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.

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo

2023 Reserva de la Familia Limited Edition Terceerunquinto

On January 10, 2023, Reserva de la Familia, Jose Cuervo’s ultra-premium collection of artisanal small-batch tequilas and Mexico’s crown jewel, announced its 2023 collector’s box, designed by artists Rolando Flores and Gabriel Cázares of the Mexico-based Tercerunquinto Collective. The piece of custom art, titled “Structuring a Landscape”, features a geometric abstraction of the landscape of Tequila, Mexico and will adorn the 2023 limited-release collector’s box of Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo.

Since 1995, Jose Cuervo has worked with internationally recognized artists with roots in Mexico to design the box artwork for Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo. Each box is an authentic collector’s item, with a limited quantity produced annually before a new artist is chosen. Previous artists include Gonzalo Lebrija, Pedro Friedeberg, Carlos Aguirre, Ricardo Pinto and many more. Every artist is selected by a team of art curators including 11th generation Cuervo family member and CEO of Jose Cuervo, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Executive Director of El Museo del Barrio in New York City, Patrick Charpenel and founder of Zona Maco, Mexico’s number one art fair, Zélika García.

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Photo courtesy of Velvet Ibiza

Velvet Ibiza

Every year, Ibiza is home to Europe’s very epic queer woman’s party, Velvet Ibiza, which is celebrating its 7th anniversary and promises to be next level. Velvet Ibiza is an all-inclusive 5-day and 5-night party and includes transportation from the airport, a bungalow, 3 meals, and activities and parties day and night, and drinks until around 10:30 pm.

This year, international crowds of LGBTQ+ women will be attending Velvet Ibiza on May 2 - 7 to celebrate life, belonging, and freedom. Event organizers have rented an entire resort in order to build a community vibe and allow queer women to connect so there’s no reason to go anywhere unless of course, you want to go shopping, head to the beach, or explore the island.

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Financial Planning for the LGBTQ+ community

The new year has arrived. For many people, that means making resolutions and thinking of ways they can do better in the coming year and beyond. Money management and financial planning are often very popular resolutions and goals, but most financial advice tends to be aimed at heterosexual couples who want to grow their family and raise children.

But, what if your life goals are different? What if you don’t receive the same protection under the current laws as hetero couples?
What if you don’t want to have kids?

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