Archive for November, 2008

HIV/AIDS awareness t-shirt I designed for

Posted in The Fierceness on November 29, 2008 by jackmax2


World AIDS day on Dec 1st is a reminder that HIV/AIDS affects all of us and it is still a massive international and national issue. Over 1 million people in the US are infected with HIV and approximately 25% of those infected do not know it. It is SO important that we all get tested regularly. For HIV+ individuals it is crucial that we get our blood work done on a regular basis and make sure our treatment is keeping our viral load at an undetecable level. Please check out my HIV educational campaign at Living Positive by Design, supported by Merck.

To remind all of us of this I have designed a t-shirt for Clothing of the American Mind. On the front it says “Love across barriers soothes the heart and cures the soul.” Initially the meaning behind that was to unite HIV- and HIV+ people and remind us that love is a great solution to everything. However the saying can be applied to all difficult, opposite or non-traditional relationships. For the design I played with positive and negative space. The back says “Shame can be fatal. Get tested.”

Shame can be fatal

Shame can be fatal

It may sound harsh but it’s meant to get attention. When people are ashamed of even the possibility of being HIV+ then they are much less likely to get tested and get the medical attention they need. HIV+ individuals need to be vocal about their status until it no longer has the moral judgement attached to it.

50% of the proceeds of the sale of shirts go to benefit NAPWA–National Association of People With Aids—a great organization. Please check out and buy a tee!!

Front graphic

Front graphic

More information below.

Love Across Barriers T-Shirt Designed by Project Runway’s Jack Mackenroth

Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2008, we’re introducing a new t-shirt in collaboration with POZ Magazine to raise funds for the non-profit, the National Organization for People With AIDS (NAPWA).  Designed by Project Runway standout designer Jack Mackenroth, the message this design conveys is one of universal love and respect and that AIDS is a disease that does not discriminate.  The front reads “Love across barriers soothes the heart and cures the soul” while the back sports the quintessential red AIDS ribbon and reminds that “Shame can be fatal.  Get tested.”  Clothing of the American Mind is thrilled to be working with Jack Mackenroth and is honored to be supporting the essential work of NAPWA.  All Love Across Barriers t-shirts are printed on 100% cotton with environmentally-friendly, water-based inks.  For more information on POZ Magazine or the work that NAPWA is doing, visit and

Women’s T-Shirt
Silver with black and red graphic on front, back & sleeve
Sweatshop-Free :: 100% combed ringspun jersey cotton
Garment dyed & washed; Wash in cold water, dry on low heat or line dry (for no shrinkage)
Sizes Available:  S, M, L & XL
Link to size chart:

Men’s T-Shirt
Powder blue with black and red graphic on front, back & sleeve
Sweatshop-Free :: 100% combed ringspun jersey cotton
Garment washed, classic, relaxed fit; Wash in cold water, dry on low heat or line dry (for no shrinkage)
Sizes Available:  S, M, L, XL & XXL
Link to size chart:

Men’s Vintage T-Shirt
Vintage white destroyed with black and red graphic on front, back & sleeve
Sweatshop-Free :: 100% cotton
Garment dyed & washed; grinded collar, sleeves & bottom hem; Wash in cold water, dry on low heat or line dry (for no shrinkage)
Sizes Available:  S, M, L & XL
Link to size chart:


Go see Milk the movie

Posted in The Fierceness on November 29, 2008 by jackmax2
illustration by Glen Hansen

illustration by Glen Hansen

I am In Miami for T-day but I took some time off from tanning and went and saw Milk. Harvey Milk has always been a hero of mine and I thought I knew a fair amount abut him but I learned even more. Sean Penn is amazing. Hello Oscar. All the acting is spectular. Penn truly captures the essence of Harvey Milk from what I have seen of Milk in documentaries. I only cried twice. It was fabulous to see the historic moments in the Castro. I went to UC Berkeley so I love SF. The whole movie is so timely because of Prop 8. It illustrates how far we have come and how far we have to go. I hope the LGBT community stays energized. We need to rbing activism back and fight the multitude of Anita Bryants that exist today. They mentioned in the movie that christians against Prop 6–which protected gay teachers and their supporters from getting fired for sexual orientation–was the first government issue that the christian church really rallied behind. How strange. Can we even imagine the church not forcing their way into almost every controversial issue that exists today? When did we forget about separation of church and state? What would Jesus do? Go see it. It’s amazing. I need a twinkie.

