World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day (symbolised by the red ribbon). With the amazing tools and medication at our disposal nowadays, we have the possibility to *end* the spread of HIV in our lifetimes. Education, awareness, testing, and fighting HIV stigma worldwide, as well as providing free and unrestricted access to protection (condoms and PrEP) and treatment (TasP ‘treatment as prevention’) are paramount in achieving this. No-one should be shamed for having the virus, as treatment means they can’t pass it on and the virus is no longer an STI, but a chronic and manageable condition. #UequalsU (Undetectable = Untransmittable) Continue reading “World AIDS Day”

NL | De toekomst is queer — interview met OneWorld

Ik krijg vaak de vraag waarom ik mezelf zo nadrukkelijk queer noem, en wat dat dan precies betekent. Vanaf nu kan ik dan dit prachtige drieluik door Manju Reijmer doorsturen, waarin hij mij en nog twee anderen interviewde voor het platform Harlot van OneWorld magazine.

Queerness is een radicale strijd tegen de heteronormativiteit van de samenleving. Maar het signaleert ook een bewustzijn van een strijd die niet alleen over jou gaat.

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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”

Sonst hat mein Jesus nichts getan

As it is ‘Good Friday’, I wanted to share some brief thoughts about a specific moment in Willem Mengelberg’s recording of the Bach St. Matthew Passion. I don’t love all of the recording, but there are some amazingly beautiful moments and this is definitely my favourite.
It’s the tiny arioso Er hat uns allen wohlgetan just before the famous aria Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben. The moment I mean in particular happens near the end of the arioso.

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