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Support - World AIDS Museum

Community Champions

A Conversation with Chuck Panozzo of STYX

I am a gay man and a survivor of HIV.

I have lived with the struggle of being gay with HIV for quite some time. I was ashamed and stigmatized by my secrets.

It’s difficult enough to be different and even more challenging to live with big secrets. I have finally learned to enjoy my differences. Through the years, I struggled with my feelings about my diagnosis and found that the stigma of being HIV positive was actually worse than having the disease itself. I’ve wanted to release myself of this feeling for so long. It became crippling.

I recently learned something while visiting the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center in Wilton Manors, Florida. With this, came a confrontation. I confronted my fear and found a tremendous freedom in doing so. Along with this came a learning experience and I became more aware of who I am and what I can do to change my feelings. I was so moved by the Museum’s mission that I have been able to experience a much greater personal power. I wanted to share my experience.

A Conversation with Chuck Panozzo of STYX

I am a gay man and a survivor of HIV.

I have lived with the struggle of being gay with HIV for quite some time. I was ashamed and stigmatized by my secrets.

It’s difficult enough to be different and even more challenging to live with big secrets. I have finally learned to enjoy my differences. Through the years, I struggled with my feelings about my diagnosis and found that the stigma of being HIV positive was actually worse than having the disease itself. I’ve wanted to release myself of this feeling for so long. It became crippling.

I recently learned something while visiting the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center in Wilton Manors, Florida. With this, came a confrontation. I confronted my fear and found a tremendous freedom in doing so. Along with this came a learning experience and I became more aware of who I am and what I can do to change my feelings. I was so moved by the Museum’s mission that I have been able to experience a much greater personal power. I wanted to share my experience.

WAM’s mission is to increase awareness and decrease the stigma of HIV/AIDS by Documenting, Remembering, Educating, Enlightening and Empowering.

I walked through this beautiful museum which tells the story of HIV and AIDS throughout the world and addresses the stigma that makes it so difficult for people to confront this disease. I realized that my story is shared by so many others. With 80 million infected people in the world, I wondered how could there be only one AIDS museum? The only answer is stigma. Every time I tell my story, I become a little freer, and a little more comfortable in my own skin. I want everyone who is confronted, either infected or affected by HIV, to have that opportunity to grow from the challenge.

The isolation of stigma is life-threatening. The light of education is life-saving. The fellowship of friends and familyis health-giving. “What the band has taught me psychologically is that I need to go out and be with my band as they continue their legacy in the rock n’ roll world. How could that not help me in my growth process? I have a band that is willing to make sure that I stay healthy.” (-JC Online)

I want you to know that this is something I don’t normally do. The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center helps to enlighten survivors and eliminate the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. Because this is such a life-changing place, I ask that you do two things.

1. Please “Like” the Museum’s Facebook Page and invite your friends to do the same. You can visit this informative page here: https://www.facebook.com/worldaidsmuseum You can also visit their website here: https://www.worldaidsmuseum.org

2. If you’ve been touched by my story or know anyone who is going through the same thing, please donate $10.00, $20.00 or any amount you choose to the Museum today. I cannot stress enough how important this organization is to the world. Please click on the link below to make a donation of $10, $20 or any amount you choose: https://www.worldaidsmuseum.org/styx-fan-donation-page/

Thank you for allowing me to share my personal story and taking the time to learn about the importance of The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center. I promise that your donation will make a difference in many lives.

Chuck

FOUNDER

Steve Stagon

FOUNDING MEMBERS

This program is closed to new donations

Ribbon Society

In order to accomplish the museum’s important work, the board of directors introduced the Ribbon Society in 2014. Individuals who join the Ribbon Society sustain and support the work of the museum on an annual and ongoing basis. Now called the Ribbon Society, the goal of the program is for the museum to raise $10,000 in monthly support. Those interested in the Ribbon Society may join simply by clicking this link, the Ribbon Society Levels of Support, or by calling the museum directly at (954) 390-0550

Join Our Volunteer Team!

Before volunteering, we ask that you come to the museum and explore the Chronology of AIDS and other exhibits. Once you’ve done that, consider how you would like to help.

Our greatest need is in these five areas:

  • Front Desk Greeters – Greet visitors and assist with light data-entry and other tasks.
  • Docent – Guide visitors through the chronology of AIDS exhibit. Training provided.
  • Archive Coordinators – Help catalogue, archive and document information.
  • Outreach Specialists – Distribute flyers in the community and procure group visits.
  • Social Media Librarians – Create desktop HIV information database from social media content.

If the jobs listed do not interest you or you have a special talent you wish to share, contact us! We will find a way for you to make a meaningful contribution.

From all of us at the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center,thank you for your interest and support!

Thank You TO OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS

John C. Graves Foundation

In Appreciations to the John C. Graves Foundation support in helping us open our doors in 2014

John C. Graves died on October 13, 2003. He was a 65-year old gay man who came out, as he died, ahead of his time. Born and raised in New York City, Graves earned his doctorate at Princeton and taught philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1964 to 1974.

According to biographers (including himself), Graves came out of the closet in 1972, three years after the Stonewall Riots, when most men of his age still felt too unsafe to share such information outside of small circles of friends. He became an activist and went on to help found the Gay Academic Union of New England and the Boston Center for Lesbians and Gay Men.

John C. Graves Foundation

In Greateful Appreciation to the JohnC.Graves Charitable Found

John C. Graves died on October 13, 2003. He was a 65-year old gay man who came out, as he died, ahead of his time. Born and raised in New York City, Graves earned his doctorate at Princeton and taught philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1964 to 1974.

According to biographers (including himself), Graves came out of the closet in 1972, three years after the Stonewall Riots, when most men of his age still felt too unsafe to share such information outside of small circles of friends. He became an activist and went on to help found the Gay Academic Union of New England and the Boston Center for Lesbians and Gay Men.

Express Interest in Volunteering

To sign-up, fill-in the information below and press the button labeled “Express Interest” to the right of the social media icons.