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The holidays are a time of compassion and love, not just for others but also for yourself. Read our guides of self-care to help you navigate the stress of the holidays.


EXCLUSIVE CONTRIBUTOR! Meet Emory COMPASS CC's Community Advisory Board. They are the force behind the landscape of groups that are impacted & affected by HIV.

OUTMEMPHIS V. L E E OUTMemphis v. Lee is a first-of-its-kind challenge to a state-level HIV criminalization law as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Constitution.


Who Is CHARMAINE TYRELLE? Memphis, Tennessee is known for producing soul singers and CharMaine TyRelle is one to watch rising through the ranks of sultry soul singers.





This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY® and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.




BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including: � Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months, and may give you HBV medicine.

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including: � Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section. � Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY. � Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY. � Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat. � Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain. � The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.

ABOUT BIKTARVY BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS. Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains: � dofetilide � rifampin � any other medicines to treat HIV-1

BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY Tell your healthcare provider if you: � Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection. � Have any other health problems. � Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY. � Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take: � Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-thecounter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. � BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.

HOW TO TAKE BIKTARVY Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.

GET MORE INFORMATION � This is only a brief summary of important information

about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more. � Go to or call 1-800-GILEAD-5. � If you need help paying for your medicine, visit for program information.

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, and KEEP BEING YOU are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. © 2023 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. US-BVYC-0250 04/23



*Source: IQVIA NPA Weekly, 04/19/2019 through 01/20/2023.


No matter where life takes you,

Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you.

Person featured takes BIKTARVY and is compensated by Gilead.

Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and at THE UNLEASHED VOICE |



Ad Deadline December 14, 2023

Next Issue to Jan | Feb 2024

Emory COMPASS Initiative Photos by: Sean Black Hakim Asadi Photos by: Jeremiah’s Photography

Shawn M. Clemons Administration/ Fashion Director

Gregory Graphics Layout/Design

Brodderick Roary Special Contributor

Dr. Umieca Hankton Special Contributor

Whitney Johnson Chief Editor

Kyra Bonet St James-Cassadine Transgender Correspondent


Emory COMPASS Initiative

The Advisory Board Leaders World AIDS Day


06 | Editor’s Letter Dr. Davin D. Clemons Let the Communities Lead!

07 | Community News OUTMemphis V. Lee HIV Decriminalization

10 | Holiday Guide Broderrick Roary Home for the Holidays


Entertainment News CharMaine TyRelle One to Watch

14 | Health & Wellness Umieca N. Hankton, Ph.D. THRIVING while living with HIV/AIDS

15 | Spirituality Beth Trouy The Quilt of Love

17 | Exclusive Contributor David Wyley Long BOO! The Art of Ghosting in Dating

22 | Community News

12 20 Special Contributor 4 | CONTENTS

Surviving the Holiday Guide Hakim Asadi

Health and Wellness

Dr. Lakara Foster The Healing Power of Mediumship

Antoine Dandridge B.L.A.C.K

23 | Community Joanne Saulsberry HIV (Healing is Victory)

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Let Communities Lead Dr. Davin D. Clemons

higher rates of HIV in their

communities, thus raising the risk

of new infections with each sexual or injection drug use encounter. Black/African American and

Hispanic/Latino communities

are disproportionately affected

by HIV compared to other racial/ ethnic groups. For example,

in 2019, Blacks/African Americans represented 13% of the US

OUTMEMPHIS V. LEE OUTMemphis v. Lee is a first-of-its-

shelter, or other necessities, the

criminalization law as a violation of

women. Indeed, in 2022, a Black

kind challenge to a state-level HIV

the Americans with Disabilities Act

(ADA) and the Constitution. Plaintiffs OUTMemphis and Jane Does 1-4 seek to strike down Tennessee’s

discriminatory, irrational and cruel enforcement of its “Aggravated

Prostitution” law and related sex

offender registration requirements.

population, but 40% of people with

HIV. Hispanics/Latinos represented 18.5% of the population, but 25% of people with HIV.

Now that I have gotten all of the

technical information out of the way, the “Let Communities Lead” theme

is important in the financial support, decision making, grant process,

etc., of the fight against the HIV/

AIDS epidemic. Once the funders


he 2023 World AIDS DAY Theme is “Let Communities Lead”

and it is very befitting because

leadership can be good for you and the community. You can choose to lead and participate in ways

that energize you and help you

grow, instead of leading in ways

that drain you. You can choose to

work on issues that you care about when the communities lead. Being a community leader comes with

a plethora of awesome benefits.

You get to make a real difference

in the lives of people around you. You have the power to inspire,

support, and bring positive change to your community. Reflecting on

those we have lost to HIV and AIDS,

and standing alongside the HIV

community, we recommit ourselves to ending the HIV epidemic,

continuing the work that must be

done, reengaging people with lived experience and a wide variety of stakeholders from all sectors of society, and to reenergizing our

efforts to accelerate progress and ensure equity.

HIV can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, race,

ethnicity, gender, age, or where

they live. However, in the United

States, some racial/ethnic groups are more affected than others,

compared to their percentage of the population. This is because some population groups have

commit to this mission then the real community efforts can begin to

help end the HIV/AIDs epidemic in

the communities that are suffering the most. Community leadership promotes a sense of belonging,

equity and pride in the community that are most vulnerable.

woman in Tennessee was 290

times more likely to be on the sex

offender registry for an HIV-related conviction than a white man.

