About


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
SARS revisited
When good enough is good enough
Introspection flammable
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 :D

16 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Kenn,

    I really appreciate your blog. Thanks for following up on my story in Briarpatch about how big phama is massively contributing to the HIV/AIDS epidemic by blocking generic drug distribution and use. Canada has still yet to contribute a single generic retroviral drug to alleviate the crisis. ( I sent a personal message on this to Prime Minister Harper in the form of a Globa and Mail ad)

    Please check out our http://www.makingthelinksradio.ca site. We cover different issues from a radical radio perspective. Right now we are helping to re-establish a community radio network in Oaxaca (after the imposition of a police state there).

    As a former NDP candidate in the last two federal elections I really agree with your comments about the NDP communications strategy.

    They have not figured out how to network laterally – through multi linking communications networks – blogs, web sites, radical print like Briarpatch, community/alternative radio, pod casting etc feeding good content continuously that others the alternative media/individuals could and would pick up.

    For example, during the Federal NDP convention there were good comprehensive positions taken on green economy and social justice, First Nation rights and relationships, impact of continentalism, peace not war.

    Nothing done since then to continue the momentum – the green platform could have been out before the peak on climate change in October/November and shown the public a very green NDP, we should have and still need a blue print for troop withdrawal from Afganistan – that is what Canadians want – how to get out of war we should not be in.

    Anyhow – as they say in the South – a luta continua – the struggle continues..

    All the best into 2007!

    Don Kossick
    http://www.makingthelinksradio.ca

  2. Kenn,

    My word the internet is a small place. I was looking for something on livejournal, and saw a post by you, and have found my way here. You may have heard that I graduated a couple of weeks ago… it seems a long time ago that we were having discernment meetings at TSP! The last five years have been busy and tumultuous, and I regret not keeping in touch. I’ll be at TSP sometime later this spring, and will definitely keep an eye on your blog.

    Blessings, Michelle

  3. Hi Kenn, you’re looking great and so is the blog. Congratulations on 20,000. I’ve found a couple of Canadian based blogging groups you might be interested in… there’s the Blogging Canadians, at bloggingcanadians.ca and The Progressive Bloggers of Canada, at progressivebloggers.ca. There are no membership fees and the politics are full spectrum but, believe me, you’ll find many Fellow NDP/Green Travellers in both.

    Congratulations again, Kenn.

    Gabriel.

  4. Thanks for your “I get that!” comment on my blog. When I rant about the gay universe I don’t always feel like I am being clear and am coming off as self-loathing. Even though I complain about it I am glad to be gay.

    Take care.

  5. Kenn – I like your blog, and I am glad you shared it on the TSP list. I have read various pieces you wrote, and love the one you just posted about moving the piano! Kathleen

  6. Hey Kenn,

    My name is Teresa Sabga. I am a freelance journalist studying at Syracuse University.

    This December, I found a mass the size of a cantaloupe in my lung. Knowing that my situation was uncommon, I began writing about my journey on the Internet. I didn’t want pity. I simply wanted support. I used social media to express my feelings without having to burden my family and friends.

    I’d like to write a feature for Glamour magazine that explores the way the Internet has changed the way we view illnesses, both visible and invisible, and how its changed our acceptance of grief and death, using examples of multiple case studies, and gathering different viewpoints from medical professors, professionals and doctors who study this trend regarding HIV/AIDS.

    I’d love to interview you sometime next week, if possible. It should only take 30 minutes (probably less) and I strongly believe that hearing your opinion would only benefit my story.

    Thank you for your time and patience. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    All the best,
    Teresa Sabga​​​​​​​​​​​

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