Today is my last day at the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office of Philadelphia (AACO). After almost four years at the Department of Health, first as a research interviewer and now as a program coordinator, I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, people and identity. I can honestly say the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. I have been privileged enough to serve my community as an employee for the Philadelphia Department of Health, which has allowed me to serve among some of the greatest civil servants to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens.

It is hard working in liberal institutions built by the Joe Bidens of the world when you are like an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  When I speak to fellow LGBTQ Generation Xers and millennials on the streets of Philly, it’s clear we are pi--ed about issues surrounding HIV prevention and holistic care. We are vocalizing and demanding that our anger not be treated as a passing fad. But, huge disconnects exist between generations and in relation to public knowledge about the role of Philadelphia public health systems — that don’t get much attention.

As a Black gay man who came out in 1994, I remember how the AIDS epidemic cut short so many lives.  These days, Philadelphians worried they have been exposed to HIV have access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). People who do contract HIV can access effective treatment plans. And for anyone who thinks they are high risk (me!), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is increasingly available in Philadelphia. In the 1990s, these treatments were unfathomable to so many friends I lost.

“No Ashes in the Fire” by writer and activist Darnell Moore is a beautifully written memoir of a young black queer boy finding his freedom in America. Darnell Moore is considered one of the most prolific, important voices in young Black American culture.

The biggest challenge for liberals is that we don’t understand the difference between passion and practicality.  For instance, I have so much passion for presidential candidates such as Kamala “Mommala” Harris, and Pete “the fleet” Buttigieg.

Find us on Facebook
Follow Us
Find Us on YouTube
Find Us on Instagram
Sign Up for Our Newsletter