Friday, June 01, 2012

Living OUT Loud and More

Queen Latifah Says She Did Not Come Out At Long Beach Pride Festival        

Alright I took the bite and joined the chorus of folks talking about Queen Latifah's alleged coming out during the Long Beach Pride activity. However, "the queen" has spoken and she is not amused to such stories talking about her coming out anywhere. It seems that Miss Latifah has emphatically stated that "she didn't come out."  In a piece below from the Huffpost Gay Voices portal, Latifahs flat foot denys any such revelation. Here's the actual post and exactly what the queen had to say and what COP 24/7 had suspected all along. Those in attendance heard what they wanted to "hear" and therefore any references to "my people" were taken out of context. Furthermore, she was doing her show and being appealing to the audience with giving them what they were perhaps feeling, say like some "Pride?"  Anyways I'm reposting what the HuffPost reported....

Queen Latifah is denying that she came out during a recent appearance at the Long Beach lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pride festival.
The rapper-actress-singer has long faced rumors that she is a lesbian and the fact that the Southern California event marked her first performance at a Pride festival had convinced excited fans that she was finally going to confirm what so many have speculated about for years.

According to the Advocate, while on stage on May 19, Latifah reportedly referred to the crowd as "her people" and asked "Are you feeling all the unity?" causing some to believe that she had indeed come out.

However, Latifah tells Entertainment Weeklythat definitely wasn’t the case," and added, "I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.”
This isn't the first time that the entertainer has gone on record as refusing to discuss her sexuality. In a 2008 New York Times interview she said, "I don’t have a problem discussing the topic of somebody being gay, but I do have a problem discussing my personal life... I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want. You do it anyway.”

While Latifah wasn't up for discussing her personal life, she was more than happy to show more support for the LGBT community. She told Entertainment Weekly, “To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things. My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco." She added, "When people are going through hatred and bullying, the biggest thing to fight that is love... So that’s all I encouraged my audience to do that night: to share their light and share their love. Period.”

National HIV Day June 27

We didn't know we were creating an institution in 1995, when we founded National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). We just knew there needed to be a national awareness event to spread the Take the Test, Take Control everywhere we could.

HealthHIV's Brian Hujdich (l) and NAPWA's Frank Oldham at AIDSWatch 2012

But over the years NHTD has grown into a major event supported by a deep network of public and private partnerships. This June 27, cities, churches, and organizations across the country will hold testing events. Mayors will join the Mayors Campaign Against HIV, issuing proclamations urging their citizens to get tested. This forum will check with our city leader to see if he's on board with this initiative. Perhaps we can get the entire city board to be tested. What a thought?  OraSure Technologies, NAPWA, and friends will ring the opening bell at NASDAQ in front of national press. NAPWA, other HIV advocacy agencies, and Members of Congress while hold a Congressional News Conference on the importance of testing, and then walk around the corner to a van to take the test themselves in front of press cameras. The CDC and NAPWA will coordinate web sites and mount new media campaigns, promoting testing and helping people find testing sites. The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Greater>AIDS campaign will place testing posters in major city subways and bus stops - we'll have them up on for you to download and customize for your event, as soon as the design is finalized.

NAPWA's Frank Oldham addresses HealthHIV's SYNChronicity Conference
These partnerships are crucial - federal agencies, city health departments, charitable foundations, HIV advocacy organizations, all working together to get the word out. There's more reason than ever to get tested this year, because there are more ways to get tested, and more we can do with a negative or positive result.

We have new ways to get tested. OraSure's OraQuick oral test kit seems to be moving towards FDA approval for over-the-counter sale for home use. This promises to remove an important behavioral barrier to testing for people who won't get tested in institutional settings. Read more about that, later in this issue.

We can do more with a negative test result. Gilead's Truvada seems to be moving towards FDA approval for use as pre-exposure prophylaxis - PrEP - for people at high risk of HIV infection. PrEP using Truvada or other HAART drugs is controversial, and it's no substitute for condom use - read more on the pros and cons of PrEP, also later in this issue, but we're happy that people who can't or won't use condoms will have new ways to stay uninfected.

There's even more we can do with a positive test result. The HPTN 052 trial showed that "effective" treatment - meaning suppression of live virus to undetectable levels in the blood - protects an HIV-positive person's sex or drug partners from infection while it also protects his or her health. It's a big win-win for treatment and prevention.


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