Archive for September, 2009

Black and White Ball in Reno, NV. Sat October 3rd.

Posted in The Fierceness on September 24, 2009 by jackmax2

I am hosting the 5th annual Black and White Ball black tie HIV/AIDS fundraiser in Reno, Naveda. If you are in Reno please come on by and check out the website!

2009-Black-and-White-Ball-I-full

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE FOR STAR STUDDED BLACK & WHITE BALL

5th Annual Charity Gala Welcomes Celebrity Fashion Designer and HIV/AIDS Advocate- Jack Mackenroth, to Northern Nevada Benefit.

RENO NV, September 14th, 2009 — The Premier Black Tie Charity Gala of the year- The Fifth Annual Black & White Ball of Northern Nevada returns to Downtown Reno on Saturday October 3rd from 6-11pm at Harrah’s Reno Convention Center.  This intimate star-studded affair for Northern Nevada HOPES and Northern Nevada Outreach Team, two of the leading HIV/AIDS service and prevention organizations in Northern Nevada raises money to help provide assistance to the over 1,000 Northern Nevadans living with HIV/AIDS as well as HIV prevention education and testing through out the community.

Headlining this year’s spectacular evening is Jack Mackenroth, Star of Project Runway and HIV/AIDS Advocate and Dr. Trudy Larson, Renowned HIV/AIDS Specialist.  Escalade and the Reno Dance Company will also be performing.

Featuring a silent auction, and the raffle of a classic 1978 Mercedes-Benz SL 450, over 350 guests are expected to attend.  In previous years over $30,000 has been raised by this event.

“We have an outstanding line-up for this year’s Black & White Ball. We’re excited to welcome Jack Mackenroth- a world renowned fashion designer, HIV/AIDS Advocate and accomplished athlete to speak at our event and we’re especially thrilled that given our nation’s economic situation so many people in our community have opened their hearts and wallets and committed to once again join us for this unforgettable evening,” said Eddie Reynoso, Community Liaison for the Black & White Ball Committee. He explains that over 56,000 new infections occur nationally each year, which is roughly 40% more than the previous estimate of 40,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control.   “Jack’s national presence at our event helps bring much needed attention to the crisis, which is essential toward helping raise awareness and education in our community.”

The Black & White Ball is made possible thanks in part to the generous contributions of the following companies; Renown Health, Harrah’s of Reno, Sports Haus of Reno, Northern Nevada Outreach Team, Amerigroup Community Care, Remsa, Perinatal Associates of Northern Nevada, Northern Nevada HOPES and A Doggies Dream. Tickets for the dinner and ball are available for $75 and raffle tickets for $25, by calling Jack Owens at 775.771.8523.  Event sponsorships and donations for the silent auction are also being accepted.   All donations are 501(c) (3) deductible.  Images, graphics and additional information are available online at http://www.blackandwhiteballnv.org.

Editors Note: Jack Mackenroth is available for media interviews prior to the event. Contact Eddie Reynoso at 775.622.2797 or info@blackandwhiteballnv.org to schedule an interview.

Outgames Copenhagen Diary

Posted in The Fierceness on September 23, 2009 by jackmax2

I realize this ‘diary’ of my experience at the Outgames is a bit after the fact but the original magazine from the UK called 3SixtyMag  that was supposed to publish it seems to have evaporated like many paper publications in the world. So sad. Anyway, I worked my ass off writing it and taking photos all while swimming in the games so I’m publishing it myself. Please excuse the typos, misspellings and poor grammar. I assumed they would do it for me and at this point I’m just to tired to do it myself.

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Outgames Copenhagen Diary

Day 1:

As I pack for the Outgames in Copenhagen, Denmark I’m getting very excited about all the possibilities. I have never been to the city but I have heard that it is like a quaint version of Amsterdam. Less pot and more blondes. Questions whirl in my head. Will my host (who I don’t know) be a freak who tries to get in bed with me? Will he live on a dairy farm and cows will wake me up every morning at dawn? Will I remember to pack all my swimming gear? Will I win any medals? Will I remember to pack enough of all my HIV meds? Will my flight through Stockholm be filled with crying babies and swine flu?

SAS

I schlep to Newark airport and through customs which was relatively painless. Then I quickly remember that everything is better with Xanax. I pop 3 and I wake up 7 hours later as we land in Stockholm. My connection is a breeze and an hour later I am hugging my very sweet host, Henrik the handsome handball player, who was nice enough to come and pick me up at the airport. Obviously I’m not in New York anymore. No one picks you up at the airport in New York. Even if they know you and like you.

tivoli

Copenhagen is adorable. Like most European cities I have visited, it combines modern amenities with old world charm and architecture. Henrik’s place is really well designed and he couldn’t be a better host. He even has a bike for me, which is the preferred mode of transportation. (Although I ended up crashing twice). After arriving he drove me to the Outgames registration in the Hans Christian Anderson Castle, which I breezed through. They were very organized which is good sign of things to come. I did find it strange that they offered me a pass to the “women’s space” but maybe I was just wearing too much mascara. I don’t know the total number of athletes they expect for all sports but there are about 900+ swimmers in that discipline alone. I have a feeling the gays are about to take over the city.