Plaintiff OUTMemphis—a leading service provider of HIV testing, outreach and education in the

Midsouth region—has joined four

cisgender and transgender women In Tennessee, an individual who is convicted under the generic

Prostitution statute – which prohibits engaging in, or offering to engage

in, sexual activity for compensation – faces a small fine and minimal

jail time. While this is by no means inconsequential, Tennessee has also chosen to criminalize what

it calls “Aggravated Prostitution.”

Aggravated Prostitution is identical to Prostitution, with one key

additional element: knowledge that one is living with HIV.

Unlike Prostitution, Aggravated Prostitution is a felony that

requires lifetime registration as

a “violent sex offender.” The law

You do not have to wait for a title

ignores underlying circumstances;

community. All you need is the drive

mitigation (such as condoms,

or position to be a leader in your

neither consent nor the use of

to see your community thrive. You

ART, or PrEP) are defenses.

such as fundraising programs,

when the alleged sexual activity

running community meetings and

whatsoever; and the registration

forced to register for life as “sex

offenders'' due to their Aggravated Prostitution convictions to force Tennessee to abandon its illegal

disability discrimination. The ADA is intended to address discrimination against people with disabilities in

critical areas like employment and housing. Yet under Tennessee’s HIV laws, people convicted of Aggravated Prostitution are

effectively barred from many

employment opportunities, housing

options, and public spaces as well as family and community life: they are,

for example, forbidden from working, living, or even spending short

amounts of time within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, park, or other area where children gather. In large cities like Memphis, finding work

and housing outside these vast and ever-changing registry “Exclusion

can start leading with minor tasks

Indeed, the statute applies even

organizing community activities and

poses no risk of HIV transmission

Tennessee, and many other states,

build up your way to larger projects.

requirement is automatic.

the panicked early days of the AIDS

You can be the difference that your community needs if only you can step up and lead.

People charged with Aggravated

Prostitution in Tennessee are most often cisgender and transgender women who engage in sex work to meet basic needs like food,


vast majority of whom are Black

Zones'' is nearly impossible.

passed HIV-criminalization laws in epidemic. Over the last decade,

many states have reformed their

laws in recognition of the scientific consensus that such measures do

not reduce the prevalence of HIV but

rather risk doing the opposite: by criminalizing knowledge of one’s HIV status, states like

Tennessee disincentivize

at-risk individuals from seeking

HIV testing and erode the trust in medical professionals that is

needed to successfully access

treatment and limit transmission. Despite clear evidence that HIV

laws, and especially laws requiring sex offender registration, do not work, Tennessee stands alone

in the harshness and arbitrariness of its statutory scheme.



Emory University IS LEADING THE WAY IN HIV Advocacy Meet the team that comprises the Emory University COMPASS Center Advisory Board:

Candis Cox-Advisory Board Chair, Evany Turk, Christopher Roby, Shakita Brooks Jones, Billy “Willie” Simon, Elias Diaz, Michael Robinson, Cornelius Mabin, and Monica Lee Ridgeway.


hey are the force behind the

was entitled “Representation

represent a multitude of facets of

Advisory Board to Shape &

Emory COMPASS Center and

the landscape of groups that are impacted and affected by HIV, including advocacy.


Coordinating Center of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® engages a nine-member community

advisory board (CAB) to facilitate the development, evaluation,

Center’s Community-led

Grantmaking & Capacity Building Initiative for Southern HIV

Service Organizations”. The

panel was highly received and

suggested by multiple people in

the audience as a “gold standard for advisory boards”.

Emory University Rollins School

and capacity building initiative

Emory COMPASS Coordinating

community-led grantmaking

for HIV service organizations in

the U.S. South. Emory COMPASS Center’s purpose of convening

and collaborating with a CAB is to ensure that the Center’s work is

guided by subject-matter experts that represent the communities Center serves. CAB members'

leadership, voices, experiences, and stories are sought to

incorporate ongoing qualitative

of Public Health is home to the

Center. Emory COMPASS Center

strives to help build and enhance the infrastructure of community organizations across the South and identify opportunities for growth by providing tailored trainings and collaborative

learning opportunities; and

strategically allocating funding that supports organizational sustainability. This support increases operational

data in the development and

capacity, enhances program


professional development.

implementation of the Center’s programming. The CAB is an

expression of how the Initiative’s shared values live out loud.

They encompass the meaningful involvement of people living

with HIV/AIDS; intersectionality, emphasizing racial and social

justice; openness, transparency, and learning; collaboration and commitment; and a wholistic approach.

The Emory CAB meets regularly with the Center leadership and stays involved in amplifying

the work of the Center and the

community. The Advisory Board and several Emory COMPASS staff members recently

facilitated a panel presentation at the annual conference

of the American Evaluation Association. The session | COVER STORY

Refine the Emory COMPASS

and refinement of the Center’s

and populations that the


Matters: Engaging a Community

performance, and supports This vital work of Emory

COMPASS Center cannot be

done without the Advisory Board. The Center celebrates their

contribution along with Southern partners funded through Emory COMPASS in the portraiture exhibit, Stories of Triumph.

This collection of portraits of Southern HIV advocates and

leaders shares the power of art, storytelling, and culture in

shining a light on the resilience, hope and triumph of those

fighting to end the HIV epidemic. In grand celebration, the Emory COMPASS CAB members will

have personal photos included

in an upcoming World AIDS Day art exhibit at the Buckhead

Art and Company Art Gallery in Atlanta, GA.

