Steve Pieters & Jessica Chastain 1
Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain provided STORIES: The AIDS Monument with an audio recording about Rev. Steve Pieters, the gay pastor with AIDS who appeared on Tammy Faye Baker’s TV show.
(Photo courtesy of Steve Pieters)

FAM Update from the Board Chair, 2022 1Q

Dear Friends of STORIES: The AIDS Monument:

FAM has continued to expand its storytelling and story-gathering activities, so I wanted to give you an update about what we’ve been doing in the last few months:

For our Hear Our STORIES project, we have received 79 audio stories, including these new ones:

Check out the STORIES page on the FAM website.

On FAM’s Instagram and Facebook pages, we recently released audio stories by:

  • Matthew McConaughey about Dallas Buyers Club founder Ron Woodroof;
  • Howard Menken about his incredibly successful musical collaboration with lyricist Howard Ashman;
  • Sharon Stone about legendary actress and AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor;
  • Dave Coleman about his friend Ed Junior who hid his status as illegal immigrant and didn’t seek medical care until it was too late;
  • Gil Gerard about Melvin Boozer, the first African American and first gay man to be nominated (in 1980) for Vice President of the United States; and
  • Brenda Goodrow about forgiving her birth parents, both of whom died from AIDS.

FAM is planning three STORIES Circle events for the first half of 2022: one for mid-May in South Los Angeles with AMAAD, one with Bienestar in East Los Angeles, and one in Hollywood with hopefully the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We will announce specific dates and times shortly.

These events offer an opportunity for participants to share their stories of HIV/AIDS in a small circle of other participants, a safe space where they will be heard, respected and supported. STORIES Circle events not only allow members of the HIV/AIDS community to gather together and bond with each other, but also to raise awareness about STORIES: The AIDS Monument and its dedication to capturing diverse stories from all over the Los Angeles area. Some of the cost of these 2022 STORIES Circles will be paid for by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Thanks for your on-going support as we grow FAM’s Digital Monument to complement the physical monument we will build in West Hollywood Park.