Sacred Paths

Yes, there still are preachers and other bigots who call AIDS the “gay” disease and preach that it is God’s punishment, the sign of damnation, the wages of sin, for those who follow perverted ways. The infected person was blamed for behavior causing the disease. The epidemic (now pandemic) that was discovered in 1981 was originally called GRID: Gay-Related Immune Deficiency. The disease was renamed AIDS in 1982 when it was shown that half of those infected were not gay.
The people who are most confused about how HIV is transmitted are religiously and politically conservative. Perhaps about 20 percent of the population now stigmatize those with HIV/AIDS. Infected people have been characterized as disorderly, given to unnatural passions, of weak will, and blemished with other personality defects.
Those early years were frightening, as friends began to die and it seemed that the public would enact strong measures against those they thought were spreading the disease. With no known cure, the public was moving toward panic.
Then people of real faith took action. Drawing on the best of the Christian and other traditions, using stories like that of the Good Samaritan, churches and other groups organized facilities for those affected by the disease and began public education campaigns. The involvement of the churches may have been critical in turning around public opinion. The attitude shifted from fright and anger to compassion and a desire to help. Spirituality overcame accusation.
Ironically, in this new context of sympathy, AIDS opened up discussion about same-sex behavior. Those who were dying often talked about their sexuality for the first time to their families and friends. What had been hidden could no longer be kept quiet in the anguish of loss. As a better understanding of AIDS emerged, the conversations could focus less on dealing with issues of stigma and more on personal questions.
Obviously, not everyone was able to be open. Father Thom Savage, S.J., of blessed memory, the extraordinary and inspiring civic leader and president (1988-1996) of Rockhurst University, left Kansas City as his illness began to affect him. How his friends throughout all segments of the community—for he touched many—wished he had been able to speak about his situation! While his decision to suffer privately, no doubt influenced by his profession and prominence, must be respected, how we still yearn to have given him the assurance that he was deeply loved! His signal contributions—including interfaith work — continue to shape his institution and the life of our community.
Still, looking back these twenty-five years, I am amazed at how wrong I was in fearing pogroms against homosexuals led by religious types. Instead, courageous religious leaders, along with others in medical, legal, and other fields, helped to transform the fear into the beginning of a cultural healing. Now it is our responsibility to continue the healing, in memory of those we have lost, so that we can create a more wholesome future.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less