Billy Porter, on how he feels after revealing he is HIV+:
“I’ve been positive since 2007. And, you know, having lived through the AIDS crisis, it was heavy for me. It was a heavy year, 2007. “ I have to start in 2007. In June of that year, I was diagnosed HIV-positive. Having lived through the plague, my question was always, ‘Why was I spared? Why am I living?’ Well, I’m living so that I can tell the story. There’s a whole generation that was here, and I stand on their shoulders. I can be who I am in this space, at this time, because of the legacy that they left for me. So it’s time to put my big boy pants on and talk. I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway. It was 2007, the worst year of my life. “I was on the precipice of obscurity for about a decade or so, but 2007 was the worst of it. By February, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By March, I signed bankruptcy papers. And by June, I was diagnosed HIV-positive. The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years. I lived with the shame of it for a really long time and last week I released that shame, I released that trauma and I am a free man, honey! Free! I’ve never felt joy like this before. And, you know, we talk about it in the Black church. You know, this joy that I have—the world didn’t give and the world can’t take it away. I got it. I got some joy now. It really feels good, it really feels great.”
Once again, this proves that Silence = Death; that we are only as sick as our secrets, and we need not feel shame for a health condition, no matter what.
Lil Nas X, honoring Sir Elton John with the Icon Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards:
“To me, he’s a trailblazer who paved the way for people to live their lives freely and unapologetically. He’s inspired me and so many other people by just being himself, being larger than life, flashy and fearless, especially when he’s in front of that piano. On behalf of all the people around the world you have inspired, Thank you. Even if you didn’t need to be a role model, you are.”
And now Lil Nas is doing that same thing for the next generation of LGBTQ+ artists, especially those of color, who didn’t know before him that they could be out and loud and proud and successful.
have he prayed away “the curse of mildew.” He says Jesus protects Christians from COVID by “turning off your virus receptors” and yet dozens of Wommack’s followers became infected with COVID at one of his own Bible retreats.
Lastly, Andrew Wommack
Elliot Page, previously known as Ellen before coming out as transgender, on adopting a male identity at a very young age:
“All trans people are so different, and my story’s absolutely just my story. But yes, when I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy. I knew I was a boy when I was a toddler. I was writing fake love letters and signing them ‘Jason.’ Every little aspect of my life, that is who I was, who I am, and who I knew myself to be. I just couldn’t understand when I’d be told, ‘No, you’re not. No, you can’t be that when you’re older. You feel it. Now I’m finally getting myself back to feeling like who I am, and it’s so beautiful and extraordinary, and there’s a grief to it in a way. The most significant difference is that I’m really able to just exist. Just exist by myself, like be able to sit with myself. Not have some constant distraction, all these things that aren’t conscious or aren’t even overly overt. For the first time in, I don’t even know how long, [I am] really just being able to sit by myself, be on my own, be productive, and be creative. It’s such an oversimplification to say it this way, but I’m comfortable. I feel a significant difference in my ability to just exist—and not even just day to day, but moment to moment. This is the first time I’ve even felt really present with people, that I can be just really relaxed and not have an anxiety that’s always pulling. In terms of acting, I don’t think I quite know yet. I am just a lot more f****** comfortable and present, so it’s hard to imagine that that’s not affecting the work, because, really, being present’s ultimately what you’re going for—you’re just ultimately trying to crack open and be present and connect to the truth of a moment. So I’m imagining the more I get to embody who I am and exist in the body I want to exist in, there’ll be a difference.”
So many of us go into life and through life knowing who we are, even if we have to come to terms with it because it may not be the “norm,” but imagine a young trans kid? That’s a struggle for acceptance, not only from your friends and family and the world, but from yourself.
Busy Philipps, actress, on teaching her mother about different pronouns after revealing her own daughter is non-binary:
“[My] mom is older and wants to understand the pronoun conversation more. I said to my mother, Here’s the deal: You don’t have to understand it.’ That’s how I feel about all human rights—you don’t have to understand it. You can choose to believe what you want, but you don’t get to have jurisdiction over anyone else’s body or belief system.”
You don’t have to understand why anyone would use they/them as their pronouns, but you cannot deny them their choices.
I mean, what does it hurt to use they/them? Who does it hurt? But then who does it hurt when you don’t?