Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Positive Place to Party

NEXT Magazine has posted a great article about a recent rise of HIV-Positive - focused nightlife events popping up in New York City. I couldn't be happier to hear this. Currently, the biggest offering would be POZ - a weekly Thursday party at Vlada Bar in Hell's Kitchen.

In a time and place where so many of us aren't getting tested, and others aren't revealing their statuses, and still others feel stigmatized by their status, it is encouraging and beautiful to see such a shot fired in the dark that says: HEY! WE HAVE FUN TOO, YA FUCKERS!

When you think about it, being HIV-Positive (if you're honest about it, with yourself and others) is like suddenly being thrust back into the closet again. Ahead of you is another exhausting round of Serious Conversations with everyone ranging from your family to your friends to every guy you ever sleep with for the rest of your life.

How awesome that there are parties where Poz Guys can go where it's not a burden, secret, or something to be ashamed of. As we all know, being HIV-Positive is no longer a death sentence (and hasn't been for years). So, with the constant news of new therapies and treatments and greater success stories coming fast and furious by the day, why not put on your dancing shoes and have a good time?

If you're HIV-Positive, I fully recommend you check this party out. If you're HIV-negative, I still vote you stop on by. I attended once with a Poz friend and found everyone there to be happy, drunk, and energetic. I didn't feel like an outsider, despite my negative status.

As the promoter, Josh Wellman says in the NEXT article: "It’s a casual mixer,—people are really welcoming to newcomers," AKA: these aren't exclusive parties. Poz gays and their negative supporters and friends alike are invited to attend and enjoy performances, drink specials, and new friends.

In a community so often perceived to be steeped in the negative, an instance of positive like this is something to be celebrated.

Also, for more on POZ, be sure to check out their recent feature in the New York Times.

- Justin Luke

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