still believe that I am shitty human being. I believe that I am worthless because those are the lessons that were beat into me as a child. In group therapy tonight, we talked about this subject. Our counselor asked me and another client why we felt the way that we felt...and I was clear...that which is beaten into you (literally) from age 3-12 and then verbally past that into young adulthood is what you learn to be true about yourself. And no one teaches you, unless you have the resources for psychotherapy that those internal messages aren't true. And, that being ones own (aka my) truth, one does some fucked up and stupid shit.

I am really tired. Not just physically, but spiritually.

Since my failure to disclose and my subsequent confrontation about that and the emotional fallout, I have felt relatively good about my life and how I have taken steps to ensure that I do not repeat the experience in anyway. I have spent 5 and a half hours a week in therapy. I have gotten to a place of acceptance if not comfort of what went down. And then, in one fell swoop, I let one person rip all that down.

And the fun fact is that though I surmise the cause of his emotional aggression, I don't actually know.

I am supposed to play softball in the morning. But I sent a note to my team telling them that I won't be there along with a very frank and very raw explanation of why. Some of them already know the story as they read my blog. Others have/had no idea until they read the email of what has passed recently. But, I learned that when there is bochinche (gossip) potential, it is better to lay it all out there and hope for acceptance than to let someone else spin the story and have to play damage control.

In the end, whether judgment is rendered against me or him or neither or both...I can't say. But, at least now, everything is out in the open to everyone, and, moving forward, I will know if I am wanted or rejected based on the truth rather than a lie. Of course, relying on my team to approve or disapprove of what I have done or the way I have handled the fall out is still part of the problem. I should be able to say, "I've done what I've done. I've tried to heal what I can heal. I have owned what I could own. And each person can live, respond, and react in the way that best represents their feelings without it enhancing or diminishing my spirit."

Unfortunately, I am so not that evolved or there.

That is an apt lesson for life as a whole.

Friday, June 4, 2010

That's SO Gay or Christina Aguilera is My Gaybee Mama

Oh my God(dess). I am listening to Christina Aguilera's new song "Bobblehead." Excuse me while I declare this song to be, and I quote the fierce Shante Paradigm Smalls, the muthafuckin' "new catty homo jam of the summer."

Shante ain't NEVER lied. And that girl is writing her PhD on homo hop. The girl knows queer jams.

Listening to this song reminds me of all the beauty of being a big old Fagatron.

We can take a frickin' line from Charlie Brown, set it to a beat, have a pint size diva sing some lyrics and turn that shit into a hit!

Can I get an amen from the choir?

I love homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbionics, transfabulosity aka QUEER RULES!

Not going to lie. We are the muses of every generation.

Behind every King there is a Queen and behind every Queen there is a circuit boy in cooty cutters flagging and eating homemade hummus from the B-Girl Lesbian DJ.


There is a reason we are called gay y'all, cuz we ARE of which happiness is made. Funny, sassy, artistic, loving, sensual, sexual, and messy. THAT my friends is living...and, excuse my francois, but FUCK THE HRC and anyone else that wants to turn us into homodrones or heteroclones that look, sound, smell, and bore like everyone else.

Paint me hot pink and call me Magenta...cuz if I started a hard core cholo gang it would be called QUEER FOR LIFE.

I think I am going to get that tattooed in a circle around my asshole.

Cum out cum out wherever you are.

Oh wait...I forgot the point of this blog....BOBBLE HEADS by Christina Aguilera is the shit.

Buy her new album Bionic.

I have spoken.