Effective service to marginalized groups is driven by a moral compass. The Emory COMPASS Advisory Board ensures that those living with HIV and those dedicated to improving their lives lead our efforts and resources. As board members, we are the heartbeat and guardians of our communities, prioritizing the voices we represent from start to finish. What sets Emory COMPASS apart is the shared love that radiates and empowers everyone entering our world. — Candis Cox, Emory COMPASS Advisory Board Chair COVER STORY |


can act as buffers if needed.

Holiday Guide

For others, limiting time spent with less accepting relatives

meaningful ways to experience

the short term.

of biological families if needed.

may be the healthier choice in

Home for the Holidays

Traditional gender roles

and expectations also pose

difficulties. Lesbian, gay, and non-binary individuals may face insensitive questions about partners, marriage,

or children that imply their

relationships or identities are

somehow deficient. Maintaining a calm composure and politely redirecting the subject can

defuse tensions in the moment while still standing up for

oneself. If family will not respect boundaries, it may be best to


limit contact or leave early rather than cause unnecessary stress. Religious traditions commonly observed during holidays

can also trigger dysphoria

By Brodderick D. Roary

or feelings of exclusion for

LGBTQ people of faith. Finding an LGBTQ-affirming place

of worship or community is

ideal, but not always possible he holidays can be a

stressful time for anyone,

but for LGBTQ individuals,

navigating family dynamics and traditions while also

being true to oneself can pose unique challenges.

For many in the community, the holidays are a reminder

that one's sexual orientation fully accepted by loved ones. and understanding on all

sides, it is possible for LGBTQ people to enjoy meaningful holiday experiences.

no single right approach. For

conversations and seating

arrangements in a way that

feels comfortable. One strategy is to have honest discussions with close allies in the family to determine the safest way

to approach introductions and topics of conversation over

meals. It may help to come out to a few key people first who


calls allow for community

when physically distant from supportive networks.

Entering family gatherings with patience, empathy and clear boundaries in mind can help

reduce holiday stress for LGBTQ folks and their loved ones. While full acceptance may take time, small steps toward openness

and understanding on all sides go a long way. Ultimately, the

holidays are about sharing love

- and LGBTQ people deserve to feel that love unconditionally,

whether among friends or kin. With compassion, humor and

chosen community as guides, each person can build their

own meaningful traditions that

celebrate their authentic selves during this time of year.


can make the experience more



or calling supportive friends,


coping strategies.

erick D. d od

support groups and video

of gatherings, like taking a walk

emotional support are other

pressure around managing

combat isolation - online

care during religious portions

clergy or bringing an ally for

the holidays bring added

Digital connections also help


respectful discussions with

those not yet out to all relatives,

the spirit of the season outside

depending on location. Self-

manageable. Having honest

It is crucial for LGBTQ individuals

ar y

However, with compassion

personal decision, and there is


or gender identity is still not

Coming out to family is a deeply

By B r


my personal life or politics

to surround themselves with

chosen families who celebrate them for who they are during

the holidays. Getting together with other LGBTQ friends,

joining a community potluck,

or volunteering together are all

1. Set Boundaries Early.

this holiday." Sticking to your boundaries will help prevent unnecessary conflicts.

2. Find Support Outside

completely isolated if your

time is finding ways to shift

family is less than supportive of your identity. Reach out to

chosen family and friends who affirm you for support. Plan to

meet up with supportive people for a meal or activity, so you

have an escape if needed. Their presence can remind you that

you have community outside of biological ties.

3. Educate With Compassion Some family members may

not get into debates about

example, you could suggest

playing a card or board game to give people something lighthearted to focus on

other than questioning you. Distractions can diffuse

tension and create bonding over shared interests.

resistant to your identity,

as opportunities for gentle

consider discreetly educating

education. Share accurate

information about your identity from a place of compassion. For example, you could say "I understand this may be

new to you. The best way to support me is by using the

right pronouns and respecting

who I am." Coming from a place of understanding can open

minds where confrontation may close them.

should be the top priority. Do

time with everyone, but I'd rather

or hobby to engage others. For

When possible, see these

members, it's best to set clear

looking forward to spending

bringing a fun activity, game,

If certain relatives are more

mental and emotional well-being

example, you could say "I'm

subject when needed. Consider

6. Educate Others Quietly.

about your identity from family

in stating your boundaries. For

conversations or change the

curiosity rather than malice.

conversations or questions

discussing. Be direct but polite

of smoothly navigating family

ask questions out of genuine

At the end of the day, your

are and aren't comfortable

OTHERS WARM. 5. Bring Distractions Part

during the holidays not to feel

4. Prioritize Your Well-being.

ones know what topics you


the Family. It's important

If you anticipate difficult

boundaries early on. Let loved

anyone else's. DO NOT SET

not feel obligated to attend every gathering or endure

hurtful comments for the sake of keeping the peace. It's okay to leave early or spend the

holiday with your chosen family if that's healthier for you. Your needs matter just as much as

other open-minded family

members one-on-one. Share

accurate information about what

it means to be black and gay and how their support impacts your

well-being. Enlisting allies within

the family who "get it" can create a supportive network and

slowly shift broader attitudes through their influence and example over time.

7. Find the Light. Despite

challenges, try to find little

moments of light and joy amidst family interactions. Notice the

loving aunt who affirms you, the cousin eager to understand, or even just the humor in

watching your grandma get

too tipsy. Having gratitude for

small kindnesses and the act of coming together at all can help reframe negative experiences.

Focus on the love already there rather than what is missing.



