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Thursday, September 29, 2005

In memory of my 150 Lufthansa colleagues flight attendants lost to AIDS

I held you in my arms and felt the sorrow and the pain
from all those who departed us, too early and in vain.
As leaves on a tree i feel them now, no longer stewards in the sky.
The wind listens to them and asks them : why?


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Through the fire

Through The Fire

Running a business with 14 staff and some 1,000 members isn’t easy.
Even more so if severe depression hits you and a burnout seems inevitable.
This virus sees it’s chance and beats you, hard and relentlessly.

For a perfectionist such as myself, the worst possible nightmare had begun. I had to leave my business and depend on others.

It was then that my first angel presented himself to me: Ronald, (an ex-colleague, flight attendant friend of mine of many years.)

Just like angels perform miracles and give without asking for something in return, Ron invited me to stay at his place in Wiesbaden, Germany.
He said, “I cannot stand the idea that you are going to spend time in a clinic. You need a place filled with human warmth, love and friendship." That is what he has been giving me since that day 5 months ago.
It enabled me to return home to the business from time to time and keep it afloat.
Would you do it for a friend?
Thank you Ron. You saved my life.

This still left me with the business, staff, cleaners, customers, AND daily management.
That vessel certainly needed a captain. Who could have dreamed another angel would be sent to me?
His name is Luc and he is married to a girl I used to know from school.
Leaving his own business to simmer, he has been managing my business for over 5 months now for free!!!.
Why? He said ”Because I love you, not in a physical way, but as a friend."
Thank you Luc. You saved my business.

And the day arrived that I realised the true meaning of having survived the epidemic. That was after the gathering in Toronto. It all became crystal clear : Aids Activism was my path.

Then Lut came along. She has been keeping an eye on the accounts and now suggested she would look for a buyer for the business. No questions asked. Just like that.

She said, “Because you deserve the help here and there are people who can use your help and compassion.”
Thank you , Lut. You will save my future.

Three angels sent to me.
They made it clear that I have another mission in life. A mission that will help my survival to be used in a “ Hope Mission”.

Whenever you need angels to be sent to you, ask for them.
And remember: They are already with you.
You simply may not have recognised them yet.

Dedicated to my three angels.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My first post and manifesto

I first of all want to pay tribute to the man that made this all possible, my dearest coco, my soul saver, the helping hand, Bucko.
Je t’adore cherie.
Matty helped me through the technical details : thank you sweetie.
Ronnita will be supportive, i know that.

Let’s make some things clear to start with:
English is not my mother tongue : any mistakes be forgiven.
I will try to become more eloquent, so be patient .
This blog will be the outlet for my deepest thoughts. Just remember that.
If i sound depressed , i am. Let me vent it.
I will try to be a window on Europe, as far as my knowledge allows me to.
I am committing myself to post regularly. If i bore you, quit reading.
What you do to my sisters, you do to me. Don’t even think about it.
I will write about my spiritual experiences. They are real. I hate to fake.
Finally : it is my aim to entertain and share. Feel free to comment.

My next entry will be titled : angels. Not the heavenly ones, but the earthen.

By the way, i love my dog Lola whether you care or give a damn.

Yours truly,


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Now We Are Four

Dear Bitches,

It is with great pleasure and an evil grin that we announce the arrival of a new member of the Spin Cycle Team. More fabulous than imported silk damask, classier than Liza Minelli with one too many Manhattans under her belt and a picture divine in 7 inch heels; we would like to welcome Herman to our perverted fold.

Bucko the Depraved recently posted an article sent to him by Hermie and so impressed were we and our adoring readers that we just had to invite him to jump into the sack. Hailing from Europe Hermie is our Continental Conspirator and is an old and dear friend of all three of us from AIDSMEDS. It is next to impossible to get into this deviant club. Andrew Sullivan tried but Red Ronnie simply raised an impeccably styled eyebrow and hissed, "Not in THOSE shoes faggot!"

