Archive for March, 2009

I am co-hosting the POZ I AM radio show. Every Wednesday @ 2 EST.

Posted in The Fierceness on March 30, 2009 by jackmax2


This Wednesday, April 1st, I have the pleasure of joining Robert Breining as the co-host of his internet radio show POZ I AM. I was fortunate enough to be a guest on his show a couple of months ago and when I heard his Wednesday co-host was dropping out I was happy to jump on board. The show airs every Wednesday at 2 pm EST, and listeners can tune in across the country and the world. Just log in and listen to our live streaming chat. We will be interviewing prominent guests in the HIV community and discussing current events involving HIV issues. Listeners can also participate in a live chat online while the show is running. They can ask questions and interact with each other. Past shows will be available for download online at


Robert Breining was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. At a young age Robert discovered the importance of working as a team to accomplish a goal. ln 1996, his junior year in High School, Robert won 1st Team All Catholic in the 110m Hurdles with a time of 14.9 seconds .Robert has been playing soccer for over 20 years. He currently plays for the Philadelphia Falcons and has traveled as far as Copenhagen ,Denmark to compete in an IGLFA (International Gay and Lesbian Futbol Association) Tournaments.

In 2007 Five years after the passing of his father and his HIV diagnosis, Robert had what he calls his “Ah Ha Moment”. Robert looks at every life experience and asks” What am I supposed to learn from this ” In 2007, He became a Campaign Ambassador for Hope’s Voice and participated in their Does HIV Look Like Me ? Campaign. That October he launched The POZIAM community, a social networking website for people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. He wanted to give others with HIV hope and a place to just be themselves. In July of 2008 Robert debuted the POZIAM Radio a bi-weekly internet radio show , with his Co-host  Jeromy Dunn of POZitively Speaking on Sundays.
Robert is described as a  ” Positive Person with a Purpose”. Robert’s goal is to help people living with HIV/AIDS  discover similarities in eachother…and form friendships. More about Robert at

My bio is available online at but I have been HIV+ going on 20 years and I have been active in supporting the HIV community for over a decade but my visibility was exponentially multiplied after I divulged my HIV status on Project Runway. My current HIV campaign, Living Positive by Design, which is supported by Merck, aims to fight the stigma associated with HIV and provides educational information for those living with HIV.

I am very excited to be working with Robert. He has done a lot of great work for the HIV community at such a young age. I hope my little bit of celebrity will help this show reach an even larger audience. Please listen in and feel free to join the POZ I AM community here. Also if you would like to be a guest on the show or know someone that might like to be a guest on the show please contact me at or Robert at
We look forward to hearing from you! The call in number for the show is 347-215-9442.

Today we interview the fab diva and HIV/AIDS activist Sherri Lewis. (not the one with sock puppet lambchop, RIP) She has her own podcast Straight Girl in A Queer World. Im excited to hear all about her.





Posted in The Fierceness on March 29, 2009 by jackmax2


Last night I attended the New York GLAAD awards in Times Square. It’s a lesser celeb-studded event than the LA version but the attendance was still impressive. I went to the event with my new friend Brad Boles who is a reoccurring character on the Real Housewives of New York. Even he admits that show is a bit of a train wreck. I had a good time, got to see some friends and meet some new ones. I just have to air a little grievance I have with GLAAD. It just seems to me that they often honor and celebrate the wrong people. The evening was honoring Tyra Banks, Phil Donahue and Suze Orman. I totally get Suze Orman. She is an out lesbian and she is amazing. I actually spoke to her briefly and told her that her books and show changed my life. I said, ” I’m so sorry to bother you but I just want to tell you that 7 years ago I was $25,000.00 in credit card debt and I read you books and did everything you said and now I am debt free and own my apartment in New York.” She responded in typical Suze style, “That’s fabulous! I love to hear those stories.” I worship her.  Anyway I get why she should be honored. And I basically get Donahue. He has been a champion of all things liberal for quite a while now including LGBT rights. However, he is straight and I would have preferred honoring out lesbian Rachel Maddow who basically covers the same type of topics. I just really don’t understand why Tyra Banks was being honored. Because she has gay people on her show? Big deal. It’s about fashion and modeling. We are a dime a dozen in those industries. I may enjoy watching Mr. and Ms. Jay prance around the set of Top Model but I don’t think they do anything to advance the LGBT cause. If anything they perpetuate the idea that gay men are all over-the-top borderline drag queens. By the way I adore drag queens. Nothing against the Jays personally. I just think GLAAD should dig a little deeper.

