April/May #171 : Rewriting History - by Willette Francis

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Table of Contents

Fearing No Evil

The French Connection

Hep C Treatment Transformation

“C” the Future

It’s in the Mail

7 Tips to Get Your Meds on Time

Some Big Facts About the Big C

Cure Watch

Clever Campaigner

Scared Safe?

Hey Mr. DJ

Playing Sex Games


Boys Who Like Boys

Rewriting History

Editor's Letter


Native Son

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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April / May 2011

Rewriting History

by Willette Francis

How a memoir about AIDS and loss became a labor of love

When Terry Connell read his father’s version of their family tree in 2010, he noticed his late partner Stephan had been edited out of it.

That absence motivated Connell to publish Slaves to the Rhythm: A Love Story, a memoir of his life with Stephan, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1993.

In 1994, Connell completed the first round of edits to his manuscript and began sending it to publishers. While they were impressed with his story and writing, no one seemed willing to take on the subject of HIV/AIDS.

At the time, there was very little talk in book publishing about HIV. Agents and publishers told Connell there was no market for his kind of story.

He had a small victory when both The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine and the Philadelphia Gay News ran a chapter of the book. After a year of struggling to get Slaves published, he decided in the mid-1990s to put the manuscript away.

Thanks to the advent of digital book publishing technology, that wasn’t the end of the story: Connell has self-published his work nearly two decades after writing it.

The book reveals how he grew up in a Roman Catholic family, how a relationship built on love and respect helped him come out, how he lost the love of his life to the virus and how he overcame his loss. In short, the book tells the story of his family tree, unedited.                                          

Search: Terry Connell, Slaves to the Rhythm: A Love Story

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