As longtime readers of this blog know, one of the great friends, allies and adopted sons in my life is Shawn Decker. Back in the earliest days of this thing (when it was called a diary, before the term "blog" had been invented), Shawn established his own website called "My Pet Virus" and we met through the magic of web communications and search engines. We both encouraged each other in our fight against HIV.
What Shawn has that I only can dream of having is a wickedly funny point of view that never ceases to keep me on the floor. He gave me encouragement when I needed it, and I gave him encouragement when he needed it.
Well, he kept telling me that he was writing a book. (Yeah, right. Everyone's writing a book). Lo and behold, the book comes out next month and, as part of the promotional campaign, he has scored the cover of POZ Magazine, along with an excerpt which includes -- yep -- ye olde Bonus Round writer, Steve.
Here's a link to the full article, and here's an excerpt of the excerpt:
But the first positoid I actually befriended online was Steve Schalchlin. In his photos, he was a dead ringer for Ted Danson, and he had put up his diary about living with AIDS earlier that year. “You should start one,” he typed to me one night in a chat room. “I think this public journaling stuff is going to be HUGE!”The book is called, of course, "MY PET VIRUS" and you can get more info about it at My Pet Virus website.
Ironically, while I started my site to show that you could live with HIV, Steve had started to document his death from AIDS. By the time I met him, however, HIV meds had turned things around, and a site that was meant to give updates on declining health to family members caught on with strangers, who had become enthralled with Steve’s “return from the grave,” as well as his ability to tell his story as it was unfolding. And the best part of his story is that he’s still alive and writing it today. (Unless, of course, you’ve stumbled upon this in some used bookstore and the year is 2062. In which case, I’m dead too.)
Steve not only welcomed my friendship, he encouraged me to reach out to as many people as possible. The son of a preacher, he knew the power of testifying, and his own “calling” was to spread the gospel of living with AIDS without shame. When I worried that I was treating the subject of AIDS too lightly, Steve dispelled my doubts about my new positoid persona. “You have a real message of hope,” he told me. “You just deliver it with laughs.”
TAGS: Shawn Decker, positoid, My Pet Virus, POZ, AIDS, HIV positive, journaling, Schalchlin