I also found it a bit offensive that Clay Aiken was making an appearance. He is another one who has been sending the message to America that being gay is not OK. He does not represent me. There are so many talented, out, LGBT people that could have been chosen. I was truly disappointed.

Now I know that we need to align with our straight allies. I just think GLAAD needs to rethink some of their choices.

Anyway–that’s just my opinion. I don’t know anything about the inner workings of GLAAD but from my perspective that’s what I garnered.

Generally, I had fun. Although we left early because we were seated in the very back table and I couldn’t hear most of what was going on on stage. The definite highlights were talking to Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan and my brush with Suze Orman. Good times.





Portia Di Rossi Prop 8 video

Posted in The Fierceness on March 27, 2009 by jackmax2

Love her!

Man Candy article by Elisa Rolle

Posted in The Fierceness on March 23, 2009 by jackmax2

Man Candy Day: Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

Click above header for original site.

Mar. 23rd, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Last week I posted a review on a book in which the main character, a photographer, had quite an interesting love life… the morning after I had the nice surprise to find an email from Frank Louis, a photographer I like very much: do you remember men candy Clint Shields and Tony Gibble? after that post Frank Louis wrote to me in Italian, since he is Francesco Luigi in origin, and we chatted about the chance to post something more in the future. In this last email Frank Louis was jocking with me about the possibility to go buy the book! ehm, Frank Louis, I don’t know if that book is good for you, but I know that Frank Louis has some goody for us, and so yours Elisa promptly asked him to give us more on Jack Mackenroth, who is one of my favorite man candy and also a very very nice man.

Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

But yours Elisa didn’t stop on Frank Louis, I also stalked Jack since I know that all you absolutely loved my last post about him. And Jack, nice man as I said, kindly answered letting us know his present and future projects:

“Hey Elisa.

So here is what I have been up to that may be of interest. A lot of stuff is in my bio and in my “press” section on so, if you want, check that out too.

Recently my life has been crazy. I covered New York fashion week (ndr I was following Jack on his blog and the photos he posted were fabulous) and you can see clips of LOGO’s Poplab here.

I have been traveling a lot speaking about my HIV education campaign Living Positive By Design which is sponsored by Merck.

I hosted a huge fundraising event in San Francisco for the Academy of Friends for their annual Academy Awards party. It was a blast.

Then I flew to LA for the final pitch meeting for my design show with co-host Kevin Christiana. We are now waiting to hear from the Style network and Oprahs new network called OWN. I can’t say much about it but fingers crossed.

I just came back from Houston Texas for the AIDS WALK which was a great event. I walked with Pride Houston and met some really cool people.

Kevin Christiana and some of my former cast members, Kit (Pistol) Scarbo, Sweet P and I are planning a group fashion show in Miami in May. I am currently designing about 7 looks.

Now I am finally back in New York for a while and I am training for the Outgames which happen this summer from July 27th to August 3rd in Copenhagen, Denmark. I will be swimming and I specialize in breaststroke and I hope to win a gold medal.

Beyond that I am looking forward to my 40th birthday which is on April 29th. I am having a huge party on May 1st. WOOHOO!!!

