This blog are the musings and rambling of author Leslie L. Smith. 

What publishing this novel has taught me...

The publication of this Sally Field Can Play The Transsexual, Or I Was Cursed By Polly Holiday has taught me a lot.  After an absence, I am returning to regular blogging to tell you about those lessons today.  More is to come. 

Mostly the experience has taught me that as far as we have come on Transgender rights in recent years, we still have a long way to go. On my tour, I learned that I live in a rarified bubble that surrounds transgender issues.  In spite, of Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and hundred of other public Transgender figures, the seemingly collective celebration of their bravery, and the media’s portrayal of their journey as normal, there are more Americans than not who still have an incredible fear of trans topics. 

Read More
Why A.S.S. is about so much more that just Survivor's Guilt.

It was unimaginably awful, that moment when I realized my crippling depression was due to the fact that I had a long and healthy life ahead of me.  I had spent my life living in acceptance of HIV’s terminal effect on life.  I had held that foremost truth in all my life choices.  But the rules had changed. I had to live.  At least that’s how it felt to me. I had to live a long life.  Not I get to, not I want to. I had to.

Read More
The Unexamined Cost of Reduced AIDS Activism.

Last week on a sex site, I got a message from a twenty-four year old, that said, “I just read your profile. You have AIDS.  You don’t have a chance,” —I assumed he meant a chance with him.  I had not attempted to hit on this young man; he offered this message of his own volition, without solicitation. Over the past decade, my experience of comments like this has become increasingly frequent, and this is among the more reasonable unsolicited rejections.

Read More
Wrestling With A Condom

Last summer, my friend Dennis Hensley invited me to be interviewed on Sirius XM Out Q’s Frank DeCaro Show.  It was great fun, and a great honor, to have the usually irreverent show dedicate a segment to getting serious about my book and the reality of barebacking in the gay community.  Dennis expressed a great pride in my book, seeing it as an accomplishment, which always feels good.  But in the interview, he expressed that he felt most proud of the way I “wrestled” with the issues and politics of condomless sex. 

Read More
Leslie Smith Comment
Steve Anderson - More Sad Than Vile. Who Knew That Was Possible?

If I wasn’t too busy laughing at him, I might get really upset about Steve Anderson’s incredibly vile and homophobic remarks that suggest an AIDS-free America might be possible if all the gay people were murdered before Christmas.  He has single handy given a whole new operational tact to the AIDS Free Generation movement.

Read More
Regarding the "End of AIDS" Debate

Have we looked deeply enough into our motives?

First, this blog entry is meant as an explanation of questions that have haunted me for many years.  Even before the current "End of AIDS" debate began, I wondered about the questions I pose here.  I skirted with the subject briefly in my novel, but I did not delve as deeply into it as I will here.  I want to be very clear that this is an exploration of a personal fears, and some doubts I have about the motives behind much of the debates we see in our community.  It is not a suggestion of any one individual's or movement's actual motives.   

Read More
Abandon the Road. The World is a Splendid and Fluid Thing.

I love life.  I love the size and complexity of the world.  I love the truth in the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.”

I also HATE that saying. 

I hate it because in this world, I must always learn.  I can never be sure.  I hate it because I must constantly accept that no matter how hard I work, my vision will never be realized.  I will never be able to make what exists in my imagination become reality. 

Read More
The Unseen Costs of My HIV Medication

Imagine the shock of this, after I had come of age with a two-year life expectancy.  Every few months my expected time on this earth was rounded up a few more months, but the prognosis was always bleak at best.  This went on for nearly a decade, almost all of my 20's.  And there was no doubt that my health was declining.  Recently, I saw a man on a talk show, a leader in the HIV/AIDS community, who described a similar experience, and received a round of applause when he stated his doctors, “Got it wrong.”   This bothered me, and I have been struggling with the complexity of what his statement, and the audience’s reaction, really meant.  What I have decided is that his statement was inaccurate.  If effective treatment had not been discovered in mid-90s, those doctors would have been right.  To my mind, the man on the talk show and I were simply lucky, and I don’t like being credited for luck.  Perhaps we are both fighters, but we can’t know that’s what saved us, because that spirit did not save many other fighters that I knew.   To me it seemed that he, like so many others, is now taking his survival for granted. 

Read More
How “The Lego Movie” Can Stop AIDS

How “The Lego Movie” Can Stop AIDS

And fix almost everything wrong with the world!

Last Friday, amongst the fears of what was unfolding regarding the disastrous fate the Malaysian Airlines flight headed for the World AIDS Conference, I stumbled across a guy named Robert Brandon Sandor via Social Media.   Sandor’s website is dedicated to the mission of ending HIV through sero-sorting, a term that is used to describe the practice of negative and/or positive people limiting their sexual partners to people of the same status.  He has a plan to reach out to youth to take a pledge, which made me laugh, because I grew up in a school with an abstinence club, whose leader was sleeping around and kept the position to fool her parents.

Read More