It is a great honour for us here at the Spin Cycle to have Hermie take his place in the Lavender Ranks and we look forward to his virgin post!



Thursday, September 15, 2005

Spiritual Renewal, or The Hazards Of Isolation

Herman is no stranger to us here at The Spin Cycle. He joined the forums of in July of this year. Slowly at first he began to open up and reveal a life ravaged by the toll of dealing with HIV since his diagnosis in 1987. We have since learned of the tragic loss of a life partner in the 1990s, his eventual cessation of work (he worked for an airline as a flight attendant for many years) and his steady withdrawl from society. As Herman became more isolated, his sense of self-worth crumbled and he descended into a deadening clinical depression.

When Hermie first responded to my post about cocksucking, all I really knew about him was that he was a long-term survivor and that he lived in Belgium, so I responded to his comment in French, more as lark than anything else. This little bit of flirty banter blossomed into a friendship that deepened with each private message and comment retort. I learned that "mon petit chou fou" is actually Dutch and that French is just one of his many languages. Being non-native Francophones, we were much more forgiving of the inevitable little missteps in grammer and spelling than someone actually born within sneering distance of the Palais Garnier. French has become our little code, and somewhere between the "coo-coos" and the "bisous" our intimate cyberrapport grew into a serious case of fraternal love.

When my computer was wiped out by a power surge cause by Hurricaine Katrina, Hermie was one of the few folks (aside from my beloved blogmates MtD and Ronnita) with whom I maintained active communication. I simply couldn't bear a break in the conversation. Make no mistake: Hermie supports me at least as much as anything I might do for him. We are fellow travellers along a road that has been extended far beyond the points where our lifelong friends and lovers had taken their exits.

There was a gathering of AIDSmeds forum members in Toronto last weekend in conjunction with a memorial service for those who have already fallen to AIDS. I was unable to attend, but Hermie made it, and it changed his life. Years of isolation and depression flaked off like a serpent's dead skin, exposing a raw, fresh surface underneath. Understanding both the profoundity of what had occurred and the fragility of his current state, I felt a deep sense of obligation to help my dear friend process his experiences as fully and permanently as possible.

I approached my Covenmates and proposed that Hermie publish his thoughts on how the gathering had changed him. We post individually but with a common voice and perspective, and all new ideas are vetted thoroughly in regular meetings. We are a team and as such vote on everything, reaching a unanimous agreement before spreading our brand of anarchy and absinthe to you, our loyal (if occasionally one-handed) readers. It was agreed that Hermie would e-mail me his post and that I would publish it, with edits and addenda as I saw fit.

I present our first guestblogger, Herman, and his post in its entirety:

Picture me 3 weeks ago: suffering from a serious burnout, barely hanging on to life, diagnosed with clinical depression. This is when I decided to take what it needed and prepared for the Toronto gathering. Intuition it was that made me follow my guides to an unknown place and cyber friends, not knowing what to expect. I knew this meeting had the potential of changing my life. Today I know it definitely did.

Annie was the first I ran into. What a thrill to finally see an avatar come to life. Two hearts, two energies, two souls, hurt by HIV finally were united. The immense warmth, the overwhelming energy, the incredible feeling of acceptance, the purest form of spiritual love, it all was happening at once.

A cyber partner had become one of flesh and blood.

As the day went by more encounters took place. There was wonderful Rab, eccentric Joe and Stephen and more to come. Between the first rattling of words, came long pauses of hugging, of crying, of joy and shared grief. Finally our dream had turned into a bright reality.

Barely could I await sunrise on Thursday.
A day that would bring more avatars alive.
A day that would change my life for ever.

One by one, soul by soul, these wonderful people walked into my life, just like that, all bringing their own story, background and dreams. The bonds were made and forged, and that is forever, the power of them feeling strong like concrete.

Our first night together proved to be all but about HIV. These caring, loving souls shared so much energy, so much humour, so much will to live with me that in no time my energy was raised to levels I never would have dreamed of reaching again.

