Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love Out Loud for Dab the AIDS Bear.


Dab Garner’s relationship with AIDS began in 1981 when the disease was still known as GRID (Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease) and few knew what the mysterious virus was and why it was spreading.

In the early days, hospitals hesitated to allow visitors into GRID patients’ rooms. Unable to personally console his friends hospitalized with the disease, Garner found another way to comfort them: He sent each and every one a stuffed teddy bear—an appropriate gesture because he identifies as a “bear.” In the LGBT community, bears typically share the physical characteristics of their animal namesake, including hairiness and visible masculinity.

“It was natural to give bears to my friends in the hospital, to give them some sort of comfort or joy by at least having something next to them that they could hug,” says Garner, now 46, who was himself diagnosed with HIV in 1982.

Read the rest of James Wortman's profile here. Go here to visit the official site for Dab's project.

In one form or another Dab the Bear will be attending POZ's fund-raiser for AIDS Walk New York.

1 comment:

DaddyDab said...

For more info on Dab the AIDS Bear and our Teddy Bear Touchdowns, please see our website at: www.dabtheaidsbearproject.com.

Teddy Bear Touchdowns are yearly holiday events for children with HIV and AIDS. See the Teddy Bear Touchdown section of the website.

Big bear hug,

Dab Garner