Giving It Raw

Giving It Raw : Nearly 30 Years With AIDS

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Thirty years ago the world was a different place when Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, a native of Santiago, Chile, moved to Vancouver and discovered he was HIV+. Told he'd be lucky to live two years in 1985, Francisco faced the question of how to survive the overwhelming odds against him. Not only did he survive however, he thrived by turning the table on his deadly diagnosis and using AIDS as a new license to face mortality with gritty, dark humor that only a snap queen can accomplish. In this quirky, campy, tragicomic autopathography, Francisco spins a polyphonous web of personal stories about courage, dignity, authenticity, and hope while living nearly three decades with AIDS. From science to bureaucracy, bars and bathhouses to board rooms, Francisco dishes out back alley wisdom and insight into the complicated politics of why some who contract the disease are saved while others are sacrificed. Whether he's tackling city traffic, border security, sexual intimacy, relationship challenges, or eating manners, Francisco's reflections teach us a valuable lesson about "taking it" all in, learning from challenges and "giving it" back in bite-size, full-mouthed wisdom. "So much about Giving It Raw: Nearly 30 Years with HIV is raw-the sex, the emotions, the loss-that there are moments you want to move away from the unflinching honesty, close the book not so you can avoid his frank and deliciously graphic recollections of sexual encounters over the last several decades as a gay poz man, but so you too don't find yourself remembering the same visceral loss and haunting loneliness, the moment in time where despair and shame and hedonism were the only antidotes to the bodies piling up around us. Shedding that shame, in part becoming the man he is through BDSM, fetishes, and rough trade, is what Ibáñez-Carrasco writes of so eloquently (the title being a clear nod to this past and present), but this is not a book about sex, not a work of erotica. It's a tragicomic confessional, a history lesson, and an intellectual treatise on sex, love, family, and a virus that's killing fewer but still too many-and it's a breathtaking one at that." -Diane Anderson-Minshall, Editor-at-large, The Advocate & Editor-in-chief of HIV Plus magazine; Author of Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders "One of the most important, compelling, sexy, and charismatic voices on AIDS, queer communities and identities, and the complexities of sex and love I've ever read. Francisco careens with glee and fierce insight, telling and interrogating as only an émigré AIDS-surviving leatherfag with a history of gender-bending, activism, and sex with Chilean junta soldiers can. Plus! Canada, class analysis, and love of lesbians--this slim tome has it all. Francisco will make you gasp, laugh, and reimagine the contours of the worlds that surround you." -Carol Queen, Ph.D., Founding Director, Center for Sex & Culture, San Fransciso, CA Author, PoMoSexuals, Real Live Nude Girl, The Lether Daddy & the Femme "If you scraped the rainbow paint off your pride rings with a dirty thumbnail, you would find Francisco's world, skillfully rendered and beautifully imperfect." -Ivan E. Coyote, Author of Gender Failure "Killing Me Softly introduce[d] a new voice to gay fiction, seductively Latin, Poe-esquely North American, very contemporary, and seemingly utterly unafraid. Ibanez-Carrasco is someone to watch." -Felice Pecano, Author of Dryland's End
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