Last month during my 31 Days series, one of my posts ("The Boyfriend Who Came Back from the Dead") touched on my time as a teenager in Evansville. I founded an ACT UP chapter in the sleepy little Indiana town and as soon as we put out our first press release, the media went nuts.
I'm sure they were expecting mass riots and Catholic Church firebombings, but, c'mon, this was small town Indiana. We were about as radical as dry toast, but just by speaking out about HIV/AIDS we caused waves.
When we announced we were going to have a condom pass-out to area bars, every television station and both newspapers sent reporters to cover the daring escapade. When we protested K-Mart's decision not to carry Magic Johnson's book about HIV, the media was at our press conference and the actual protest. It was the easiest earned media evah.
Watch the quality of the reporting on display here. My favorite line is when one reporter describes a local gay bar as "a place where they say homosexuals gather." I also love the footage of burning flags and mounted police crashing into protestors with the insinuation that's what would happen in Evansville or the footage of the police chief saying he'd be keeping an eye on us.
I'm 19 in these clips. It wasn't my first TV appearance - it was my second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc - all at once!) - and I'm hysterically funny with my pent up excitement and obvious nervous demeanor.
Check it out after the jump.