I‘m a karaoke singer.

That’s not a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. I was a theater kid in high school. I enjoyed singing and acting on a stage, but my lack of memorization skills prohibited me from pursuing them further.

So I sing karaoke. Having the lyrics projected in front of me allows me to focus on singing, which for me is the whole point. It’s one of a few activities, like cycling and long peaceful walks, that I use for coping with the stresses of life. They are very much about being in the moment. There’s no time for worries when you take center stage.

Our cover subject, Queen Moxie, can relate to my coping mechanism—she performs drag. As a drag performer living with HIV, she wants to use drag not only to entertain but also to educate. In particular, Moxie seeks to dispel the stigma surrounding the virus. Go here to read about her hopes for her journey with drag and HIV.

Moxie’s real name is Kevin Soto. He’s a gay man and uses he/him pronouns but as Moxie uses she/her pronouns, as is common among drag queens. Acknowledging HIV status, as well as sexual orientation and gender identity, shouldn’t be difficult.

And yet it is for many people, especially those with negative views of LGBTQ folks. Nationwide, we are experiencing a backlash against us that feels familiar. Coming out as gay and then as HIV positive was not easy for me to do, so I’m not a stranger to such negativity. What sets this moment in time apart are the specific targets—trans people and gender expression—and the laws being passed to suppress them. It’s a scary time.

It’s in these moments that we need to stand up for ourselves and our communities. Thus, we are thrilled to spotlight Moxie.

A self-described “Guatemalan Goddess,” Moxie is also a proud member of the Latino community. This special issue dedicated to Latinos includes other related profiles and content.

David Anzuelo is a queer Latino performer who has enjoyed success onstage as well as in film and television. He’s also been living with HIV for over 20 years. Until recently, Anzuelo had kept his status a secret. In an article promoting his playwriting debut, the reporter included the fact that Anzuelo has HIV, which led to his very public disclosure. Go here for more about the aftermath.

Yolanda Diaz is a longtime AIDS activist and long-term HIV survivor. As such, she wears many hats. In addition to her day job as a health educator at Iris House, a nonprofit that provides housing and social services to women at risk for HIV, she also volunteers for various HIV-related groups. Go here to read about her service to the community.

For years, POZ has published an annual quick-reference drug chart comparing HIV treatments. Go here to see our first Spanish-language version. Also, please go here to see our annual edition of POZ en Español.