After heading back to Henrik’s and lapsing into a coma for about 4 hours I was ready to go. We headed out to Oscar’s bar where many athletes wearing team gear had already assembled and they queers were pouring into the street. I met some cool swimmers from Sydney and a lot of locals. However most of the athletes will be arriving in the next 24 hours before the opening ceremonies. I can tell this is going to be a blast.

Day 2:

bigscreen

Although I’m still a bit jetlagged I manage to find a local pool to practice some swimming. Everyone is now arriving and anticipating the opening ceremonies. In a break from tradition, the opening ceremonies are not held in a stadium but rather in the central square of the city. It was interesting because anyone from the city could watch but it was also a bit frustrating because it was so crowded that it was hard to see the parade of athletes and the entertainment. Plus the weather was not cooperating so I had to keep dashing in and out of Oscar’s to keep from ruining my hair do.

opening

Team Belgium at Opening Ceremonies

Team Belgium at Opening Ceremonies

Some people had complained that the Danish government was not supportive enough of the Outgames but the Mayor did speak at the opening ceremonies and there were signs and huge electronic boards throughout the city promoting the games. Furthermore my host told me that several of the Danish ministers are openly gay and it’s not that big of an issue.

crowdopening

All in all the attitude of all the athletes was very excited and upbeat. It’s an extremely moving experience to be surrounded by gay athletes from all over the world and sharing a common experience. The opening was unfortunately marred buy the fact that 3 gay men were assaulted that evening. I asked my host Henrick about that and he said that while of course it was very unfortunate, he didn’t think that type of thing happens very often and it garnered a lot of press because the Outgames were in town. I have to say I don’t know the facts of the beatings but I know that they occur on a daily basis in the United States and they are rarely even mentioned in the press. I always felt very safe. Except when I was doing this..

acrobat

Day 3:

I had one day of tourism before the swimming competition so Henrick was nice enough to take me to a castle to see the crown jewels. I was quite envious of the crowns on display. If it weren’t for the alarmed security doors I might be wearing one right now. (The queen’s crown of course.)

crowns

We spent the rest of the day biking around the city and looking at the architecture and getting my bearings. I have a horrific sense of direction and the street names look like gibberish to an American so I had to use landmarks and buildings to find my way around. I got lost on multiple occasions but friendly locals were always quick to point me in the right direction.

That evening Henrick, who is a goalkeeper for a Danish handball team, hosted a party for all the other handball teams. Unlike most Americans, thankfully most Europeans speak multiple languages. I met cool guys from Sweden, Finland and all over Denmark.

Day 4:

lzr

Monday was my first day of swimming, which started early. I knew I had to pace myself because swimming is the biggest and longest event in the Outgames. Its 5 days in a row, which can be quite exhausting. I was worried because my first event was the 200 Individual Medley and I am a sprinter so 200 meters is a long event for me. Plus in the US we usually swim in 25-yard pools and the competition was held in an Olympic caliber 50-meter pool. This makes a big difference. However, to my surprise, my training paid off and I ended up with a bronze medal. I wasn’t even expecting to be in the top 5 so I was very happy. It was a great start to the meet.

The competition pool

The competition pool

I have to note here that the pool is a new venue and it was really amazing. However there was one thing that all the Americans found strange. They had VERY strict rules about showering before entering the pool area. Now I am all for proper hygiene but they even had a diagram on the wall of a person with orange circles around all the areas that needed special scrubbing. I wanted to take a photo of the diagram but I’m pretty sure they were not allowing cameras in the locker room. It was kind of amusing. They even had an official who stood in the shower area and monitored everyone to make sure they were showering in the nude and washing appropriately. I want that job.

Day 5:

After going to bed early the night before I was ready for my events of the day. I was quite nervous for my 50-meter breaststroke because I was seeded in second place behind a swimmer who holds the American record. Although it was a close race unfortunately I got second by .4 seconds. I was happy with a silver medal and it was a good race. I swam breaststroke in a 4 X 100 medley relay, which also won a silver medal! So now I had a matching set to make earrings.