Holiday Gifts on LOGO

Posted in The Fierceness on November 26, 2008 by jackmax2

I recently did a segment on LOGO in a cocktail party format. Thank you to John Crocco of Perry Ellis, Daniel Vosovic and John Bartlett for giving me the great items to showcase. It was major fun times. See the NewNowNext page HERE. Enjoy!

It’s officially a party when Project Runway alum/style maven Jack Mackenroth comes dashing in! And he’s here now to kick off this year’s batch of ThanksGIFTing video spots, hyping up Logo’s gift guide mania which is going to flurry across the channel this entire holiday weekend.

Of course, Jack gives fashionable goodies in his own inimitable manner. With sass, style and, well… More sass! Get more dish on the goods he’s delivering after the jump!

First, Jack presents pals Andrew and Matthew (of the cosmetic line Malin + Goetz) with a totally great Perry Ellis weekend bag. A pic of it is below. Nice, right? You can purchse it online at

Perry Ellis weekender bag
Not one to be all surface, Jack also is an avid advocate for the power of the written word. And some gorgeous photos are nice, too. So he’s also giving the new book by his fellow Project Runway veteran, Daniel Vosovic. Here ’tis:

Fashion Inside Out by Daniel Vosovic
And like Jack says in the clip, he was going to give Andrew and Matthew a cute John Bartlett scarf and black V-neck sweater, but it just felt so good, he had to keep it for himself. Can you blame him?

Visit and get your own gift ideas about dashing, manly menswear that’s perfect for holiday giving…

How about a nice John Bartlett flannel plaid throw? This guy (above) sure likes his!

Off to Miami

Posted in The Fierceness on November 25, 2008 by jackmax2

Well I’m off to Miami for T-day and I plan to blog a bit when I get the chance but my schedule has been so crazy that I can’t make any promises because I kinda just want to fry on the beach.

My sister sent me this Pee-wee’s playhouse clip. I miss that show. Gettin’ wacky at Pee-wee’s playhouse.

We’re boarding now. I heart Jetblue. Later.

And the opener for the Electric company. Loved that show. All you twenty-somethings totally missed out.

And my all time favorite! I’m not drunk, I just have cerebral palsy. Oh Jerri! You’re crazy!

Shane Mercado does Sasha Fierce!

Posted in The Fierceness on November 19, 2008 by jackmax2

Holla!! This kid is friggin hilare! I’ve been aching to do another video spoof since my flashdance number. I dont have much time to blog in the next couple days but I had to post this. He’s AMAZING.

Proposition 8 New York City Hall protest

Posted in The Fierceness on November 15, 2008 by jackmax2
Lucy supports same-sex marriage

Lucy supports same-sex marriage

I just came from the NY prop 8 protest/demonstration at City Hall and it was truly inspiring. If there is anything good that has come from the idiotic YES vote on California’s Proposition 8, it’s that the gays are re-energized and mobilized. I think we had become complacent under the heinous Bush administration. We seemed almost comfortable being ignored for the most part and knowing that any action would fall on deaf ears. But with the election of Obama–we will be quiet NO MORE. It’s a new day!!

It’s clear that we will no longer accept second class citizenship. Civil Unions are not equal. If we are relegated to that status then we shouldn’t have to pay the same taxes as everyone else. (Something Melissa Etheridge mentioned on Oprah.) There are also plans in the works for another peaceful protest called “A Day Without Gays” where gay people around the country would just not participate in society at all for one day and see what the outcome would be. I think the rest of the country would quickly come to understand what a valuable part of the population we are. Let me make it clear that I am not “straight-bashing” in any way shape or form. Some of my favorite rally signs were those that said “Str8s against H8” or some version thereof. We need our straight brothers and sisters to help us as much as possible. We need to heal and come together as ONE nation. All I can say is that if “A Day Without Gays” happens, I feel sorry for any heterosexual weddings planned for that day. No flowers, no cake, no dresses, no planner and probably no priest. Buzzkill.