The Gift of Self-Care During the Holidays:



he holiday season is often associated with warmth,

compassion, and a generous

outpouring of love and care. It's

a time when families and friends come together to celebrate,

share in traditions, and create lasting memories. However,

amidst the hustle and bustle of

holiday preparations, gatherings,

HAKIM ASADI He/Him | Speaker | Therapist Hakim Asadi of Beyond Living

and expectations, it's crucial to remember that self-care is not

synonymous with selfishness. In fact, during this festive season,


Saying no during the

The holidays are a time of

challenging, especially when

for others but also for yourself.

holiday season may feel

you're accustomed to being accommodating. However,

it's essential to remember

that saying no is not a rejection of others or their intentions. Instead, it's a declaration that you recognize the

importance of self-care.

compassionate and loving acts

of self-reflective questions that


consider asking yourself a series help assess if you are saying yes because you want to or if it is


out of obligation. By asking

Many of us feel immense

allow yourself to reframe your

pressure during the holidays to be present at every event,

attend every gathering, and be the ultimate host or guest. The

fear of missing out (FOMO) can

be especially strong during this time of year. We often forget

that while the holidays are about spreading love and cheer, they should also be a time for selfcompassion and self-love.

Self-care is not selfishness. It's

the practice of taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When you prioritize

self-care, you're better equipped

to be present and engaged in the

celebrations and interactions that

matter most. We cannot pour from an empty cup, and by replenishing your own well-being, you're better prepared to give to others.




In efforts to practice self-care,

you can undertake.

Your moments of self-care are gifts that keep on giving, as they enable you to give the best of yourself to your loved ones.


giving yourself permission to

say no can be one of the most

By Hakim Asadi

self-reflective questions, you holiday experience.

When you give yourself

permission to say no, you

create space for self-reflection, self-compassion, and self-love. This empowers you to make choices that align with your

genuine desires and needs. It's

a powerful act of self-assertion

and authenticity, allowing you to participate in holiday activities that truly resonate with you. By saying no to some

commitments, you can fully

embrace others with an open heart. It enables you to savor

the moments that matter most, whether it's a cozy night in with family, a heartfelt one-on-one

conversation, or a quiet moment of self-reflection.

compassion and love, not just By recognizing the value of

self-care and saying no, when necessary, you're showing

yourself the same love and

kindness that you extend to those around you.

When you care for yourself,

you become a more present

and authentic presence during the holiday season, which

benefits everyone involved.

Your moments of self-care are

gifts that keep on giving, as they enable you to give the best of yourself to your loved ones.

In conclusion, let's reframe the way we approach the holidays. Embrace the idea that self-

care and self-compassion are essential components of a

meaningful and joy-filled holiday season. By asking reflective questions like- "What would happen if I checked in with

myself rather than joining or attending everything from a

place of obligation?" you can

rediscover the true spirit of the holidays and make them a time

of genuine connection, love, and self-renewal. Permit yourself

to say no when needed, and in doing so, you'll discover that

self-care during the holidays is a beautiful act of love, both for yourself and others.


THRIVING while living with HIV By Dr. Umieca N. Hankton

symptoms of anxiety, as time

souls living with HIV.

challenges of living with HIV,

might shift to depressed mood,

and should not be treated as

the focus is on the person’s physical health. On World

AIDS Day, I challenge us all to consider the mental health

needs of those living with HIV.

Imagine for a moment hearing the words “you are HIV+.”

This may be hard imagery for

someone who has never heard these words. But, please, take a moment to sit with this new

information for a few moments longer. “YOU ARE HIV+.” What do you notice happening in

rate probably increased a little. You may have noticed your

breath became a little shallow. Perhaps, your thoughts began to race or the opposite, your

mind went completely blank. Maybe you felt pressure or a

heavy weight in your chest. Yes,

I am aware these are all physical symptoms. However, shortness of breath, elevations in heart

rate, and racing thoughts are

physical symptoms most often associated with anxiety or

acute stress, which are mental health conditions. While the initial shock of learning of

one’s HIV+ status might trigger

hopelessness. Not addressing one’s mental health will add

to the stress of living with HIV, as chronic medical conditions impact not only the body but

how the mind operates as well. If you or a loved one receive a diagnosis of HIV, I encourage

you to focus your attention and efforts on how to LIVE fully and not narrow your focus on how

these conditions might shorten your lifespan or quality of life. Remember, over 35 million

people are living with HIV and you or your loved one can do

the same. Consider connecting with a licensed mental health professional who can create a space to process feelings,

fears, or frustrations with living

with HIV. Therapy can provide a pathway to explore next steps,

advocates, LaDeia Joyce,


diagnosis,” once noted, “When

transformed the pews into a

scent and colorful beauty had gallery of art. I was attending

I die, I want to die empty.”

the funeral of a parishioner and

This quote resonates deeply

her daughter had painstakingly

because there remains so much

brought every quilt her Mother

life to live after a diagnosis.

had made for friends and family

If you are seeking mental health

through the years to honor her

support, I recommend exploring

legacy. During the eulogy, she

the following websites/

spoke of her Mother’s talent

directories for treatment options and support:

as a master seamstress who

a N . Ha iec

showed her love for others by

Dr. Umieca Hankton (Dr. U.) is a

with over a decade of mental

But, THRIVING is a choice we get

you have established medical

of life. Choose to pursue life

mental health conditions. Once

to make despite the heartaches

treatment and processed

feverishly and with audacity.

a community of support by

while living with HIV.

