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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Surviving near homelessness and more: Listen in LIVE!!

Happy almost Halloween!! Rather than blog a big post this week, I would like to invite you to join me LIVE this coming Sunday (Oct. 30th) at 9 PM (EST), as I am honored to be a guest on the POZ I AM Talk Radio Show with hosts Robert Breining and Jeromy Dunn.

I will be sharing the details of my story and how HIV / AIDS has affected who I am today as well as provide updates on my previous blog posts including how I turned my very scary near homelessness situation around for the good. My hope is that many of you who continue to show your support for the many projects I am currently working on, and anyone else who may stumble across my blog, will be able to connect with me on a more intimate level. It would mean the world to me if you would join me this Sunday.

To give you a little history, Sports fan and self-proclaimed "cyber-activist" Robert Breining used to be in the closet about his HIV status. Now he hosts his own online radio show and runs a social-network for HIV-positive folks. Robert was honored as one of the top 25 LGBT leaders in the fight against AIDS by HIV Plus Magazine & APLA.  

I am inspired by Robert and honored to be a guest on his show this coming weekend!!  Again, the show is this Sunday (note: this is the eve that Houdini passed away - ironic timing this all came possible). To listen in at 9 PM (EST) this Sunday, simply CLICK HERE.

I am Daniel (successor to Houdini), and I am living pozitively! Thank you for following my blog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My journey to homelessness starts today. . .

"Hi Daniel, I just received a letter from the city stating that the program for rental payments is discontinued." This text message from my landlord came in yesterday at 12:53 p.m.

When I was rushed to the hospital on June 7, 2010, no one was sure if I would be coming out. It was a pretty scary moment for many. Thank god I am alive today. Now, at the time, I was employed and living a financially comfortable life; and just like you hear on the news or from financial advisers, I had put away 3 months of living expenses in the event of an emergency.  When I was discharged from the hospital I did not return to a consulting project which was a hefty source of personal income. Additionally, I was nearing depletion of my emergency funds.

I took all the pride I had, swallowed it, and went looking for help; and for those of you who know me that is NOT an easy thing for me to do.  However, I admit it is the best thing I did.  There are two organizations here in New York City, Community Action and GMHC which helped me to apply for a NYS Human Resources Administration service called HASA; an NYS Agency Department that works to help people living with HIV / AIDS.

I was approved for services based on my medical condition(s) and submitted all these documents to HASA so that I could temporarily get medical assistance and help with paying some bills (such as rent) so that I would not have these financial burdens sitting on my shoulders while I am healing.  I had my landlord fax over copies of needed documents, I supplied copies of my lease, bills, etc. etc. etc. and a ton of other documents so that the rental-assistance program could be put into place.

If anyone has ever gone through this process here in NYS (or anywhere else) - let me tell you the experience itself is harsh. These HASA reps, who sit behind desks and push a couple buttons, basically have total control of your temporary survival and they let you know it by talking down to you with condescending tones of speech and genuinely rude body gestures. It's shitty enough that I have to even ask for help, but to be made to feel like I am a piece of crap for asking. . . it's really embarrassing. I rate NYS HASA service reps with a big fat 'F' for lack of compassion.

I just finished the entrance way to my place! Ugh!
Anyways, I was pretty much told, after all the documentation was submitted, that I just had to wait for my landlord to receive her checks. This is where the text message I got yesterday comes in.

How the hell does my landlord get notified that there is a problem with the rental assistance before I do?  I had NO idea it was even denied! My stomach dropped to the ground. Apparently because the lease does not stipulate that the heat and hot water are included with the rental price, HASA will not assist me. However, they encourage me to break a 2 year lease, move out and find a place that includes heat and hot water.

So today I am on the chase to find out if I might become homeless soon. Thank god I have the advocacy organizations to assist me. . . this is not something I would want to be going through alone. Sitting in a place where I am basically squatting right now is bad stress which my HIV should not have to take on. Wish me luck. . . my fingers are crossed that becoming homeless is not the end of this journey.