I went to the rally with my good friend Matt Francis (Lucy’s dad) and we kept notes on some of our fave protest signs. Those wacky gays sure can be creative.

Me and Matt

Me and Matt

My top 5 were:

5. Who would Jesus H8?

4. Focus on your own family!

3. Remember Jesus had two dads. (God and Joseph)

2. Brigham Young had 55 wives. I only want one.

….and my favorite!!

1. Don’t tell me I can’t register at Saks.

There were so many people there that we couldn’t even see the stage but there were some inspiring speeches blasting from loud speakers. The new york city sight seeing buses got quite an earful as they drove by. Everyone seemed very supportive. They positive energy was palpable and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it. Hopefully we keep the great



Obama buzz going.

I got a cool email from with some really inspiring messages of hope and change from members. Here are a few.

“Keep pushing forward, dont look back, start our promising future today.”—Fred C., Redwood City, CA

“We need to continue the same level of involvement and commitment to whatever this Presidency needs of us to accomplish all that we believe can be done. Yes we can, Yes we did, and Yes we will!”—Judith C., Salem, MA

“Let’s make sure we stay on track! If we can keep this energy up and care about what’s going on instead of just saying ‘it’s all just politics,’ we can truly enjoy the benefits of living in a democracy!” —Courtney H. Boulder, CO

“We have to be prepared to go through with whatever we need to—even if that means some sacrifice. Obama will lead the way!”—Sarah A., Greer. SC

“We should stand by Obama and our country and work together to create change in this country. We can not rely solely on him to do all of the work but instead work together as a nation to implement change.”—Debria S.

“Keep the dream alive. People need to realize that change MUST begin with us, the people!!!”—Tamra W., Woodward, OK

“Mobilize to volunteer for our communities- we can continue to forward our agenda and demonstrate our strength in our numbers and in our commitment to what is needed and what is right.”—Emilee A. Portland, OR

“Let Barack know that we stand ready to go to work. Take advantage of our energy and enthusiasm for the common good, put us to work.”—Jeff R., Boulder, CO

“Stay connected and continue to volunteer where needed in your community to bring about the progress we desperately need; remembering that love is the most powerful force of all!”—Wendy, Aventura. FL

“Be willing to work with him and make personal sacrifice for the good of our country and our children’s future.”


In true camp fashion however, the chants of “What do we want? Equal Rights! When do we want them? NOW!” Quickly morphed into, “What do we want? Starbucks! When do we want it? NOW!” and Proposition 8 quickly became referred to as Preparation H. But we all meant well. We just needed some caffeine to help keep energized and some topical cream to keep our buns in protest mode. Good times. I am anxious to hear about the rest of the protests around the nation. Keep it up!!

Protest ensemble

Protest ensemble



Keith Olberman on Prop 8


GMHC’s Fashion Forward 2008

Posted in The Fierceness on November 12, 2008 by jackmax2

Me and Tim Gunn at Fashion Forward

Me and Tim Gunn at Fashion Forward

Last night was GMHC’s Fashion Forward SOLD OUT fundraiser for 2008 at Skylight Studios. GMHC, a nonprofit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization, is committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. It was also the official national launch of my HIV educational campaign, Living Positive By Design. It’s a partnership with Merck and local AIDS organizations, like GMHC, to combat the stigma that is associated with HIV. It was an amazing event which started with a cocktail party and silent auction. I had my eye on a fashion coffee table book that was signed by Oscar De La Renta, Besty Johnson, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera and a slew of other fashion legends. The opening price was 400 dollars and I just couldn’t bring myself to bid. I’m trying to hire an assistant so I need to save my duckets. Christmas present anyone????

I hit the red carpet at the perfect time–just after Tim Gunn. So we were able to get some great photos together. Other celebs at the event included Miss USA, Greta Monahan, my buddy Kevin Christiana, Andrew Buckler, Derek Lam and the ABSOLUTELY flawless Beverly Johnson. I saw her at the cocktail party and muscled my way in to say hello. She was extremely gracious and


The highlight of my evening–besides the amazing fashion show was that I was introduced to the stage by Tim himself and I got to speak for about 3 minutes about how grateful I am to Gay Men’s Health Crisis for helping me deal with HIV in the early years. Then I shared some information about the amazing campaing Living Positive By Design.