After the swimming of the day I went to a place called the Pride Village, which was a sort of outdoor market/beer garden with various stands for souvenirs and different types of entertainment.  Team Canada was having a meet and greet party so I attended with one of the swimmers I had met earlier that day. I love Canada and I have cousins from Vancouver so it was really fun to meet people from all over different parts of Canada. I said ‘aboot’ a lot which I found more and more amusing the more beers I had. I had three more days of swimming so I resisted the cute boys for another night and decided to pedal on home before me and my bike became a danger to the public.

Day 6:

After a good night’s sleep I was ready for another day of swimming and boys in Speedos. I swam the 100-breast stroke and did an OK time for a bronze medal behind two of my friendly American rivals. I also swam the breaststroke leg on the 4 X 50 medley relay and we won the silver. After the swim competition they had a special award ceremony for a Dutch swimmer from Upstream Amsterdam named Robert Weyhenke who set a new European Masters record in the 100 meter breaststroke. At age 57 he did the same time as I did!!! It was really impressive. I spoke to him briefly afterward to congratulate him on that amazing accomplishment.

European record holder

European record holder

I stayed after the swimming competition was over to watch the gay synchronized swimming. It was fabulous. Synchronized swimming is a mix of gymnastics, swimming and dance all while holding one’s breath. It’s one of the most difficult and underappreciated sports. To watch two men swim together was particularly moving. Men are not allowed to compete in synchronized swimming, according to FINA rules, because it is considered a female sport. While I must admit there is a high camp factor in male synchro, I feel like there is definitely some homophobic discrimination involved in that limitation. Regardless, we are lucky to have the Outgames to showcase the talents of male synchronized swimmers. There were some amazing female teams as well.

gay synchro

In the evening I went to the bear party held in Christiana. Although I am not hairy enough to be considered a bear, the party welcomed all types, which seems to be a reoccurring theme in Copenhagen. Christiana is a former military base that was abandoned and taken over by squatters who formed a separate, self-governing community. Apparently the inhabitants live exclusively from the rest of Copenhagen, are totally self-sufficient and don’t pay taxes. It was really interesting. More beers.

Day 7/8: On my final 2 days of the swimming competition I was basically running on fumes and the excitement in the air. 5 days of swimming is exhausting and physically demanding. However I caught my second wind when I captured my first gold medal in the 4 x 50 meter freestyle relay. We kicked ass!!!

Rob Hermanet, me, Dake Gonzalez, Todd Cooper

Rob Hermanet, me, Dake Gonzalez, Todd Cooper

I also won silver in the 100 freestyle. Then next day I had my last event which was the 50 meter freestyle. I went into the event seeded in 4th place but we were all very close in time. Since I got second place in the 100 freestyle I knew I might have a chance at the gold. I was very nervous before the event but I focused and when the race began I was ready. I finished in one of my personal best time of 26.63. I knew at that point that I had a good chance of winning but there were still 2 heats of swimmers left to go. I sat in the stands and watched the fin al 2 heats—and I WON. My first individual gold medal!!! What a way to finish the competition.

Big Gay Michael Phelps with 8 medals

Big Gay Michael Phelps with 8 medals

Day 9: After swimming was over I was free to let down my hair and have some fun. Fortunately for me it was also Copenhagen Gay Pride day. My friend Mark Burrows and I walked with Sydney’s Wet Ones swim team in the Outgames section of the parade. Everyone was in a great mood. There were tons of floats and fun costumes.

be proud

I was most impressed by the local people that came out to watch the parade. For the most part in the US it’s only the LGBT community that comes out to support the parade marchers. It seemed to me that the whole city was involved. The parade ended in the city center square and culminated in a huge outdoor celebration with live music and dancing. It was the perfect end to a perfect vacation  in a near perfect city. Kudos to Copenhagen for a job well done. I will be back.

pridecheers

gordy and tony

bypool

HIVplus: Jack Mackenroth Takes HIV Message to the Big Easy

Posted in The Fierceness on September 22, 2009 by jackmax2
Jack Mackenroth Takes HIV Message to the Big Easy | HIVPlusMag.com NewsJack Mackenroth, from the hit reality television series Project Runway, is visiting New Orleans for the 20th annual NO/AIDS Walk and is bringing Living Positive by Design, his national HIV education initiative, to the city. On September 20, Mackenroth participated in the AIDS Walk, which helps to support the NO/AIDS Task Force and several other Louisiana AIDS service organizations.

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The Living Positive by Design campaign seeks to help combat the stigma associated with HIV by engaging people in thoughtful conversations about the disease. The outreach effort is supported by Merck.

“I am proud to bring Living Positive by Design to New Orleans, a city whose positive outlook is an inspiration to people all over the United States,” said Mackenroth, who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years. “Living Positive by Design highlights the importance for people living with HIV to have a positive outlook on life while effectively managing their disease and works to combat the stigma still associated with HIV.”

