A Note from our Dramaturg:

Just two days shy of Animals Commit Suicide’s closing show, it will be three years since I sat alone in a small room at Howard Brown Health Center and was diagnosed HIV+. I have written about my experiences, presented workshops, and developed an annual show for folks living with HIV today to share their voices. I thought if I controlled my narrative, I could control how people, some people, react in fear and endless stigmas.

I have reached an impasse. I lack certainty, encounter doubt, questioning what a narrative 'voice on HIV' assumes. We live in an exponentially changing world, the arc of that learning curve in a constant state of recalibration. If the narrative is shifting, how do we keep up? How do WE move forward with it?

Animals Commit Suicide brings a mirror of the queer narrative crashing down and in the reflective, sharp, and sometimes dangerous shards we pick up, a new story emerges. Here are difficult questions to navigate, uncomfortable conversations, awkwardness as we stumble through the unfamiliar. We are—I am—scared to find true connection to ourselves, our work, friends, partners, family in a broken narrative and uncertain future.

To understand different worlds we must take creative risk. To wake up community, artists and audiences alike, we sometimes require an alarm. Animals Commit Suicide offers a multitude of alarms of our ever-shifting social climate. Look up from your screens and around the room, become present. If we find ourselves lost in understanding beliefs, ideals, desires, and needs, we can be reminded that although lost we are not alone. Sometimes we need to feel raw with one another to remember what it feels like to be protected.

--Joseph Varisco

Thank you for joining us at Animals Commit Suicide. We're so glad you saw the show and that you're interested in continuing the conversation this production raises.

Below, you'll find a list of resources, organization, and information to explore. We hope you'll click around, get in touch, and ask questions. You can also get in touch directly with the Animals dramaturg and director through the form below. 

Howard Brown Health Center

HIV/AIDS Services: Medical Services | Case Management | Counseling & Pyschotherapy | PATH Program for HIV + Youth | Therapy Groups | Workshops & Support Groups| HIV+ Adolescents, Adults, Women, Transwomen & their Children

Substance Use Services: Recovering With Pride | Individual Outpatient Therapy | Intensive Out Patient Program | Harm Reduction Group | Alumni Group | Gay & Lesbian Alcoholics Anonymous | Narcotics Anonymous | Sexual Compulsives Anonymous | Crystal Meth Anonymous

Violence Recovery Project: Domestic Violence | Intimate Partner Violence

Additional Resources & Information

Chicago House
HIV/AIDS Prevention & Health: PReP | Connect2Care | Sexual Health Counseling

HIV/AIDS Services | Needle Exchange | HIV & STI Testing | Community & Support Groups | THE2OFUS Program

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
HIV/AIDS Services: Testing | En Español | HIV Health Care | HIV Medications | Case Management | Housing | Health Insurance | Condoms | PrEP | Food


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