I am Daniel and I am living pozitively. Thank you for following my blog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumped, "ALIVE" and INSANE in the METH-BRAIN. . .

Taking some time after mourning and celebrating the one year anniversary of my younger brother's passing was much needed! I want to take this time to thank all of my followers and friends for your unconditional love and support!

I am soooo pumped right now, literally! I just got back from the gym, sitting here all hot and sweaty, with this insatiable energy for life. . . so I have to get it out and share.

After talking with some friends, I have decided that I am going to re-focus how I blog and schedule time dedicated to the various projects I am currently working on - so that I can remain focused and organized.

I will be blogging once a week - a diary of everything that I have accomplished and worked on, such as my magic, my speaking program Blunt, HIV advocay efforts, a book I have begun to write and much more - such as what I am doing to stay healthy, dating, sex-life, etc.

I figure posting once a week (and at other times if something of specific interest comes along) is more than enough to keep myself in tune and maintaining my commitment to keeping this public, personal diary going. I don't want to overly bore or lose you (my friends and followers), so if you think I should blog more than once a week or anyone has some additional insight on this, please share your comments below. . .  (Does this sound like a good strategy?)

So here goes - my personal diary for this week!

Getting my sexy on. . . (diet and health). . .
I have started to work out 7 days a week. Mon-Fri I am doing light cardio mixed with high reps of lifting focusing on specific muscle groups each day.  Saturdays and Sundays I am only doing cardio and abs. I have some pudge I am trying to lose and hoping this will get rid of it and help to get my abs to really pop out.  My workout goal is a starting effort to prepare to build the strength I need for escape attempts. I am going to begin training for some brand new death-defying feats, never seen before, which require extreme ab and breath retention power.

In addition to the professional focused goal, I have always dreamed of sculpting a magazine picture-perfect body, so I am pretty excited to see if I can make that happen too.  If anyone, who stumbles across this blog (and actually reads down to this point) has some diet and exercise pointers, please share them, I could use them.

INSANE in the METH-BRAIN: My personal tell-all diary
Yep! The rumors are true, I have already begun to work with an online publishing company and have started writing a book that will be a wide-eye opener, complete tell-all of my life to date. I will begin to share various writing samples here for everyone to chime in on. . . and get some feedback!  I am really excited about this project.

"ALIVE" - the Magic. . .                   
Following the release of an interview I did with PositiveLite (missed the article? Click Here), I have begun to reach out to capital venture folks to discuss bringing my production "ALIVE" back to life.  I suspect this will take some time, so while I continue to update you weekly on what's happening with these developments, I am also focusing on booking gigs with my current production Purity, which debuted off-Broadway back in 2009.

Also, I have begun to work on a new creative overhaul of my website, which should be completed in the next week or so (hopefully sooner!). I want to bring back some color to the arts, so stay tuned for developments.  If anyone knows of a photographer in NYC who would be willing to help me out with some new promo shots for the new site design, please leave a comment or email me through my site.

HIV / AIDS -Forward moving. . . beating down the stigma
My HIV advocacy efforts are moving full steam ahead! My website is now being followed globally and my blog is hitting almost a couple thousand a week; this is awesome stuff! My Twitter followers are growing (slowly), so if you have an account, be sure to follow me.  You can also join me at Facebook by adding me as a friend where you can chime in and experience even more about what is happening with me daily.

My BLUNT Talk Program is getting some interest. Anyone looking to bring BLUNT to your HIV awareness event (conference, convention fund-raiser, etc.), please contact me through my site.  Some organizations that are contacting me are inquiring about the Blunt program combined with a special showing of my production Purity as entertainment - so anyone looking for an inspiring speaker and mind-blowing entertainment. . . do check me out.

I have an upcoming interview with POZIAM Talk Radio Sunday, October 30, 2011 @ 9 pm. Pretty cool timing, considering this is the eve when Houdini passed.  I will have more information on this, and hope some of you will find the time to join me "Live" and hear my story and ask questions.

