review Ü eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Sean StrubL to address the needs of people who are vulnerable and the way in which politics fails As a community activist and priest I found this book to be both fascinating and encouraging because by sharing his life with Sean shows that you don t have to step out of your life to achieve something for the common good you ust need to do the next thing get involved donate volunteer attend a meeting educate yourself educate others His activism was very much about who he was It emerged from his interests in politics his need to fight discrimination and the love he has for people who are oppressedI also enjoyed this book because it captures history It names thosewho dedicated their lives to hatred and persecution shame on youit names church leaders who ust couldn t see that their doctrine stigmatised people who God loves shame on you for making the Word of God of non affect and denying people Loveit names those who struggled and committed themselves to seeking life for people who were infected I salute youIt names the lost It remembers black and minority ethnic people and the way in which HIV and AIDS has impacted people who are constantly discriminated against and ignored because of the colour of their skin or their ethnic originI think it is important to give Sean Strub respect for his honesty especially in the way he grew in knowledge and understanding He gained his knowledge by living it and by being open to the lives of others He captures the way the virus has affected people from other ethnicities especially black American women numbers of infected black women in the US are increasing He acknowledges the way in which HIV and Aids has affected children siblings parents He shows that Aids affects communities and individualsMost of all it tells the story of a crisis that people struggled to comprehend and respond to These days we have mature institutions and activists and structures and tried and tested ways of engaging but those days there was nothing Sean Strub tells us how this nothing became a political movement and has shaped the way in which we continue to campaign for access to treatment for dignity and how we must continue to campaign in all our different ways until we get to ZeroIt is no mistake that Act Up London has been revitalised in order to respond to new challenges such as reduced services and homophobic and racist politiciansThe struggle continuesAfter reading Borrowed Time I felt devastated but inspired and uite rightly so After reading Body Counts I feel inspired and energised I can see my own efforts in this movement and oin my own voice to that rallying cryAct up Fight back Fight Aids One of the lessons of Catholicism that stuck with me even through the periods when I was most furious with the Church was that life s meaning is found in contemplation penance service Of these three my only real talent is service I ve always been interested in action than reflection Sean Strub Body Counts A Memoir of Politics Sex AIDS and SurvivalSean Strub s Body Counts A Memoir of Politics Sex AIDS and Survival is a brutally honest memoir focusing on a dark period of American history Bill Hilary Reagan Bush Roy Cohen no here escapes unscathed including Strub himselfStrub s story opens with his manning a Senators Only elevator in the nation s Capitol which he operated as a teenage intern The early section set in the world of Washington politics is fascinating Strub s tales of political intrigue and the 1970 s Washingtonian closet offer a glimpse into the inner workings that very few people ever glimpse Soon Strub has gained a reputation for being hard working intelligent and loyal a world where loyalty has it s perks as Strub would find out first hand when he memorized every detail he could of the senators who rode in his elevator He also shares a story of his interrupting Senator Byrd in a closed door meeting and how this led to his becoming a favorite of the Senator We learn too of his meeting his heroes the liberal lions of the senate George McGovern Hubert Humphrey and Ted Kennedy Strub came to share a special bond with all threeWe also learn that Strub had a secret he was gay Strub agonizes over this secret at times hoping its a phase while at others going to great lengths to lose his virginity Although he is not uite certain how a gay man loses his virginity What he does know that is being gay and having a career in politics on any stage is will not What s
