Google already knows bits about me but I’ll review the basics: My name is Kenn Chaplin and I was diagnosed with HIV in 1989. Cryptosporidiosis nearly killed me in the early 1990s and I have weathered other AIDS-related illnesses since. In addition, I am a survivor of childhood and adult trauma and adult-diagnosed mental illness.
Living with AIDS is not a single-issue journey
Used to be, every morning, I’d wake up with the thought, “Oh my God, I’ve got AIDS!” (I would have used the OMG short-form but that’s not the way I talk, let alone think.) So this is a usually-not-daily, sometimes-not-even-weekly, record of some of my thoughts, feelings and activities which – if you’re looking for all AIDS, all the time – may disappoint. I acknowledge that prolonged absences from the blogosphere are my way of telling you that things aren’t going as well as I’d demand (if I had that power) but it’s usually because I’d rather be perky. Welcome! Please comment/communicate with me. I enjoy imagining that I have readers but there is nothing like an intentional acknowledgment to make my day!
Shortly after my HIV test I began treatment for major depression, which might have been true for awhile, but PTSD as the result of a serious accident in 2003 (which reawakened earlier traumas) and reviews of manic episodes as an adult – if not before - led to the diagnosis of Bipolar II in the fall of 2006. This is a better fit.
I received a Diploma in Applied Arts: Broadcasting - Radio/TV/Film from Niagara College in 1980 after which I worked as a radio news reporter in the Niagara area for most of the remainder of the decade. I came out to my parents and siblings as a gay male in 1981 and have been very open, both about my sexual orientation and my physical health.
While I would much rather you leave a comment at a meaningful blog entry, indicating to me that you had spent a little time here, you could also email me at kenngchaplinATgmailDOTcom
Key blog posts, not in chronological order, which point you to some of the touchstones in my life (and feel free to suggest others)
The fog of renewing sobriety
A gay brother’s gay brother
Craig’s memorial service
Brothers, gay brothers, with HIV/AIDS (in the third person)
February 5, 1981 – yes 1981
HIV/AIDS stigma still cuts to the bone wherever it manifests
Past blog entries a doting son doesn’t want to lose
The bipolar II symphony and death by lymphoma
January 14, 1994
When good enough is good enough
Chopin, Roman Polanski and a cab
Mr. G.’s eye exam
This would be called a trigger (Hawaiian Tropic Secret)
I was born at Barrie Memorial Hospital in Ormstown, Québec, on October 26, 1959 (the Year of the Pig/Boar), at 8:10 p.m. if I’m not mistaken, and raised in the nearby town of Valleyfield (now known as Salaberry-de-Valleyfield), southwest of Montréal.
A progressive, Christian-in-exile seeker/wanderer bordering on nontheist, at least in terms of how most people think of theism, (and always looking for a better description than that), INFJ on Myers-Briggs, a 4 on the Enneagram, I am single – either by choice or as a result of neuroses, I’m never sure which.
Starting as a year-end letter to a dying friend in 1993, then morphing into a blog, HIV/AIDS is just a part, granted an important part, of my life journey as recorded here.
I have interests in the green movement, politics, peace, nonviolent resolution, feminism, First Nations issues, the media (mainstream and alternative), biting satire and The Divine within each of us, so this is by no means a single-issue blog as I do go off on tangents – not a problem so long as I take all my medications