Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What's Going On?

What's Going OnI grew up primarily as part of the MTV generation. I remember watching the music video of "What's Going On" back then on MTV, and recall thinking how cool it was. Catchy and stellar. So many artists coming together for one cause, reminding me of the We Are The World era prior. I never really knew back then that "What's Going On" was recorded to benefit AIDS programs... nor did I ever fathom that it would hit so close to home.

It was apparently written by Renaldo "Obie" Benson, Al Cleveland, and Marvin Gaye and became the title track of Gaye's groundbreaking 1971 Motown album What's Going On. Designed with a somber jazz-inspired tone, "What's Going On" was initially conceptualized to address the political and social troubles of the world and black-on-black crime in a soulful, introspective way.

The song has also been covered by other artists, notably Cyndi Lauper, whose version reached #12 on the pop singles charts in 1987. It was the third single released by Cyndi Lauper from her second album True Colors.

In October 2001, a group of popular recording artists under the name "Artists Against AIDS Worldwide" released an album containing multiple versions of the song to benefit AIDS programs in Africa and other impoverished regions. The album contained that single along with 8 additional remixes. Recorded just before the September 11, 2001 attacks, it was decided that a portion of the song's proceeds would benefit a September 11 fund, as well as the Artists Against AIDS Worldwide.

Back then, the more recognizable faces for me were Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, and Gwen Stefani. But they were just the tip of the stellar iceberg. Other artists who shared the advocacy were Bono, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, N Sync, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Eve, Nelly, Darren Hayes of Savage Garden, Monica, Nelly Furtado, Nona Gaye, Ja Rule, Lil Kim, P. Diddy, Tboz and Chili of TLC, Usher, and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, among others, altogether sending messages that included Stop Global AIDS, Treat the People and Drop the Debt. Check it out. Be amazed.

What's Going On?

P Diddy:
What's Going On

Jermaine Dupri:
Tell Me

P Diddy:
People dying, people crying, Lord help us

Mother, mother, there's too many of you crying

Gwen Stefani:
Oh, brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying

Jermaine Dupri:
That's Right

Aaron Lewis:
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Nona Gaye:
Oh my father, father, we don't need to escalate

Backstreet Boys:
You see war is not the answer

Nona Gaye/BSB:
For only love can conquer hate

Christina Aguilera:
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Britney Spears:
Barricades, can't block our way

Jennifer Lopez:
Don't punish me with brutality

Destiny's Child:
Talk to me, so you can see

Oh what's going on, what's going on
Yeah what's going on, ahh what's going on

Ja Rule:
What's going on in a world filled with pain
Where's the love for which we pray
What's going on when our children can't play
Homeless can't eat there's got to be a better way
What's going on when we’re politically blind
Can't see the signs of endangered times
What's going on

Nelly Furtado:
Ah tell me
What's going on in the world today
I'd rather be dead than turn my head away
We gotta first world vision to complete
To lift our hands in the air and cry for a switch

Michael Stipe:
Father, father

P Diddy:
Father help us, come on

Michael Stipe:
Everybody thinks we're wrong

Alicia Keys:
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Together we can all be strong

P Diddy:
United we stand, divided we fall

Oh you know we've got to find a way

Mary J. Blige:
To bring some understanding here today

Barricades can't block our way

Darren Hayes:
Don't punish me with brutality

Baby talk to me, so you can see
Yeah, what's going on, hey, what's going on
Somebody tell me what's going on
I'll tell you what's goin' on-uh

What's going on 'cross seas, every minute a child dies by this disease
In record numbers indeed, got momma's crying out please
My baby hold on, my child ain't done nothing wrong
Still I want to holler, ask them why they don't bother
Oh no, oh no, make me turn to my father
And ask him why they all got a trapped soul

I can feel what was bothering Marvin, why his words forever remain
Dealing with these modern day problems
'Cause of ignorance surrounding me and my constituents
Too many infected too many lives diminishing
Nobody say Protestants, Jews, Blacks, and Whites, Latinos and Asians
Pray together, less fight, we better unite
As genocide chemical war and the rich and the poor
Know that God delivers a cure

It's a shame our reality is devastating, people praying for a cure
Dying while they're waiting, ask the Lord for the comfort
And strength to face it
All the kids with dreams won't get the chance to chase it
Makes me sad, think about the lives they would've had
Think about the orphan babies got no moms and dads
How can we sit back and not try to make it right
We gotta come together, we gotta fight for life

Fred Durst:
Somebody tell me what's going on (what's going on)
We got human beings using humans for a bomb
But everyone wanna live, don't nobody really want to die
You feeling me right, I can't be watching people die (die)
And watching people cry, let me break it down for a minute
If there's enough room here for you and me
There's plenty of room for some humanity

Somebody tell me what's going on (what's going on)

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