A Gay Boy To Dogay boy to do to York CitySoon Strub drops out of Georgetown and moves to New York City There he becomes an eye witness to history Strub is walking past the Dakota Building the night John Lennon is shot He is in New York the early years of the aids crisis he early years of the AIDS crisis He the nights away at Studio 54 Young attractive and bright he is befriended by Tennessee Williams Yoko Ono Larry Kramer and David Drake Along the way Strub falls in love has his heart broken falls in love again and again and he discovers he is HIV positiveAfter a period of self denial regarding his illness Strub pulls himself together taking on the role of activist When the AIDS activist group Act Up disrupts Cardinal O Connor during mass at St Patrick s for his campaign against condoms Strub is taking communion in an Act Up T shirt when the priest giving him the host says The body of Christ Strub replies May the Lord bless the man I loved who died a year ago this weekStrub confirms what many of us already know Catholicism is the source of the shame he felt about his body a body he s forced to accept and meditate upon as he is dying This revives memories of sexual abuse at his Jesuit school but he has put his abusers behind him I understand this as I have put my abuser behind me too It s politicians he can t forgive Much of his wrath is directed toward Bill Clinton s Health and Human Services secretary Donna Shalala whose failure to endorse needle exchanges even though they were proven to reduce HIV transmission caused millions of deathsA word on Donna Shalala it is well known she is a closeted lesbian Her refusal to act upon the AIDS crisis and gay health issues makes her no better than gay homophobes Jon Hinson Roy Ashburn Ed Schrock Mark Foley and so many others Strub is a witness to all that takes place in the early years of the crisis suabbling in the gay community the government s refusal to respond to the crisis the early days of the Act Up protests the founding of POZ magazine and as his life makes a 360 degree turn Strub becomes the first openly gay HIV positive person to run for Congress Yes our hero was a participant to this all and so much 30 years later I want to weep as I read of workers on Long Island who refused to put Strub s fundraising letter into envelopes because they were afraid of getting AIDS or at Strub s admission that when he acuired Kaposi s sarcoma dogs barked at him on the streetWhile Strub s memoir is filled with loss death and destruction it is one of the most hope filled books I have ever read Body Counts is fascinating chronicle of Strub s experience of the disease and the memoir of an activist who witnessed a great deal of history I cannot recommend this highly enoug. Ts Strub’s story crackles with history He recounts his role in shocking AIDS demonstrations at St Patrick’s Cathedral as well as at the home of US Senator Jesse Helms With an astonishing cast of characters including Tennessee Williams Gore Vidal Keith Haring Bill Clinton and Yoko Ono is a vivid portrait of a tumultuous era “A page turnerwith the suspense and horror of Paul Monette’s memoir Borrowed Time and the drama of Larry Kramer’s play The Normal HeartWhat a lot of action and life there is in this gripping book” The Washington Po. Ontext The writing is direct and no nonsense with not a hint of self pity It s easy to admit being biased in offering praise for an author s memoir especially when that author is somewhat responsible for saving your life if not thousands of lives Sean Strub s astute combination of activism political pragmatism and financial expertise combined brilliantly in his career fighting the AIDS epidemic In Body Counts Strub not only shares elouently written chapters but his life and career exemplify the struggle of the modern gay rights movement and a community s response to the AIDS epidemicFrom his youthful days as an Iowa Catholic boy to his ascendance in Washington DC as a youthful assistant Strub shares intimate details of his life His introduction to the secretive world of closeted gay politicians and their aides eventually propels him further into politics As he learns self acceptance of himself his body and his sexuality the world of politics drags its feet behind him Failures and successes are given eual coverageStrub s personal pains in his struggle with HIV follow the path of the disease itself on a national scale His eventual work with ACT UP and his achievements in tempering the tumultuous group s protests and struggles are balanced with his innovative fundraising ideasIt was both wonderful and harrowing to relive these times through his experience Strub s later successes and difficulties in creating and maintaining the groundbreaking POZ Magazine are for this veteran gay Mindful Living with Aspergers Syndrome journalist uite fascinating While I recall many of these events from my own experience or as told by Strub himself to read this compelling memoir brings new light to a person who simply soughtustice to keep a movement going by offering his practical skills His victories in simply staying alive are woven in with some insightful celebrity encounters and of the AIDS activist movement s most notorious heartbreaking and yes sometimes hilarious events Body Counts adds a personal perspective to the daunting task of understanding the controversies tragedies and even the victories of the AIDS epidemic For those of us who lived through these times and for those who may never understand what happened it s a must read This is the story of a movementSean Strub s Body Counts is like a seuel to Paul Monette s Borrowed Time In Borrowed Time we learn about dying from Aids In Body Counts we ourney through the tragedy of death but move through to life learning what it is like to live with HIV and Aids and to fight against it in all the different ways it rises up to oppress people We are drawn into politics memories love activism and