Paying tribute to those taken from us by the virus bonded us even more. Every member posted a ribbon with the name of a beloved departed friend, lover or relative on the wall of the less fortunate. I myself was glad to finally be able to release most of the tension, of my grief, of my uncountable days of sadness and cry my soul out.

Came two more days of sharing, talking, hugging, laughing, crying, and above all of building a huge glowing ball of positive energy.

This meeting was, as Rab put it so accurately, not about where we came from, whether we were rich or poor, nor about our past battles. This gathering was about being positive, about sharing, about able to say:
It is ok, I understand, I am positive too.
The phenomenal healing power that resulted from this meeting will be carried out to all corners of the universe.
We have become soul mates on a journey that will never end. And as death us parts our spirits will go on; these bonds are forever.

With love and gratitude,


Hermie, cheri-

I honor your epiphany. Hold on to the strength and grace that you found in Canada and build a new sense of empowerment. We love you unconditionally and are one with you in your struggle against despair.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Please Help Save Andrea Mortlock

After legally immigrating to the United States as a young girl, Ms. Mortlock was raised by a single mother under difficult circumstances. As a teenager, she developed a drug addiction and eventually served a sentence for a drug-related crime. After completing her sentence, Ms. Mortlock was placed in deportation proceedings and an Immigration Judge issued a final order of removal in her case.

Although she had a final order of removal, Jamaican authorities refused to issue her travel documents on account of her HIV status and so she was forced to spend three years in immigration detention before a federal district court judge finally ruled that she should be released under an order of supervision.
Ms. Mortlock

Since her release, Ms. Mortlock has complied fully with the order and has returned to school, concentrating in Medical Administration and attempting to piece her life back together. Ms. Mortlock's attorneys, Olivia Cassin of The Legal Aid Society and Sarah L. Cave of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, have also filed a motion to have her case reopened.

Despite her fragile health and the fact that she complied with the order of supervision for more than two years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is attempting to deport her to Jamaica and in the meantime has detained her.

The New York Times recently ran a story on Ms. Mortlock's case, highlighting the involvement of the Organization of American States, which has issued an injunction against her deportation to Jamaica ("Rights Agency Urges U.S. Not to Deport AIDS Patient", New York Times, August, 27, 2005). Ms. Mortlock's health has been put in perilous danger inside the Passaic County Jail and she continues to deteriorate with each passing day.

We ask that you IMMEDIATELY write and call New York Acting Field Office Director Christopher Shanahan at the following address:

Christopher Shanahan, Acting Field Office Director
New YorkU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Office of Detention and Removal
26 Federal Plaza, Rm. 11-104
New York, NY 10278

Or, give Mr. Shanahan a call at: (212) 264-3972 and make sure your voice is heard!

Please email Sarah Sohn of Immigration Equality at after you mail, email or call Mr. Shanahan so we can keep track of the effort. Please send letters ASAP. Every letter and phone call makes a tremendous difference. Please help save Andrea Mortlock!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Up to Your Nuts in Guts

In this humble offering I would like to turn my attention to the issue of HIV and unprotected sex. Given the title you may be confident that I will focus on anal sex between men or barebacking. Let me say from the outset that the sexual practices of the heterosexist majority is a matter for them and they have more than enough opportunity to discuss it.

Since the second wave of infections amongst gay men in the developed world considerable focus has been brought to bear on the subject of barebacking. For the most part discussion of this issue has been surrounded by not inconsiderable hysteria. In recent days your intrepid correspondent was party to a lengthy dialogue on this very matter in another place. Encouragingly it was a constructive exchange of views - something that is not common when it comes to this topic.

Members of the Safe Sex Taliban shriek wildly about the irresponsibility of boys who ride without a saddle - betraying a complete lack of understanding of what sex means to many Queers. Contrary to common belief it is not a mechanical satisfaction of physical desire but a complex exchange of intimacies between men. An opportunity for a shared experience, a change to know each other in a way that cannot be described in words. Failing to accept this deep need means that these loud mouthed do-gooders will always be bemoaning the increasing rate of HIV and other STD's amongst my people.