Show the world how to THRIVE

personalized quilt for others. The largest one hung from

just 6 days before she died.

and worsens both physical and

months at a time creating a

finished for her granddaughter

Death is inevitable for all of us.

putting her hands to work for

the choir loft above and was

HIV. Shame grows in silence

connecting with other brave

church sanctuary. Their musty

who “THRIVES despite an HIV

your feelings, begin building

I noticed as I entered the

such. One of my favorite HIV

foster support, and cultivate a life of thriving while living with

he quilts were the first thing


you are like some, your heart

anger/irritability, shame/guilt, or

HIV is not a death sentence


your body at this moment? If

progresses those symptoms


speak about the health

By Beth Trouy

Dr. U


enerally, when people


licensed clinical psychologist health treatment experience across multiple treatment

settings. She is the founder

of UNH Counseling Services, a behavioral health agency

that deliberately focuses on

the psychological health and wellness of BIPOC, LGBTQ+,

college students, and clergy.

To learn more about THRIVING, treatment options, and

services offered, please visit

www.UNHCounselingServices. com or call 901-300-9082.

A Grandmother’s love for

her granddaughter is forever crafted in a visible way.

Growing up, I thought I was It took me back to the memory of seeing the AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1985. Following the assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978, an annual candlelight march had begun

and each year marchers carried the names of lives lost by AIDS

on placards to the San Francisco Federal building where they pasted them, thousands of

them, to the walls of the building.


Inspired by the patchwork of

can do collectively to overcome

themes and colors. They are

a large quilt, the idea was born

hands and hearts together.

anything I own. If the house

these names which resembled to create a memorial honoring all of these precious lives lost.

Public response was immediate: people from all over the world

put their hands to work making their own unique patterns,

colors and names to remember AIDS victims. The outpouring

of love took the shape of over

2,000 panels in 1987 covering

a football field. Proceeds raised

over a million dollars to fund AIDS research that year.

But the story does not end

there. This quilt is still growing today. It now weighs over 54

tons and contains over 50,000 panels from hands and hearts crafting them over 35 years

from around the world. It can cover over 40 blocks in New

York City and raises millions of dollars each year. It exists as a

way not only to remember loved ones, but also as a visible act of activism to demand health

and social justice for all people today, especially those in the

margins. Pieces of this quilt are sent to schools, churches and hospitals and put on display

not only to remind us all of the

epidemic but also to serve as a testament of the great love we

have for each other and what we

injustice today when we put our Looking back at the quilts

on display in my church at

the memorial, I thought of a

grandmother’s loving hands in her dying days thinking of her

granddaughter and knowing this quilt would warm and comfort

her long after her death. I also think of the contrast of the

thousands of strangers who stepped in during the AIDS

epidemic to serve as surrogate families to the men abandoned by their own families because of the “gay” disease. So many left to die alone because of

the stigma and shame families felt. Yet there were strangers

who appeared who made food, provided housing, a warm bed and yes, even quilts to cover

their dying bodies so that they would know they were loved.

Churches opened their doors to serve as hospice centers

for the dying. Nursing homes

opened their doors, too, so that the elderly could sit and hold the hands of these men and

see a face that cared. The AIDS

epidemic showed America at its worst but also at its best.

My own Mother has made me several quilts of my favorite

more precious to me than

were on fire, I would risk my life to preserve those quilts. They may be made of cotton fiber

blends, but my Mother is alive in each stitch and square. I

unfold these quilts and as they warm and comfort, I feel her

love enveloping me. The quilt became the perfect symbol

for the AIDS victims not just because it patchworked

their names all together in a rainbow collage of color, but also because it was

painstakingly made by hands who cared enough to invest

time and treasure in another person. The quilts represent love. Love from strangers:

moved to become the mother, grandmother, friend and

brother to the dying souls

aching for someone to be with them. Helpless hands that

could not save the dying but

could fashion a quilt to comfort them in their dying days. Isn’t this ultimately what matters

most in life? To know in our last breaths that we are loved? I

will never see another quilt and not also see love; the common thread binding us together. In the end it is enough.



arMaine TyRelle CharMaine TyRell Relle CharMaine TyRelle CharMai 16 | ENTERTAINMENT

TUV Magazine is excited to

flute, clarinet, oboe, French

KNOW that they’re your homie,

vocalist CharMaine TyRelle!

that I laid my hands on, I could

all wrapped in one! I’m grateful

feature the sensational male Memphis, Tennessee has a

deep history rooted in music, especially soul music. This is why we selected CharMaine

TyRelle as our “One to Watch”

for musical talents to follow and


horn and just about anything quickly learn to play, winning numerous awards and being recognized as a well versed musician. My love of music

came from gospel music – being in church seven days a week

lol - in which most artists derive

A: Well, I’m a 37-year-old

musician/singer/songwriter/ producer, who has worked

tirelessly in music since about

age 9 or even younger. My entire life has been infused with notes, syncopations, progressions, modulations, inversions and

all, concerning music. My first

instrument to play was piano, as my grandfather would purchase me a new one every year for Christmas. I believe he saw

the gift that I possessed way

before I even knew what would be cultivated in the years to come. As I fast

forward through grade school, I learned to

play trumpet,

to have had the opportunity to share my emotions through a vibe like “Get Down,” which is

available on all digital platforms. Q: WHAT IS NEXT FOR A: Well, I’m excited about a lot of

for well over twenty years, and

team is cooking up! I’ll be soon

anyway. I’ve played in church

it is what I truly love to do, as I

recently had the opportunity to sing/appear with Demi Lovato for the 2021 Presidential

