Gender Is Still Burning: The Ms. Q&A with Jennie Livingston

When filmmaker Jennie Livingston stumbled upon drag ball culture in the late 1980s, they had no idea how much the resulting film would resonate. Released in 1990, Livingston’s first documentary Paris Is Burning showcases drag balls during the late 1980s in Harlem, New York City, and features interviews with numerous queer and trans Black and Latinx performers who comprised the various “houses” in competition at the balls. Decades later, the film continues to resonate.

HIV Will Not Stop Me: Girls Speak Out on World AIDS Day

It’s been 32 years since HIV was first discovered. Since then, it’s fair to say that we have come a long way. Just slightly more than 2 million people were infected with HIV in 2013, down from more than 3.6 million in 1997, the epidemic’s height. Currently, approximately 15 million people are taking anti-retroviral drugs […]

“Safe” Sex with IUDs Is Not Safe Enough

An innovative study on birth control, published in the New England Journal of Medicine Oct. 2, was reported with such headlines as, “Free, long-acting contraceptives may greatly reduce teen pregnancy rate.” The three-year study of 1,400 teenage women who were offered various contraceptives at no cost showed that those who chose birth control pills, patches or rings were 22 times more […]

A New Generation of HIV/AIDS Activists is Born

I’m at the 20th International HIV/AIDS Conference in Melbourne this week. It brings together people from all around the world to join hands in continuing and expanding the fight against HIV/AIDS. For me, the conference has been a complete eye opener into a world I hadn’t previously known much about. I was born in 1996, the […]