© Frank H. Jump
The Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is known for The Power of Positive Thinking. When I was diagnosed with HIV in 1986, being positive seemed an ironic cliché. In retrospect, I’ve made the best of it.
It’s just a week from my exhibit, The Art of Healing at the Marble Collegiate Church Fifth Avenue & 29th Street. As a religious skeptic for most of my life, churches were never places in which I felt comfortable or welcomed, so I’m filled with mixed emotions prior to my presentation at MCC on November 19th at 6PM. One ebullient emotion is of pure gratitude for being invited into their house of worship as an HIV positive artist and same-sex married American. I honestly feel MCC accepts me for who I am, and not just tolerates my family-life (a label I prefer over the contentious “lifestyle.”) Vincenzo is my husband, my friend and most importantly, my family. As stylish as he and I may choose to be, our relationship is not a “life style choice” but a blessing and a birthright. Many of my extended family will be there next Monday. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there. My thoughts will be with all of my friends who can’t be there. My life’s work is a tribute to all of my friends and countless acquaintances who have succumbed to this virus. Click here to a secured website to RSVP (with a credit card) for next week’s event. There will be food, so if you can RSVP before this Thursday, MCC will have a better idea of how many people to feed.