Free event: ‘Coming of Age With Grit and Grace’ June 20

Mark S. King

In celebration of Pride Month, Mark S. King, internationally acclaimed author of My Fabulous Disease, will speak about sexual politics, the twin epidemics of addiction and AIDS and how he has navigated sex, love and family as a gay man living with HIV for nearly 40 years.

Sponsored by Senior Solutions and Bellows Falls Pride, the presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 at the Bellows Falls Opera House, 7 Village Square. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission if free. But reservations are highly recommended. Tickets are available at the Bellows Falls Opera House box office and website.

King offers a multi-media presentation drawn from his experience; a question-and-answer session will follow.

He has been writing personal reflections on gay life, sex, addiction and his family since shortly after testing positive for HIV in 1985, only weeks after the test became publicly available. “I wanted to put something down on paper while I could, something that said we were here, and this is how it felt. No one is more surprised than I am that I’m still writing it down.”

The result has been nearly four decades of moving and sometimes hilarious accounts of what it was like for a young gay man to make it out of the 1980s alive – and what came next.

Those who were in their 20s in the 1980s when the AIDS crisis began are now in their 60s. Fifty-three percent of Americans living with HIV are now over 50. This presents a new demographic challenge for agencies serving seniors, as well as for medical and health professionals.

In addition, seniors living with HIV are at serious risk for social isolation due to having lost friends to the disease, a personal reluctance to share their stories freely due to stigma and the statistical likelihood of not having children or extended family-care networks.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeIn the Community

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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