It is simply not good enough to be proscriptive in these things. The directive "you must practice safer sex all the time" is not realistic and denies our needs as real beings. As Queers we are marginalised and constructed as other. Society needs to be "protected" from us and it is not hard to see why many homosexual men eschew the latex barrier of the condom because it represents the very way in which we are isolated and made into bringers of pestilence, modern day Typhoid Marys if you will.

These matters are not helped by the ridiculous rantings of self loathing fascist faggots like Andrew Sullivan who insist that HIV negative gay men need to see more of us dying so they'll get the message about safe sex. Given that Sullivan has HIV himself, I wonder what qualifies him to preach to the rest of us like some swarthy Ann Coulter or Miranda Devine? Sullivan's claims are particularly offensive given that he even promoted barebacking way back in 1996 when he declared the "end of AIDS". This is the typical and wanton hypocrisy of the Right.

I'm going to be blunt about this: I hate condoms. Having sex with a condom is really not my thing, for the lure of pink-on-pink has been a central aspect to my sexual practice. However I think it is important to make how I conduct myself as a sexual being clear. Since becoming HIV positive I have found that I prefer to lie down with other HIV positive men. I have gone with negative blokes since receiving God's Holy Judgement on my sinful lifestyle but give this little white pervert a choice and he'll choose the boy with queer plague everytime.

In a previous post, my fellow Spin Cycle Blogger and known associate the Divine Bucko expounded on the subject of the bugchaser - that curious character who seeks out HIV positive partners for unprotected fucking with a view to contracting bum flu or at least the thrill of the risk. It amuses me to see how these fellows think they are such sexual devils. I find such types to be sad, pathetic types with no redeeming qualities. I encountered one in a pub about 18 months ago. He was quite brazen in his pursuit and was not impressed when I rebuffed his advances saying that it was my virus and I wasn't about to give it to someone who clearly could not be trusted with such a powerful weapon. So on the odd occasions when I do consent to fuck a negative man it's rubbers or no rooting.

But what of unprotected bum-fucking between positive men? Once again we positive Queers (even more marginalised than our negative brethren) are lectured one what we may and may not do. Of course unprotected sex between positive men carries risks. The risk of contracting or transmitting a resistant strain of the virus cannot be denied. The risk of acquiring other STD's (genital herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis A and B and so on) must be acknowledged as well. As someone who has had more than his share of poxes, claps and jacks I can assure you that I understand full well what I am doing.

For me and many other positive men, this is an issue of self determination. I am tired of being told how I must take care of my health, what I can and cannot do. I resent laws that are made to control and contain me. If when I take a positive lover we decide to bareback then that is our choice. We are fully aware of the ramifications of our decisions and are able to take responsibility for them. Why is it that we who are articulate and intelligent beings are derided and condemned for wanting to exercise the same freedoms that negative people take for granted?

I find it loathesome indeed that academic types search in vain for reasons for the increase of bareback sex by HIV positive men. In one case it has been suggested that the use of protease inhibitors has so addled our deviant brains that we are no longer able to make effective "risk assessments" or that their is something wrong with our "prevention ethic". All rot of course. These are simply more examples of how HIV positive people are represented as dangerous monsters that must be contained for the good of society. Sadly these views are not uncommon amongst members of the gay and lesbian community.

I say this to my positive brothers and sisters. Do not be ashamed. Know yourself, your strength and your power. Understand that we terrify the heterosexist majority and moderate lesbigays, let us manipulate that fear to further our godless agenda.



Down But Not Out

In the wake of Hurricaine Katrina I have experienced numerous computer problems, the most irritating of which is the fact that Windows XP seems to have completely disappeared from my hard drive and I cannot find my start-up discs. In light of the genuinely life-threatening difficulties millions have been experiencing as a result of this killer storm, my troubles are light, indeed.

I am working on fixing the problem, but in the meantime, I'd like to ask everybody to bear with us and keep checking back. I will begin posting again ASAP.

Des tres gros bisous,