In addition to Mackenroth, local HIV specialist Pedro L. Gonzalez, MD, also was available the weekend of the walk to discuss the current landscape of HIV treatment and research.

“Living Positive by Design educates people living with HIV about the importance of disease management to help maintain a good quality of life. People with HIV should work with their doctor to find a treatment regimen that can reduce the amount of virus in the blood to an undetectable level and help restore their immune system,” said Gonzalez. “Given all the treatment options that are available today, it is important that both the efficacy and tolerability of treatments be considered when choosing a regimen.”

In 2008, Mackenroth held Living Positive by Design events at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA); in Atlanta at the Atlanta AIDS Walk; and in New York City at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis’s annual Fashion Forward fund-raiser. In 2009, Mackenroth brought Living Positive by Design to the Academy of Friends’ annual Academy Awards Night Gala in San Francisco; the AIDS Walk Houston in Houston; and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Make a Statement: Design for the Cure event in Chicago.

For more information on Living Positive by Design, visit http://www.LivingPositiveByDesign.com.

Tavi Gevinson: the 13-year-old fashion blogger

Posted in The Fierceness on September 22, 2009 by jackmax2

Teenager Tavi Gevinson was the true star of New York Fashion Week

Yohji Yamamoto poses with blogger Tavi GevinsonDesigner Yohji Yamamoto poses with blogger Tavi Gevinson before the Y-3 Spring 2010 Fashion Show, New York, Sept 13, 2009. Photograph: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Y-3

There were florals, thigh-high boots, Victoria Beckham in a painted-on tan and Madonna in Gucci and new wrinkleless skin. But the true star of New York Fashion Week, which closed on Thursday, was Tavi Gevinson, a diminutive teenage fashion blogger from the suburbs of Chicago.

The fashion world has gone out of its way to court Tavi, who describes herself as a “tiny 13-year-old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats”. This month she is on the cover of Dasha Zhukova’s relaunched Pop magazine, interviewed by Pixie Geldof in Katie Grand’s new issue of Love, and has been pictured on the front rows of this season’s biggest fashion shows, with editors and celebrities seated behind her.

Gevinson’s blog was initially assumed to be a fake created by fashion insiders because it was so professional, and features analysis of magazines and photographs of her daily outfits. In December, eight months after she launched it, she received an email from Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the award-winning fashion label Rodarte.

“Knowing that they read my blog, I had an extreme moment of ‘fangirling’,” Gevinson said. She has since become their muse, posting excitable photos of their studio and helping them present their line. “Tavi makes you think about things differently,” said Kate Mulleavy, “makes you see things differently.”

Her swift rise to fashion fame highlights the role the internet has played in breaking down traditional barriers to entry, with bloggers being cited as influences by high-profile designers including Marc Jacobs.

“Tavi’s amazing,” says Charlie Porter, deputy editor of the style journal Fantastic Man. “She’s so inquisitive, with such a sharp, curious eye. But I think she needs to be careful to grow on her own terms, and not let people treat her as a novelty fashion figure. There are 10 seasons of shows before she turns 18 – that’s a long time in fashion. I hope she stays independent. I hope she keeps on blogging, and doesn’t compromise herself. I hope she sees her blog as the thing, rather than as a path to somewhere else.”

Gevinson recently posted an extract from her barmitzvah speech. “As I said earlier, the Nazarites wore just enough to keep them warm, believing that that was the wish of God. Over this past year I have become increasingly interested in clothing, and have developed a clearer understanding of the idea that clothing can be art… Rei Kawakubo, who many regard as the first conceptual designer and whose clothes can often inspire uncomfortable thoughts or feelings in people, is my favourite designer in the world… Using fashion as self-expression can go beyond wearing a shirt with a slogan, as clothing has the ability to evoke an entire feel, or atmosphere, or emotion, or world.” She has also posted a video of her performing a rap about the Comme des Garcons collection for H&M.

She took a week off school to attend New York Fashion Week. Her father, a teacher, chaperoned her from venue to venue, waiting outside while she was welcomed in. “I’m very surprised at how things have blown up,” she said.

She is currently uploading her thoughts on the New York shows to Pop‘s website – her first foray into paid journalism. “For one week I was in a utopia full of people who can recognise that my jacket is Luella and appreciate that I stuck an upside-down doll in its chest pocket,” she wrote on Friday.

Asked earlier whether her classmates read her blog, she said no. Asked whether they understood her style, she admitted: “A lot of them don’t get it, but some do.”

Cute Interview I did for metroblogging.com

Posted in The Fierceness on September 21, 2009 by jackmax2
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