More updates and news on and on facebook


I would like only to add that Jack is a real kind and funny man, everytime I write to him, even if he is busy with more important things, he always answers, never ignoring even a simple good luck email. And then he is so handsome! how can a man being prettier at forty than he was at 23 years old? (see photo below for reference!) Not that at 23 years old he wasn’t pretty, but Jack you are like a vintage wine, you go better year after year! And so I would like to wish him a wonderful Happy Birthday a bit in advance and hope you will all join with me in this wish.

Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

Jack Mackenroth by Frank Louis

Jack Mackenroth by Brad Walsh

Jack Mackenroth by Brad Walsh

Jack Mackenroth, centerfold model, in Genre Magazine 1993

Inaccurate Newsweek article by Ramin Setoodeh

Posted in The Fierceness on March 22, 2009 by jackmax2
I was just sent the link to this movie review/article about the new Pedro Zamora film. There were comments about me made in the article that are totally fictitious and potentially dangerous. Mr. Setoodeh stated that the producers of Project Runway hid my HIV status until I was rushed to the hospital in episode 5. This is totally incorrect. I revealed my HIV status during the second episode of my own volition and they were happy to have me speak openly about it. Ardent Project Runway fans will remember the scene when I am on the bed will my bag of meds and vitamins taking about living with HIV for 19 years. It is not something I am even mildly ashamed of and NO ONE else who is HIV+ should be ashamed of their status either. The article implies that it was some deep dark secret which could not be further from the truth. This sends a horrible message to the HIV+ community. I think it was very irresponsible of him to not fact check his article before he published it. It also implies that my HIV staus was revealed when I was “rushed” to the hospital for the staph infection in my face and that my HIV status and the staph infection were somehow linked. This is also not true. My HIV status had nothing to do with the staph infection and all monitored aspects of my immune system fall well within the “normal” HIV- range.
I never returned to the show that season because by the time I got out of the hospital 5 days later I had already missed 2 challenges and it was logistically impossible. As Mr. Setoodeh should know, TV filming schedules and actual air dates are very different. Plus, even if they could have figured out a way to bring me back on, it would not have been fair since I had been off site unsupervised.
I know that he was attempting to highlight that there needs to be more media attention brought to HIV/AIDS, which I commend, but his efforts probably had the reverse, or at least a negative, effect. I find it offensive that he suggests that there are no role models speaking openly and publicly about the issue. True there are a lack of “celebrities” that divulge their status but there are thousands of people doing great advocacy work in the HIV/AIDS field. I have been working with Merck on Living Positive by Design for the past year and have personally helped many people. The fact that this is no longer the hot topic that it was during the Pedro Zamora era is not for lack of effort.  OK. I said my piece. I feel better.
The article is below.
Courtesy of Bunium-Murray Films

A Made-for-TV Mistake

MTV’s Pedro Zamora movie needs to get real.

Pedro Zamora appeared on the third season of MTV’s “The Real World” in 1994, and he’s still arguably the show’s best-known alumnus. Zamora was an AIDS activist and the first HIV-positive man to appear on a television series. By the time he died, on the day after his final “Real World” episode aired, he had become the public face of the disease—toward the end, President Clinton even called to offer moral support. So it’s no surprise that MTV has decided to bring Zamora back, in a sense, from the dead. He showed up recently on “The Real World: Brooklyn” (the 21st season) when this year’s cast was given the job of staging a screening for MTV’s upcoming biopic “Pedro.” Never mind the shamelessness of the cross-promotion—what was really sad was that when it came time for the “Pedro” screening, almost no one showed up.