Well, that's what's up this week!  I will create these weekly posts each Friday! I hope that you will continue to share my story with your friends!

I am Daniel, and I AM LIVING pozitively.  Thank you for following my blog.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Remembering Andrew P. Bauer: the Love, the Pain, the Spirit

Today, I ventured to Father Flanagan Park (NYC) where I, along with friends, planted a tree in memory of my younger brother, Andy, who passed away exactly one year ago.

I was sitting on the Staten Island Ferry, reflecting on the pain, the love - ya know all those memories some which I hold onto and some which I wish I could just let go of.

Andy's Tree - Father Flanagan Park, NYC
The day was somber, quiet and very emotional. I got to meet up with some of Andy's friends and his life-long care taker to exchange memories and "hug" his spirit-tree.

There is much pain I hold inside, and I thought this would be a good time to let some of it out. . . it is time I be blunt about what is going through my head. I wanted today to be a special day of remembrance, but it is was difficult because my head was so clouded by the very immediate events which led up to his final breathe. . .

I remember getting a call from my half-sister, telling me that my younger brother, Andy, had been rushed to the hospital, as he could no longer walk and could barely breath on this own. 

On October 7, 2010, I was able to reach my little brother on the phone (after learning of this news) and he told me they (the doctors) were about to intubate him. He asked me to please come to the hospital right away and tell the doctors not to and that if I didn't get there in time, to remove the tubes. . . and let him go in peace. 

Me (in the red) and Andy
Andy and I were born into a very privileged family and lifestyle. We had 7 brothers and 1 sister (half-blood). Andy took a wrong turn somewhere in his life and started to hang out with a crowd because he thought it would be "cool".  He landed a life of addiction to heroine. It was sad to see him fall so hard so many times.

I assume, while I am not certain, that Andy became infected with HIV through IV drug use.  I recall clearly the day he came home and our family learned of his diagnosis. The reaction was hateful. One of our older brothers punched him in the face and told him never to return home again.

Andy had lost contact with the family for some time - he reached out many, many times for help, but he could not win the addiction fight and he didn't want to deal with the other fight inside him . . . he could not live with the fact he was HIV+.

My mother and the rest of my family were fully aware Andy was in the hospital, and this time he would not be coming out. NO ONE in my family wanted anything to do with his passing. One of my older brother's had told me on the phone that "the family buried Andy a long time ago." (My jaw dropped).

The hospital required, that if I am to have the tubes pulled out of Andy, I needed the doctors in charge to speak with his biological mother (our mother) to pass on the primary medical decision making to me. On October, 9, 2010, the doctors reached my mother, and in less than one minute made it clear to the doctors she wanted nothing to do with Andy.

Just before I ordered the tubes, as per Andy's wishes, to be pulled out of him, I called my mother and said, "do you want to say anything to Andy before I pull the tubes out? I will put my phone up to his ear. . ." She said, "No."   It was done. I was ready to help Andy go in peace, however I was far from being at peace. The tubes were removed and in an an hour, at 2:25 pm on October 9, 2010, Andy took his last breath. No one should ever have to witness this kind of pain. It has scarred me for life.

I realize that when I die. . . when it is time for my personal journey to come to an end . . . I too, will be family-less. While there may be a family plot. . . actually I don't know if there even is one. . . what I do know is that I nor Andrew are "good" enough to be buried along with the family because of HIV. 

It fucking sucks and there are no words to describe the deep, dark pain I feel inside; so let me focus on what is helping to heal the pain. . .

On October 9th and days just prior, I am grateful to ALL of my friends who were there to console me and who came to see Andy at the hospital. I am truly grateful to my friend Samantha for taking time out of her truly dedicated family life to make sure I was able to be at the hospital to see this through.  I also am grateful for my friend Lance. . . for making a quick connection to make sure my brother's body was properly taken care of for the after-life.  And lastly, I am grateful for Joel. . . he was Andy's life-long care-taker here in NYC, and without Joel I am not sure how Andy would have lived as long as he did! I can only imagine the pain you are feeling, you were the closest thing to an angel he ever had in his life.

