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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FIGHTING STIGMA: HIV and the past.

I came a across these words this morning written by Kate Raidt "I don’t think there is a single person on planet earth who has not experienced trauma, heartbreak, verbal, emotional or physical abuse, failure, humiliation or grief. In fact, most of the most important and successful people in the world have experienced all-of-the-above in doses most of us could never imagine. I heard long ago: It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it that defines your character. Repeat after me: I cannot change the past. I cannot change the past. I cannot change the past. I cannot change the past. I would never ask anyone to simply “Forget the past. Get over it. Suck it up”. We are human beings and unless you have a brain transplant it is impossible to forget the past. I feel in order to get through an event that has emotionally or physically crippled you, you must acknowledge it, embrace it, learn from it and use it as motivation to make your dreams come true. How in the world can someone use something tragic and motivation to be successful?"

As an entertainer and activist, I am trying to find the balance in life that both embraces my passions and dreams while fighting stigma. However these past couple of weeks have had their trials and tribulations which I am finding to be more upsetting than most times. So I thought I would write about it and ask for your advice to help me get through this.

See, this past July I performed a show for an organization; I was referred to them by a former friend. After entering into a verbal agreement and confirming some details via emails, the organization is now backing off their end of the bargain. I decided to possibly pursue small claims legal action and when I communicated this, the organization decided to take my past and use it against me to start a smear campaign.

Living the life of a public figure is NOT EASY. There are good days, bad days, good press and bad press! I thought airing my dirty laundry, would allow me to move past my past, while standing tall about the kind of life I want to live today and rebuild hope so that I can walk with dignity. As the words clearly stated above, we are not all angels in this world! I have done my fair share of crap! I even publicly talk about some of that so that others who may feel that a fresh start is not possible. . . would also discover hope and start living their lives with genuine purpose to make a difference in this world.

Well, yesterday, a few HIV Activists, trudged up an unfortunate article that was written about me, and they decided to launch a smear campaign against me. Stating "Now the real truth about Daniel Bauer is out." These are activists who I have done amazing things with this past year. Activists, some of whom unfortunately I no longer speak with. Partly my fault, partly their fault.

While I am not happy about things that have happened in my life well over 10 years ago since my diagnosis, or other bumps and bruises that took my place in my life, I have owned up to them; each and every day. I am just stunned that because I felt the need to protect an agreement that was made (and maybe this is Karma - because I have certainly broken my fair share of agreements in the past) - that this organization who backed out on their agreement and individuals associated with this organization felt it was okay to take this one article written about me, post it all over facebook and begin this negatively launched smear campaign against me.

To those of you who picked up the phone to begin this childish campaign and to those of you who posted the posts and so forth; "Go ahead and do what you need to do. . . while I am not proud of my past. . . I am proud to be who I am today. . . proud to inspire people to reach for the stars, proud to be open about living with HIV and proud of myself for not allowing anyone who tells me otherwise to keep me from living with dignity."

To those of you HIV Activists who felt it was okay to do this. . . I hope you think about what kind of lives you want to live. I aired my dirty laundry - and now you choose to use it against me when I am public about the dark days I have overcome?!? Simply not cool!

So readers I guess what I need is. . . is some advice . . . how would you get past this? How would you handle fellow HIV Activists who felt the desire to try and bring you down because of your past?

Thank you for reading. . . and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

I am Daniel and I am living pozitively.

P.S. Remember - Knowing your status is "SMART" - so Just Get Tested!!!



  1. That's really a shame, that anyone would do such a thing. We all have a past. It's not good to judge anyone. It shows a great deal of callous childishness.

  2. You inspire people with your story. If you have an agreement, why not demand that it be enforced? You have admitted to your past misdeeds, so that is irrelevant to the present and has nothing to do with a current agreement. What's holding you back if the past is truly the past? This seems weird.

  3. Daniel, you are who you are. I am so PROUD to know you and work with you. I have nothing but good things to say. You have come a long way to get where you are today. Do not let ANYONE bring you down. You know deep in your heart what is right and what is wrong. Just say to yourself "is it worth it?" and the answer will come to you. I truly believe in you!


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