Letters: January 2004

Thanks for your great review of Stories From the War on Homosexuality [“DVD/VHS,” December 2003]. I really appreciate the care that Mr. [Troy] Carrington took in writing the piece.

Arthur Dong
Los Angeles, California

Dong is the producer/director of the three-DVD box set reviewed in the December issue, which includes his documentaries Coming Out Under Fire, Family Fundamentals, and Licensed to Kill.

I can’t begin to express in words how much the Positive Art Workshop [“Share the Wealth,” December 2003] meant to me during a time in my life when I had little hope or direction. I had been laid off from what I thought was the best job of my life (it turned out to be a nightmare). I was out of money. COBRA insurance was sucking me dry, but I had to keep it so I could afford the drugs I need to survive. There were absolutely no jobs on the horizon.

After my first class with Ryan Fugate something changed. I think it might have been that I suddenly felt better about myself and, most importantly, I enjoyed my artwork. Even though I have been a professional artist for many years, his class renewed a fire in me that has not stopped yet. I am proud to say that I am starting a great new job on January 2, 2004. My partner and I had a show of our ceramic work on November 2 that was a huge success. I sincerely believe that the attitude change I experienced after Ryan’s class is responsible for all of my good fortune.

For people living with HIV/AIDS, an experience like this can help us though times that otherwise would be depressing and stressful leading to a lower quality of life and declining health. Please keep up this great work if you can. After I am financially back on my feet, I want to help. I would like to see the program expanded so even PWAs who have jobs or school could attend. I am sure it would enrich their lives. Let me know how I can help.

Jim Jennings


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