How I finally became Manoj

This is the most important and difficult piece I’ve ever written.
Content warning: suicide, depression, mention of eating disorder

In the past couple of years, I have conducted the BBC Philharmonic in concert and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in rehearsals, I have won and fulfilled one of the most coveted young conductor posts in the world (the Junior Fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester), I have co-organised and officiated at the funerals of my father, my grandmother and my cousin, I’ve had a second coming out as pansexual, genderqueer and polyamorous, I’ve become somewhat of an activist regarding the damaging stigma associated with HIV and PrEP, and even managed to successfully move house several times. Yet, writing and sharing this text has, perhaps, been more challenging than any of these things. Continue reading “How I finally became Manoj”

One Little Pill

Every morning since early 2018, I take one little pill daily that has changed the lives of myself and that of millions of others who also use it. I started taking this pill after finding out that, yet again, I had narrowly avoided contracting an HIV infection through sex with a dear friend who didn’t yet know he was positive at the time. I already knew then that HIV was no longer a death sentence, I knew people living with HIV could lead long and healthy lives, I knew that people with adequate access to medication could have undetectable viral loads and therefore not pass the virus on. I also knew I wanted to stay negative. Luckily, I was living in London at the time, where it was possible, long before the Netherlands, to access PrEP—the pill that prevents HIV from taking hold on your body—for free.

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NL | Manoj in Radio Kunststof

Ik werd in oktober 2019 geïnterviewd door Jellie Brouwer in het Radio 1-programma Kunststof. Directe aanleiding was de op handen zijnde première van het Bosch Requiem Liknon van Calliope Tsoupaki tijdens November Music die ik als dirigent aan het voorbereiden was. Het werd een mooi, gevarieerd gesprek over muziek, kunst, voguing en queer zijn.

Luister het hier terug als podcast:

Stonewall 50

50 years ago, the riot that broke out at the Stonewall Inn, New York, during the night of June 28th 1969 made history by sparking a sequence of events that led to Pride protests and parades all over the world to this day. While Stonewall was definitely not the first riot against police violence and heteronormativity, the anger, demonstrations, mobilisation and sense of community it created made it an important touchstone of queer liberation. Continue reading “Stonewall 50”

NL | ‘Homogenezing’

Als je de boosheid jegens het CDA overdreven vond (zij stemden vorige week tegen een verbod op ‘homogenezing’/conversietherapie, maar proberen zich wel te profileren als pro-LHBTQ+ partij door o.a. mee te varen bij Pride Amsterdam), of als je vindt dat een wet tegen ‘homogenezing’ overbodig is, lees dan ajb dit interview, en kijk het filmpje, met een van mijn liefste vrienden Wouter.

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