Letter to fab magazine

The cover of issue 268, sensational by almost any definition, is illustrative of how much has, and has not, changed in the years since I almost died of AIDS. (Just surviving is one example of progress.)

The question “Is AIDS still glamorous?” angered me at first. It seemed like an insult to any of us who know first-hand how demoralizing and debilitating AIDS-related illnesses are. However, as a magazine cover ought to do, the question and picture provoked me to read Mitchel Raphael’s essay.

Clearly AIDS is not, and never has been, “glamorous.” (Some of us still take fistfuls of pills, a few of which counteract the long-term effects of others.)

In this surreal age of Botox being advertised as a solution to the “AIDS look,” Fashion Cares brings in tons of money the only way queers know how – by partying.All the money in the world, it seems, cannot change someone from positive to negative. Maybe, just maybe, it can change some people’s fate-testing games whose eventual outcome will almost certainly be negative-to-positive.

Kenn Chaplin's Facebook profile

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