NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2023
SELF-CARE GUIDE FOR the Holidays
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.
IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY®
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.
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY
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 www.FDA.gov/medwatch 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 BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5. � If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com 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
| THE UNLEASHED VOICE
*Source: IQVIA NPA Weekly, 04/19/2019 through 01/20/2023.
ELIAS SWITCHED TO BIKTARVY Listen to REAL STORIES being told by REAL VOICES.
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 BIKTARVY.com. THE UNLEASHED VOICE |
CON TEN TS
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
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,
6 | EDITOR’S LETTER
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
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.
THE UNLEASHED VOICE |
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.
The Emory COMPASS
Coordinating Center of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® engages a nine-member community
advisory board (CAB) to facilitate the development, evaluation,
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
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
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.
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
SURVIVING THE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY
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
10 | THE UNLEASHED VOICE
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.
THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
can make the experience more
BEING YOUR FULL SELF:
FOR SMOOTHLY GETTING
or calling supportive friends,
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
HERE ARE SOME TIPS
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
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
YOURSELF ON FIRE TO KEEP
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 UNLEASHED VOICE |
The Gift of Self-Care During the Holidays:
REFRAMING THE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE
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 email@example.com www.hakimasadi.com
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
THE CONFLATION OF SELF-
consider asking yourself a series help assess if you are saying yes because you want to or if it is
CARE AND SELFISHNESS
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.
12 | THE UNLEASHED VOICE
COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF
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.
SAYING NO WITH
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.
THE QUILTS OF
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:
therapyforblackgirls.com therapyforqpoc.com nqttcn.com
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
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.
14 | HEALTH & WELLNESS
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
listen to! You can Thank us later! Q: CHARMAINE, PLEASE TELL OUR READERS A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR MUSICAL
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
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!
Q: WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND YOUR NEWEST SINGLE “GET DOWN?” A: “Get Down,” written,
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 ART OF GHOSTING IN DATING by David Wyley Long
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:
charmainetyrelle.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE UNLEASHED VOICE |
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
20 | HEALTH & WELLNESS
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
OPEN YOUR HEART: Approach
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
TRUST THE PROCESS: Trust
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.
SEEK A QUALIFIED MEDIUM:
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
PREPARE QUESTIONS: Before
is a humbling experience to
CREATE A SACRED SPACE:
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
THE HEALING POWER OF
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
HEALTH & WELLNESS |
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.
Q: PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY AND HOW YOU BECAME INVOLVED IN THIS WORK? A: I was seeking answers and
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.
Q: WHAT IS THE MAIN THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE STATE OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE HIV
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
AM STILL HERE!
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
years late UNDETECTABLE! SO YES TREATMENT WORKS!
Q: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT
Q: AS A 12 YEAR SURVIVOR
STIGMA AGAINST A PERSON
with people regardless of status
WHAT SUPPORT AND
LIVING POSITIVELY IS
actually creates a larger problem.
TREATMENT DO YOU BELIEVE
We are continuing the same
HELPED SAVE YOU?
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
22 | THE UNLEASHED VOICE
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
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
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE COMMUNITY AT-LARGE TO KNOW ABOUT A PERSON LIVING POSITIVELY? A: I want the community to
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
Q: WHAT IS THE ROLE
reasons, Tennessee elected
services, programs, and
For the aforementioned
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.
BECAUSE HIV TREATMENT
WORKS! Also, there has been so much improvement and
901-649-4443 email@example.com Photo by PERCY WAND PHOTOGRAPHY
THE UNLEASHED VOICE |
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.