A few people asked if they could have a copy of my speech so I thought I would post it here:

As Tim mentioned, we all know that HIV/AIDS has hit the fashion and arts community disproportionately. I wonder who else might be here tonight if AIDS had not picked so many flowers before their time. It’s a thought that should motivate us and inspire us to work harder to combat the disease. That is one of the many reasons I am SO thankful for GMHC.

Some of you may know me from” Project Runway” and some of you know me personally. But what you probably don’t know is that I have been a client of GMHC since the early 90’s when I first moved to New York. When I was diagnosed with HIV almost 20 years ago I was a young, scared, starving Parsons student. GMHC provided free counseling, patient advocacy and legal services that I desperately needed but could not afford. They were the single bright light in a fairly bleak horizon of my life. So thank you GMHC for possibly saving my life so I could be here tonight.

“Project Runway” was an amazing tool for national exposure and has brought many amazing opportunities in fashion that I would not have had otherwise. However, I am most proud of the fact that I was open about my positive HIV status on the show and exemplified that a person can manage HIV and live a successful life. Every time a person with HIV is open about his or her status it helps everyone who is living with the disease. That’s why I’m here tonight to talk about an inspiring HIV educational campaign I’m working on with Merck and many AIDS service organizations called Living Positive By Design. Living Positive By Design encourages people, both HIV + and HIV -, to engage in thoughtful conversations about HIV. Through these conversations, we hope to help eliminate the stigma still associated with the disease. We encourage people living with HIV to be proactive with their doctors to find a treatment regimen that gets their virus to an undetectable level, one of the most important goals of treatment. For physicians who treat HIV, we want them to consider treatment tolerability so patients are more likely to stay on their medications. In your gift bags tonight you will find a red scarf I have created as my interpretation of the classic red AIDS ribbon, which signifies the points of the Living Positive By Design campaign. I hope you wear it with pride and purpose.

I am a living testament to what you can accomplish by letting go of shame and being your own advocate. When I had to leave Project Runway prematurely, after hours of crying Tim said to me in the hallway as I left, “You are very talented and everything happens for a reason.” At the time I thought he was just comforting me, but now I know it’s true. Not everyone has the luxury of a support network like GMHC. We need to support each other. That is why I am so thankful that you all came here tonight to show your support. Please keep up all the amazing work that you are doing and know that every single person can make a difference. Thank you.


I was a bit nervous speaking to over 700 fashionistas but as soon as Tim welcomed me to the stage my nerves dissapeared.Everyone seemed very excited about the scarf in the gift bags so I that made me happy.

After my speech, GMHC CEO Marjorie Hill spoke about the state of HIV in the US. It was disconcerting but hopeful. Then onto the fabulous fashions. The runway show which featured Spring 2009 designs by Ports 1961 Tia Ciabani, Michael Bastian, Charles Nolan, Tim Hamilton, John Varvatos, and Betsey Johnson began shortly after 9 pm. It was amazing and the models were stunning as always. GMHC did an outstanding job as did everyone involved.

I had such a good time spreading information about Living Positive By Design. I met some amazing people with touching personal stories. Here is one I would like to share that I received via email today.

My family and I have experienced first hand the effects of HIV and AIDS.  My grandfather came out of the closet in the 70’s after having 5 kids (my mother and her four brothers.) He left my grandmother for another man during that time.  His partner was apparently not very faithful to him, in turn contracting HIV which he soon gave to my grandfather.  He lost his battle with AIDS in 1990 and the only memory I have of him is on his death bed in the hospital.  My mother and family struggled with the stigma and ridicule of it all during that time since not much was known about it.  My grandfather was very well known in my home city and it was hard for them to escape the ridicule.  I came out in 2003 and it was devastating for my mother.  We are better now and she is more willing to talk about the whole situation and is becoming more open about it.  I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the cause! Keep in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

HIV affects us all.  Please visit for more information.

Kevin Christiana and Grtchen Monahan

Kevin Christiana and Gretchen Monahan


Related story.