Inauguration. Also, playing for the TriState Black Pride Music

Festival in Memphis which has given me the opportunity to

play on stages with the likes of Cherisse Scott, Arnishia King,

Rapper Trina -the baddest, Avery Wilson, who by the way will soon grace Broadway in the Wiz and

R&B Sensation Inayah, who has made her stamp in R&B music,

as well as television. I continue to perfect my craft with every performance/moment that comes my way!


produced and arranged

by yours truly (holla at ya

boy!), mixed and mastered

by Tazz Fields of Livv Tone

Music, derived from a place of

manifesting a love vibe that I

in a way of words “ride or

fly” with us through any and

every moment; that sense of belonging to someone who you could say with your

WHOLE CHEST that you


the upcoming projects that the working on the visual for “Get

Summer,” which is a reflection


and my album “Another Breakup

to the Holiday season. While the

Down,” as well as working on

my upcoming EP “A Loverboy’s of how the summer treated me, Record,” which the title itself should tell you a lot LOL. I’m

grateful to partner with some of the students I’ve taught to

create a song with them called “You’re Gonna Make it,” which is a great, motivational song

to help “will” you through any

situation. I will be joining the

alumni of Alabama A&M for their Gulf City Classics in October. I

am currently working on a book called “Developing the BEST

you,” in which it is a self-help

journey to mental and spiritual

longevity, available March 2024. Also, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be partnering with

Bridging the Music group to

join them on the MiniFest tour

that’ll make a stop in Memphis and Nashville, in October and

November. I am just so grateful for every opportunity that has come my way!

he year of 2023 will go

return of a text to explain true

call, or a long text to illustrate why

are doing this, without a willingly

fastest year on record. We have

it might not feel right, and it

of not returning someone’s call,

learn from each other, and

down in my world as the

passed Halloween and we shift cold temperatures never have been a favorite of mine, I am

eager to celebrate all the many accomplishments I conquered this year. I am so grateful for

this opportunity to celebrate the many years of Memphis

excellence, by writing for this publication you are currently

holding in your hand. Although I have published my first book in

2021, I am a true writer, and love the art of reading and writing. I am excited at the new dawn of

2024 and the many surprises it

will reveal in the coming weeks. I

am hopeful we can lose one thing behind in 2023: GHOSTING. This new trend of ending a potential relationship

with an immediate cease

of communication with no

explanation or reason is troubling. I will begin with a disclaimer. I

have ghosted a few individuals

in my day, so I understand some

conditions warrant the situation.

was not receiving. I think we all want that person who would



from these grateful beginnings,

still play in church to this day. I


your lover and your best friend,

However, with a recent explosion To find out more about All things CT, visit my website at: charmainetyrellelive charmainetyrellelive

of this becoming the norm, no

matter the situation, or sexuality of the people involved. To be frank, it is harmful. How can

someone block, stop or not

validate someone by not showing the respect of an end call, or a

thoughts and feelings. While

might soften the blow, I am not making the case for people to

continue in relationships without any potential. However, many

times I have seen people being dismissive towards others for the simplest reasons. If we

have continual situations where

people do not care to learn more, or develop deeper and stronger, and meaningful relationships

with other humans, it can be a

foundation for disaster. We are all trying to figure out life and

love. If we do not take the time

and energy to truly understand

others, we are doing a disservice

to self and the society as a whole. In all of my 45 years on this Earth,

I have never met a perfect person. We are filled with flaws, but the

beauty of overcoming everything shines and can overcast the

imperfect flaws that show up in our daily lives. I often wonder where’s the empathy needed

in today’s time, as we need an

overabundance of love and loving people to conquer the trials and tribulations of life. While I know

love is not a cure-all, it is a critical and vital resource for everyone who is struggling with life.

So, why do we ghost? Do we lack

the effort to end it respectfully? It

takes nothing for us to do a return

it won’t work. The simple notion

openness to teach each other,

or ignoring texts from a possible

be more open, we are truly

and illustrates a wicked trend of

connect. Let’s leave the

suitor shows a lack of character

dismissing people for fun. While I respect that everyone will not work out, I wonder why people revel in the act of ghosting. It

has become a game, and a sport of many. I have heard horror

stories of people not showing up for dates, or being left at

restaurants during meals, and

a social media block after one

engagement. Does the blocker

get a high for not allowing others

into their orbit, or does one move on too quickly, simply because

there are others out there? Now, I get people just not getting a

good vibe/feeling after meeting

someone one time, and they are ready to move on. My only hope

for the future is to give each other more grace and understanding. If people are truly desiring

a relationship (as I am), let’s

communicate deeper, stronger

and wiser. Give feedback on the date, while being honest and forthright. Most times we do

surface talk and “representation” on our first meetings. We do not learn more outside of the basic

information, and for a lot of us, we have done countless Starbucks, swipes, and smiling at strangers to make a love connection. If we

missing a grand opportunity to ghosting trend behind in 2023. In conclusion, this holiday

season I am thankful for the many blessings that have

enriched my life. Living in the

south for the past 11 years, and thriving with HIV for over 18

years, I wonder and dream about the future often. It is a constant and curious thought process

of what lies ahead. While I try

to stay present, and enjoy daily moments of life, I am sending positive energy into 2024 to

being a stronger community,

loving each other deeper and

longer. While ghosting is a trend, I am positive it will flame out,

and people will be more open to discovering love in unique and

non-traditional ways. I am certain that someone is looking for me, as I search for them. Just hold me accountable if I end things

too prematurely, as I do not want to miss anyone who is ready to ride the love rollercoaster with

me. I'll see you in 2024, and I wish everyone a joyful, loving and relaxing holiday season.

