Saturday, November 15, 2014

Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto was selected as “Artist of the Year” by OUT100. In the article, some of his comments started what amounts to a firestorm in what is typically called “the LGBT community” (see link to complete article below) . . .

     “I think there’s a tremendous sense of complacency in the LGBT community,” Quinto says, citing the rising number of HIV infections in adolescents. “AIDS has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the ’80s. Today’s generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness.”

     Quinto is similarly candid on prophylactic drugs, like PrEP, which many gay people have embraced as a long-awaited panacea. “We need to be really vigilant and open about the fact that these drugs are not to be taken to increase our ability to have recreational sex,” he says. “There’s an incredible underlying irresponsibility to that way of thinking…and we don’t yet know enough about this vein of medication to see where it’ll take us down the line.”

And here’s his response to those screaming that he's an anti-pleasure (i.e., promiscuity) gay homophobe . . .

On the Response to My OUT 100Interview
Zachary Quinto
Posted: 11/14/2014 10:36 am EST Updated: 11/14/2014 10:59 am EST

I am thrilled that the comments I made in my cover interview for OUT 100 have generated a spirited dialogue about HIV/AIDS -- and the advent of a whole new class of preventative life saving medication. I am less thrilled that they were almost entirely misconstrued. Perhaps I could have been more articulate -- but my comments were never meant to be incendiary or judgmental.

I am a staunch advocate for the rights and well-being of the LGBT community. I have deep compassion and empathy for people living with HIV/AIDS. I am assuredly not internally homophobic or poz-phobic or willfully ignorant regarding this issue. I am a well-adjusted and well-educated gay man. I have read and understand the way PrEP works, and at least the most basic science behind its practical applications -- although I am always open to learning more. I support and encourage the amazing work done by HIV/AIDS awareness organizations -- as well as the many research and treatment organizations that exist across the country and the world. I did not intend to make generalizations about the LGBT community at large -- or people living with HIV/AIDS or people in love with someone living with HIV/AIDS.

What troubles me -- and what I was trying to speak to in my interview -- is an attitude among (some of) the younger generation of gay men -- that we can let our guard down against this still very real threat to our collective well-being. I have had numerous conversations in my travels with young gay people who see the threat of HIV as diminished to the point of near irrelevance. I have heard too many stories of young people taking PrEP as an insurance policy against their tendency toward unprotected non-monogamous sex. THAT is my only outrage.

How gay men have sex with each other was unilaterally redefined for nearly two generations as a result of AIDS. I was simply trying to assert my belief that we need to be especially vigilant and accountable to ourselves and one another at this moment in our evolution. It is a tremendous advancement in the fight against the disease that scientists have developed this particular medication. But it's still early -- that's all. So if what I said -- however misconstrued -- plays some small part in generating more meaningful informative and passionate conversations -- particularly among the younger generation -- then I am grateful. And I can almost see it as a way of further serving the community that I deeply admire and respect -- and from which I am so proud to hail.

And here’s the original article  . . .

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