Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you will likely already know that Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day across the United States. To say that this election cycle has been been hard to watch would be an understatement. The news cycle has been primarily focused on the general public’s disdain towards the candidates and the nasty attacks and harmful rhetoric that has been on display for the world to see (and hear). While having to select the next leader of the free world in these conditions may seem to be disheartening for some, we still need to participate in the political process because too much is at stake.
The landscape ahead for our movement can be reduced to a single key moment in 2016: the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). There, the Director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) Eugene McCray took to the mic at the plenary to present new analyses on the lifetime risk of acquiring HIV:
Half of black gay men are projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime... if current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1-in-2 black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime...
Art is truth. Art is questioning. Art is uncomfortable. Art is confrontational. Art is engaging by nature, because art is a dance. Sometimes that dance is one that is best done with self, as a means of exploration, understanding and acceptance. When taken to an even higher-level by being shared and offered up to others, it then can become an agent of change, healing and empowerment for large communities of people.