I’m a huge fan of Project Runway. Mondo is by far my favorite designer on the show. He’s quirky and he plays with color and pattern, which is something I love (which you’ve probably noticed, if you’ve ever seen anything I wear!). He wears fucking fantastic things, and is so fabulous that I almost can’t handle it.

Then there were these pictures of him as a child. He said that he came out to his mother at 17, and she asked him to stay in the closet and not tell any other family members. The fact that none of them knew that he was gay… well, denial is a helluva drug.

This week, he won the challenge, which asked them to design a print that was somehow connected to them personally. Mondo’s print was covered in plus signs, to symbolize his HIV-positive status. He’d been positive for 10 years, and had never told anyone before.

Like when Ongina came out on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I cried. And at the same time, I smiled. Because, especially when it comes to gay men, so many people look at HIV as something dirty, or to be ashamed of. Or indicative of the fact that being gay is a dirty and disgusting lifestyle. And it isn’t. And it’s not a death sentence, either. And with so many young gay people killing themselves, especially recently, what these men did is fucking amazing. The courage it takes to share this with the world is staggering, and they probably saved some people’s lives, just by not being ashamed of who they are.

They put a face to this disease that is so often seen as a dirty, shameful thing. I wish that it could be just like someone saying that they had any other disease or illness, and maybe one day it will be, with the help of people like Mondo and Ongina. I work with a lot of Positive people, because I work with people that struggle with drug addiction. And again, many of them are so ashamed to be Positive. But they’re just like everyone else. There is no reason to be afraid of these people, to be around them, to exist among them. They’re human, and they’re amazing.

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  1. SamanthaNo Gravatar
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Mondo is easily my favorite, and I’m so sad that I missed that new episode! I tivo’d it, but haven’t watched it yet. His style is so awesome, and his designing style as well. I did not know he’s HIV positive, and I love him even more now knowing that he choose that challenge to present it in such a good way. I hope he wins the whole thing…and I think you should desperately reach out to him to make you an outfit because he would ROCK. THAT. OUT.

  2. Ms.InconspicuousNo Gravatar
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    LOVE Mondo.

    Do you read Project Rungay? (http://projectrungay.blogspot.com/) You would totally love it if you don’t already.

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted October 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      I do! And love it :)

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