And the world could use another Pedro Zamora right now. HIV prevention has dropped off the cultural radar in recent years, thanks in large part to the medical advances that have occurred since Zamora’s death. There’s no shortage of gay characters on reality TV or scripted dramas, but not many bring up HIV. It’s hard to name a mainstream movie in the past decade in which a character dies of AIDS. The producers of “Project Runway” hid the HIV status of one of their 2007 contestants, Jack Mackenroth, until he was rushed to the hospital because of a staph infection. After he revealed his condition, he never returned to the show. It’s all too clear that the silence is becoming deadly once again. A report from the New York Department of Health found that HIV infections among gay men under the age of 30 rose 33 percent from 2001 to 2006. This month a study found that 3 percent of residents in Washington, D.C., have HIV or AIDS, which makes the virus more common there than in West Africa. Just last week during a trip to Africa, Pope Benedict said that condom use actually “increases the problem” of AIDS.

“Pedro” could have been just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, the movie is so dull and disease-of-the-week derivative, it’s not likely to have much of an effect beyond putting people to sleep. The film starts with Pedro’s audition tape for “The Real World”—there’s a lot of “Real World” on display—before flashing back to his journey from Cuba and through the rest of his short life, which ended when he was only 22. Alex Loynaz, the actor playing Pedro, has the thankless task of re-creating verbatim some of the memorable scenes from “The Real World.” The screenplay, by Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), never teaches us anything about Zamora that you couldn’t learn from his Wikipedia entry. The power of Pedro’s story was its rawness and how “real” it really felt. We watched him go from gorgeous to gaunt, from a TV star to a powerful voice for HIV awareness, and beyond. His wedding to his HIV-positive partner, also broadcast on TV, was the first time most ’90s teens saw two men kiss. When MTV showed his coffin being carried across a graveyard, he became a martyr. Zamora lobbied on Capitol Hill many times. During a 1993 trip to Washington he said, “Since I was 18 years old I’ve been doing education across the country. I remember when I started doing it, how angry I was. I promised myself never to stop. Now I spend more and more time worrying about my doctor’s appointments.” He fought back tears, and he continued, “I wonder now as I look around me who’s going to pick up my torch.” Sadly, we’re still wondering.

Coming CORRECT in Genre Magazine 1993

Posted in The Fierceness on March 21, 2009 by jackmax2
GENRE cover issue #12

GENRE cover issue #12

Holy Crap! A blast from the past. The most amazing thing happened to me 2 nights ago that totally made my week. My friend John David Robbins who works at Genre Magazine had been perusing ancient issues from the archives and he was flipping through issue number 12 from June/July of 1993 and he found a photo shoot I did back when I was 23.  It took him a second to recognize me but he was like, “Isn’t that Jack Mackenroth?”  I hadn’t seen the photos in over 10 years and I peed my Aussiebums on the spot.  I actually can’t believe I am revealing them to the public, but they are too priceless. Now remember this was before photoshop so give me a break. I recall the shoot like it was yesterday. It was shot with a 2 dollar budget and it was one of my first modeling jobs. Back then models were reticent about appearing in a gay magazine. Oh the horror!! The photos are so quintessentially 90’s. My hair is a human atrocity. And the clothes. GOD. Oh well. Not a good fashion moment for me or the world but I still look pretty good now considering that was 16 years ago. Work the Calvin Klein linen honey!





I have so much make-up on I look like a tranny. WERK!!



I love that he found this. It’s hilarious. Thanks JD!!!  Genre has come a long way. Those first few issues were way ghetto. But they are a great slice of gay history. It is interesting to think that I was already HIV positive back then. I was looking through the rest of the issue and there was a page on AIDS treatment at the time. It’s scary because there was really nothing available. AZT was controversial, D4T was moderately effective and protease inhibitors were not even approved yet. They eventually proved to be a literal lifesaver for many people. We have certainly come a long way in that arena as well. Thank god.

AIDS meds of 1993.

AIDS meds of 1993.

Full Video of LOGO PopLab NY Fashion week coverage.

Posted in The Fierceness on March 21, 2009 by jackmax2

I finally got the whole dvd of the edited interviews I did at Bryant park for fall ’09 fashion week. It’s way campy but that’s what LOGO wanted. I’m happy with the final product. Thank you to everyone who helped out with the piece.