This is my World AIDS Day post, in a way. Last night James and I were talking with fabulous health care activist Karen Timour at a sort of "kick-off" party -- generously supported by Counter, for the ACT UP Oral History Project.
Karen told us about a program we didn't realize existed. New York State's ADAP (The AIDS Drug Assistance Program) will pay for the health insurance of people with HIV, assuming they make less than $44,000 per year, which is a pretty generous number for most people I know. Go here to learn more and download the application. Spread the word! I'm sure we all know people who need help paying for their health insurance.
Appropriately, we had just come from a program, titled Pink Mafia: Movement and The Bent Minor, of short queer films dealing with youth issues at Galapagos/Ocularis. We went mainly to see Matt Wolf's Small Town Boys:
Smalltown Boys imagines the historical relationship between AIDS activist artist David Wojnarowicz and Sarah Rosenburg, a teenage lesbian on the Upper West Side in 1994. In a "fake documentary" story, Sarah fights to save the television show My So-Called Life from cancellation on ABC in 1994. David is dying in the face of culture wars and an aggressive AIDS activist movement during the late eighties and early nineties. The collision of biographical fantasy and historical fiction calls the efficiency of contemporary modes of political protest into question. Wojnarowicz spread his seed -- in a lineage of political rebellion through different cultural times -- like a disease. Smalltown Boys addresses a precarious generational transition and the shifting fantasies of aesthetic and political liberation.
The Ocularis event also included a chance for us to see Scott Trelevean's brilliant Salivation Army again. Here is what James wrote after we first saw it last summer.
One more item: Matt Wolf's film uses footage by ACT UP documentarian James Wentzy. If you haven't seen his documentary on 15 years of ACT UP, you have another chance on December 15.