the challenge of living with the virusIt is an excellent book which also gives an insider perspective into the world of American politics The world of white men who hold immense power and who unfortunately do not always act for the common good It is a book that shows us how some people have great influence and manage to influence political decisions for good or for ill and the book indirectly shows why it is so difficult for minorities of any kind to get their voice heard without activismAct up Fight back Fight Aids Was the rallying cry of Act Up the association of activists set up to protest the negligent response of the US Govt to Aids in the nineties Act Up is a phenomenal citizens movement that protested against all kinds of aids related stigma and discrimination and that pushed for government investment in aids research and other initiativesSean Strub provides a personal account of the turbulence and urgency of those times and the way he worked in Act Up and other gay and Aids organisations He writes in a way that is easy to read but deeply gripping and it is a brilliant Sean Strub is an Aids survivor He is one of those men who were brought back from death s door because he had access to the life saving anti retroviral protease inhibitors treatments when they became available in the late nineties 1996He is a positive person activist and also a business person and entreprenuer and politically experienced We are shown that Sean possesses incredible talents and used these talents on the frontline of Aids activismAnd of course he has a powerful testimony which he shares in this book But this is than a survivors tale it is the story of a man who is passionate about ustice and it is the story of a talented man who has taken his life and channelled it into activism challenging stigma and discrimination and making sure the voice of marginalised and criminalised people is heardThis book gives an account of Sean s life and his experiences as a gay man and as someone who lives with HIV It takes us through his childhood education family career loves life and losses It is an amazing and energising testimony and I found it deeply encouraging We don t often hear stories of people who are living with the virus especially those who were living with the virus during the early days of the crisis and the virus during the early days of the crisis and are still alive today not that the crisis is over These voices are *vital for the ever evolving Aids response because they are prophetic in the way they *for the ever evolving Aids response because they are prophetic in the way they upon Governments and societies not to forget that Aids is still here and that people are still being infected with the virus and although the number may have lessened people still die of Aids Sean Strub s writing emphasises the need for a new wave of activism and for Governments to pay attention and wake up Wake up to the fact that if we want an Aids free generation and if we want to get to Zero zero infections zero deaths and zero discrimination then we have to work damn hard for it and that includes financing for treatment and prevention and access to bothSean s writing also reminds us that Aids related stigma and discrimination is a reality for so many people still 10 million people live with HIV today and they also live with stigma and discrimination and this has a way of undermining prevention effortsSo I enjoyed this book even though it deals with hard issues I enjoyed it because it is a true life story of courage and vision and because it is stories like these that spur me on in my own activism
In Prayer Public Speakingprayer public speaking writing and encouraging the positive people around me And his writing is also comforting because it somehow shows that as people read his book and respond all those lives that were lost will not be forgottenThe insider view into US politics is fascinating especially the way in which gay politicos negotiated their sexuality and their careers in the seventies and the way in which they negotiated different ways of being closeted It was also fascinating to read about the way in which politics function behind the scenes the negotiation of power the deal making the rather peculiar alliances All of this provides a fascinating image of politics functioning as an old fashioned steam engine with the visible and invisible parts both having an important part to play It also illustrates how politics may work in any institution with the things that are unsaid and the things that are said as if the actors are all in a play acting their various parts It shows how politics can exclude and fai. Hrouded in shame When the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980s Strub was living in New York and soon found himself attending “ funerals than birthday parties” Scared and angry he turned to radical activism to combat discrimination and demand research Strub takes you through his own diagnosis and inside ACT UP the organization that transformed a stigmatized cause into one of the defining political movements of our time From the New York of Studio 54 and Andy Warhol’s Factory to the intersection of politics and burgeoning LGBT and AIDS movemen.