You can find David on social media, via Facebook: David Wyley Long, or via email:




Putting the Happy Back in Your Holidays:


who have experienced it often

speak of its profound impact on their healing journey. Through

Grief Through Mediumship &

connect with their loved ones

After Loss," I share stories of

mediumship, individuals can

who have passed on, providing solace, closure, and a renewed sense of presence during the

By Dr. Lakara Foster

holidays. Knowing and being provided evidence that our

loved ones continue to exist


in another form can be a great he holiday season is

often deemed the most

wonderful time of the year.

The sparkling lights, festive

music, and warm gatherings make it an enjoyable time

for many. However, for those who have lost loved ones, it

can be the most challenging. The joyous celebrations may serve as a reminder of the

empty chair at the table or the absence of a beloved voice in the chorus of laughter. It can

amplify emotions of sadness, loneliness, and longing. The and celebration can add to and exacerbate feelings of depression.

This article serves as a guide to

understanding how mediumship can help individuals cope with grief and find joy during the holiday season through the

healing power of connecting with loved ones in the spirit world. Mediumship, which involves

communicating with the spirits

of the physically departed, can offer a unique and powerful

source of comfort during the holiday season. While it may


world through a medium allows one to express unspoken

thoughts and emotions. It can be a healing conversation

and renewed hope, explain the interconnectedness of grief

and mediumship, and provide activities to assist with those

who are on the healing journey. The book is a testament to

the transformative potential

of embracing the connection

between our world and the spirit realm, demonstrating that even

in our darkest moments, there is a path to healing and joy.

where one can convey love,

If you are ready to connect

to those who have crossed

help put the Happy back into

forgiveness, and gratitude

over. A skilled medium can help interpret messages

and symbols from the spirit

world and serve as a bridge between the physical and

spiritual realms, facilitating

communication. They guide the process, ensuring the communication is loving, respectful, and healing.

As a full-time medium, minister, and spiritual coach, I have witnessed the incredible

impact mediumship has on my clients, and I feel privileged

with a departed loved one to

your Holidays, here are a few

tips for Embracing Mediumship During this season

Find a quiet and comfortable


the mediumship session. Light

mediumship with an open

heart and mind. Release any skepticism and be willing to

receive messages with love and

experienced medium who can facilitate a safe and healing

connection with the spirit world.

you want to ask or express to

These encounters remind me

of the enduring power of love


relevant to your healing journey.

Choose a reputable and

the session, consider what

your loved ones. Prepare any questions or messages you wish to convey.

dazzling lights and merry melodies, it is crucial to

remember that grief is a

journey that does not pause for festivities. But within

this emotional landscape, mediumship shines as a

comforting beacon of hope,

offering peace, closure, and the profound knowledge that our

loved ones continue to be with us, albeit in a different form.

As we navigate the turbulent waters of holiday blues, let us embrace the potential

for healing conversations,

unspoken emotions, and the

reassurance that our departed

loved ones are just a connection away, reminding us that even in

the face of loss, love transcends time and space.

create a peaceful atmosphere.


witness tears turn into smiles

loved ones from the other side.

a candle or play soft music to

that the messages and symbols

to be a conduit for healing. It

as they communicate with their

space to relax and focus during



is a humbling experience to


Amid the holiday season's

received are meaningful and

a r. L

kara F o r

the weight of expectations

Communication with the spirit

those who have found solace

Through mediumship, individuals can connect with their loved ones who have passed on, providing solace, closure, and a renewed sense of presence during the holidays.


cultural emphasis on joy

source of comfort.

Learning to Live and Love Again

By D


be met with skepticism, those

Sometimes, the most minor

details hold the most profound significance.

EMBRACE THE MESSAGES: Be open to the messages,

insights, and guidance during

the session. These messages

Dr. Lakara Foster is an internationally recognized psychic medium who

resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and her love language is wine & chocolate.

can bring comfort, clarity, and a sense of connection.

and the resilience of the human spirit. In my upcoming book,

"The Mourning After: Healing



B.L.A.C.K Organizing Program Manager Black Lifestyle Advocates for Culture and Knowledge

Antoine has spent the last eight years navigating reproductive rights as a Black Queer man living in the South.


solutions to ensuring that Black people and experiences aren’t tokenized but taken seriously. Black people are demanding equal rights and advocacy

as it relates to reproductive

autonomy! Black people living

with HIV should not be a taboo conversation solely restricted to safer sex, condoms, and birth control. People living with HIV have every right

to family planning options

whether it includes giving birth, have a safe and legal abortion. necessary and relevant to

anyone who understands what

it's like to experience oppression.

A: As Black Organizing

Program Manager for Planned

Parenthood for Tennessee and North Mississippi. I believe our state will not shift until

we truly advocate for people

and families impacted by HIV

as a human rights issue. First, we need to start with Black

people being held accountable for understanding that HIV

education is more than just "sex education" it is the knowledge

for living a potentially healthy life regardless of anyone's status. HIV body education should

not be specific to gay people.

