Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Poster of the Week

Connie Norman
Artist Unknown
Photocopy, 1996
Los Angeles, California

I often tell people that I am an ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth, and current postoperative transsexual woman who is HIV-positive.

– Connie Norman

Born in Texas, Norman fled to Hollywood at the age of 14. Having recovered from drug addiction, Norman underwent therapy and then a sex-change operation in 1976. She began her political life as an AIDS and Queer activist with the Los Angeles chapter of ACT UP. In 1991 she transformed the media landscape by becoming the first openly queer host of a commercial talk radio show. “The Connie Norman Show” aired daily on XEK-AM where she was able to share her views on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and human rights issues. In 1993 Norman became the first transgender Director of Public Policy at AIDS Service Center in Pasadena, a California non-profit agency. Norman’s reach was broad, as she also co-hosted an LGBTQ Cable TV program and was a newspaper columnist for a San Diego publication. Because of her unyielding activism, she was honored with awards from various groups including the City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles, California State Senate and California Assembly. ACT UP/LA never gave an award or honor to anyone except Norman. Just before her passing they made official her self-proclaimed status as “AIDS Diva”. Her ashes were scattered on the lawn of the Clinton White House as part of the national ACT UP "Ashes Action" on October 13, 1996. Her legacy is sustained by Christopher Street West who established the Connie Norman Award to honor an individual or organization for outstanding achievement in fostering racial, ethnic, religious, and gender unity within the LGBTQ community.


AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since 1981 and an estimated 33.3 million people worldwide, including at least 2.5 million children, live with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.

World AIDS Day 2010 is all about raising awareness to tackle HIV prejudice and help stop the spread of HIV. The First World AIDS Day was December 1, 1988. In its first two years, the theme of World AIDS Day focused on children and young people. These themes were strongly criticized at the time for ignoring the fact that people of all ages may become infected with HIV and suffer from AIDS. But the themes drew attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, helped alleviate some of the stigma surrounding the disease, and helped boost recognition of the problem as a family disease.

The theme for 2010 is Universal Access and Human Rights. The protection of human rights is fundamental to combating the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Violations against human rights fuel the spread of HIV, putting marginalized groups, like injecting drug users and sex workers, at a higher risk of HIV infection. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination.

For more information about HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day, please visit:




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