On Monday, October 21st, people gathered at Rockstar Music Hall, in Windsor, for a unique drag show with some familiar faces.
Hosted by the POZitivity Campaign, the event included a brief introduction from Garry Dart, a panel style discussion and Q & A aimed at #SlayingStigma that was moderated by Randy Davis and gave the audience an opportunity to ask anything they wanted, merch giveaways, local queen performances, and a stunning presentation by Trinity K Bonet that was followed by a meet and greet. The session was more than just fun and entertaining, it was also very informative, and the message was strong. The campaign has 3 main goals:
- Challenging the stigma surrounding people living with HIV,
- Access to services, testing, and prevention,
- Educating people on PrEP, PEP, and U = U.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is an antiretroviral drug taken by an HIV-negative person to prevent the transmission of HIV. Oral PrEP is taken in pill form, starting before being exposed to HIV and continuing afterwards. The daily use of oral PrEP has been approved by Health Canada and taking PrEP daily can be 99% effective in preventing HIV infection.
Post Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP, is an emergency drug that an HIV negative person can take after having sex with someone who is HIV positive to reduce their chances of becoming HIV positive. PEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV by more than 80% but it must be taken within 72 hours of having intercourse and is most effective if taken within 24 hours.
Undetectable = Untransmittable, or U = U, means that it has been scientifically proven that a person living with HIV who is on antiretroviral treatment and has an undetectable viral load (below 200 copies per millimeter), cannot sexually transmit HIV to their partners. However, people living with HIV can still be criminalized, despite U = U, for not disclosing their status even when the risk of transmission is minimal or non-existent.
Please visit www.pozitivity.ca for local testing sites, resources and where to access PEP, PrEP and pledge U = U.
Geena Hayes warmed up the audience with a performance of Pink’s Walk Me Home that was followed by Koko Starr’s performance of Hilary Duff’s What Dreams Are Made Of. The queens were introduced by host Randy Davis who broke up the performances with banter, stats and valuable bits of information about HIV.
“There’s roughly sixty-five thousand Canadians living with HIV,” said Davis to a silent audience that looked too shocked to make a sound. “Of those sixty-five thousand, fourteen percent don’t know it.”
Davis spoke of his own experience with HIV that garnered an applause from the audience when he announced that he is now undetectable after less than three months of treatment.
Trinity K. Bonet came out to an enthusiastic audience that welcomed her to the stage not once, but twice!
“This is what all of this is about,” said Bonet. “It’s about word of mouth. Spreading a message and giving people the courage to not be so afraid about what society thinks.”
After a short discussion with Davis, Bonet walked right out into the audience to answer questions.
Next, Disco Jesus, followed by Benz Menova, came out for performances that teased the audience and left them wanting more.
And more is exactly what they got! Trinity K. Bonet closed the night out with an incredible performance of Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing that left the crowd hollering for more.
#SlayStigma #POZitivityCampaign #UEqualsU
Trinity K. Bonet is the stage name of Joshua Jones, an American drag queen, performer, celebrity impersonator, actor and singer. Jones was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2012 and rose to national prominence after competing on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2014.
Follow @trinitykbonet on Instagram.
Upcoming events at Rockstar Music Hall include Road To Memphis Send Off Party on November 3, Harvest Your Health on November 9, Playboyz – Male Review on November 15, A HEARTS Album Release on November 16, Nu Breed Stomps Out Prostate Cancer on November 30, Madchild on December 5, Miz Cracker on December 6, and Ghost Town Blues Band – SHINE Album release on December 7.
Follow @rockstarwindsor on Instagram.
Photos by Kevin Blondin