Tennessee legislative policies around HIV are outdated and

promote biases against people living with HIV, many of whom

are thriving very well with HIV

because of their hard work and

decriminalization law updates to our state's constitution as

a back burner in fear of losing perseverance to remain healthy while preventing the spread of

HIV. The ignorance surrounding HIV education has caused a

harmful separation of the Black

Queer community by creating an "Us vs Them” relationship that prevents Black communities from coming together. The

stigmatization of HIV awareness

amongst Black people does NOT promote people being "clean" or

negative in HIV status. In fact, we are all being robbed of uniting on political issues, economic

empowerment, and spirituality. This reflects the increase of

anxiety and stress that deeply impacts Black people and

prevents us from achieving the

ideal freedom and equality that's authentic to us.


votes or camaraderie amongst

their colleagues. Unfortunately,

if our leader can shift our public perception on HIV, how can we

expect new cases to decrease? Tennessee local and state laws

on HIV have not been reviewed and updated since the 1990's. We are missing all the major

components of new science and medical advancements in our

policy framework. These laws are counterproductive to the

with HIV/AIDS. A lot of people say I am a SURVIVOR. The

definition of survivor is a person who survives, especially a

person remaining alive after

an event in which others have

died. Yes, I am a 12 year survivor.

care in Tennessee. Limiting the

triumphant, against all odds. I

STD/STI spending on prevention

VICTORIOUS which means to

public knowledge of how to


2011, with AIDS my CD4 count was 77 and my viral load was 2,012,471. Yes I was DYING!

But God connected me with Dr O, and he worked a miracle on me. In 2011, I spent 6 months in the hospital fighting to live.

In July, 2011, I left the hospital with less than 20 copies

(UNDETECTABLE) and still 12





with people regardless of status



actually creates a larger problem.



We are continuing the same


practices that keep our families vulnerable and unsafe as we

make decisions about our bodies. In 2024, I believe that it's time to shift the conversation beyond

lives of people who contribute

conversation to normalize the to the growth of families

and how we can build strong Black communities together

inclusive of all types of families

regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

A: First and foremost I give all

Glory to God for keeping me in my right mind and sustaining my life. Secondly, I have an amazing support team, my

amazing husband of 15 years Gerald Saulsberry and my

daughters Jamillia and Christy Westmoreland. They all have been the wind beneath my

wings. They held me up when

I was weak and wanted to give up. Also two of my greatest

supporters, Mildred Richard

Edwards and Joseph Mitchell, walked with me through the

onset of my diagnosis. They both have transitioned, but these two walked with me,

talked me through, and helped

educate me during the roughest season of my life. When I was


diagnosed on January 17,

exist harmoniously in a world

A: The fact is that everyone who

how their body’s sexual and

12 years of living victoriously

But I also count myself to be

40 plus years of safe sex

responsible for understanding

Day I would like to share my

millions of dollars of public health

CRIMINALIZATION LAWS? engages in sex with people is


we approach World AIDS

A: Yes, I believe the stigma of living with HIV is being

eradicated. HIV will become more acceptable and not

frowned upon when people

like myself use their voice to

educate and show people we

are human and not contagious. We have to dispel the many

myths about HIV/AIDS. Such as, it is not okay to use the

bathroom behind a positive

person, or you can contract

HIV by eating behind a positive

person, or you can tell someone has HIV/AIDS by the way

they look. ALL OF THESE

MYTHS ARE FALSE! There are organizations in my city

of Memphis, TN doing great

work in fighting to eradicate stigma about HIV through tools such as educational

resources. Organizations such

as Friends for Life, Hope House,

believe that “Living out loud

My motto: 'It is not what you go through, it is how you go through that will determine the outcome.' I Am The Voice For The Voiceless!

best tool to end the stigma.

medical advancements in


the 1980’s. Through these

SisterReach, Relationship

Unleashed, WeCareTN, P.E.A.S., and so many more can help

connect individuals and their families to HIV resources. I

believe that the role of those

who are involved in Community Advocacy is another great tool to ending the stigma

about HIV. As for me, the more I talked about my status the

more freedom I have to live. I and unapologetically” is the BEING THE VOICE FOR THE


know that individuals living

with HIV are not contagious.

We are human beings that are living with a treatable illness.

We also need encouraging and positive people in our corner. Our treatment is no different than a person living with a

the treatment of HIV since medical advancements we

now know that HIV is no longer considered a death sentence. People don’t have to die from the disease, People don’t

have to choose death if they are diagnosed! I am here to

tell anyone who may receive a positive HIV diagnosis to

Choose life, get into treatment and adhere to the doctor

regimen for you and you can live a happy thriving life.

chronic illness who has to take medication everyday for their

condition. The only difference is there is no cure for HIV/

AIDS and it is transmittable through various ways.

However, a person in treatment,

ne Sauls n a


These conversations are both


officials should NOT avoid HIV

HIV (Healing Is Victory)


adoption, or the decision to


reasons, Tennessee elected

services, programs, and



For the aforementioned

By J


reproductive health functions.

adhering to doctor orders, and taking their medicine

can live a long productive

life and prevent transmitting it to another person if their

HIV status is undetectable.


WORKS! Also, there has been so much improvement and

901-649-4443 Photo by PERCY WAND PHOTOGRAPHY



Every body

deserves expert care. All acrossTennessee, Tennessee, Allacross we provide we provideaffirming affirming and andinclusive inclusivecare carefor for patients patientsof ofall allgender gender and andsexual sexualidentities. identities.

Services Servicesinclude includegender gender affirming hormonetherapy, therapy, affirminghormone contraception, contraception,PrEP, PrEP,and and other othersexual sexualand and reproductive reproductivehealth healthcare. care.

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