I am proud to say I have a new family today. . . built of friendships more solid than "born-blood" could ever bond or fuse together. Anyone who has been disowned by their family, much like my brother Andy and me, I wish there were words I could share to make you smile or feel better. It's tough and the reality is only time will heal this pain.  So as time passes I remember that my life today is not only an adventure for me but it is also an adventure I will continue to live for my brother. HIV will not beat me down.  Today I find comfort in my friends who I am proud to call my new family! You know who you are. . . through the good and the bad times. . . we stick it out! 

Thank you for being there.

I am Daniel, and I am living pozitively.  Thank you for following my blog.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's time to take action! We all have a chance to END AIDS here in America and abroad - and yet President Obama has done nothing about it! I have just signed a petition to help END AIDS and I am asking all of my friends, followers and anyone else who stumbles across my blog to please do the same.

Please take a quick minute to visit Treat Aids End Aids website (click here) and sign the petition - it will help people like me who are living with HIV / AIDS.

Make a difference please! Once you have signed, please leave a comment that you did, so others can be inspired to do the same! Thank you for playing your part in the solution to END AIDS.

I am Daniel and I am living pozitively. Thank you for following my blog!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


When did Gay Men become the vampires of America? Apparently 'gay men' are so venomous that even their blood is banned from blood drives regulated by the FDA and conducted by the American Red Cross.

A couple days ago, on my facebook page, a friend alerted me to a post created by a student at The College of Saint Rose (Albany, NY), who identifies himself as gay and was excited about being a blood donor at a recently conducted blood drive on his college campus. However, he was denied the opportunity to do some good, to an already blood shortage problem in our society, because he is gay.

Taken from CDC.GOV

According the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the FDA, there are many ways HIV can be transmitted; and that it is not just 'gay men' who are at risk. So why would a healthy gay man, such as a college student be turned away at the door to donate blood as opposed to a heterosexual female, male, etc.?  Is the CDC / FDA sending the message that if a person identifies as a gay man, society should auto-assume he likely has HIV / AIDS, therefore he can't give blood?

Thank you CDC / FDA for keeping your heads up your asses, continuing to maintain the 'idea' that HIV / AIDS is still the Gay Cancer of our society.



The above clearly shows and proves that there are RISKS IN EVERY TYPE OF HUMAN LIFE. So again, I ask, "Why is the FDA solely targeting the gay community?"

2010 USA HIV / AIDS Progress Report
Moving along. . . as if the above is not enough to convince the FDA to change it's outdated, bogus stigma-based policy, I digged a little deeper to find the 2010 HIV/AIDS United States Progress Report submitted to the UN AIDS commission / advisory board. 

Apparently there is very little data available on any statistics in the US! 

Testing Steps according to FDA / American Red Cross
Moving forward again, with more facts . . . according to the FDA and American Red Cross, each pint(s) of blood donated are thoroughly tested for HIV / AIDS, as well as a number of other blood related complications. According the FDA and American Red Cross, 100%  of the blood donated at blood drives are tested with more than a dozen tests to ensure the blood is safe.

The FDA has made it clear. . . their message is divine in hate! Blood is needed but the "gays are no good!

I feel sad for this student who was turned away! I am not sure what to tell you, or how to even approach this fight - but this is why I do this blog. . .  

Here is my message to the FDA, CDC, American Red Cross, The White House and anyone else who is part of this blood regulation policy decision making. 

"YOU are tossing away good blood by placing a major stigma on gay men! What is this solving?  You are adding to already escalating 'gay' bullying issues as well as making it your mission to ensure that the HIV / AIDS blame game stays focused on the gays. Your own facts above state HIV / AIDS is a non discriminatory disease, so why be a hypocrite and discriminate against gay men? Let the college student give blood. . . he wants to save a life! He is just as human as the next!"

Does anyone have any suggestions? No one should be turned away if they are healthy! NO ONE!

I am Daniel, and I am living pozitively. Thank you for following my blog.