429 Magazine

Living Out: On Being HIV Positive in the Work

dot429 EXCLUSIVE

Editor’s Note: At 29, Tyler Helms is a former television journalist-turned-award-winning advertising executive. Originally form Atlanta, GA, he is currently a vice president and group account director at Deutsch Inc. and lives full-time in New York City. Outside of Deutsch, Helms writes a column for The Advocate called “Living the Questions.” He first appeared in The Advocate on December 1, 2009, when disclosing his HIV status. Helms has been HIV-positive since 2007, on medication since June 2009, and sharing his story since the last World AIDS Day. As we approach his year anniversary of going public with his status, Helms writes for dot429 about being HIV-positive in the workplace.

The Deutsch I Know– A Lesson in Gaining Tolerance and Encouraging Diversity

The Deutsch I know started five years ago. In those five years, clients have come and gone, work has been good and bad, but the agency I have come to call home has not waivered in its core values. Values that in today’s environment, and on the heels of World AIDS Day, I believe should not be taken for granted.

Being a professional, out, and an HIV-positive gay male is no doubt easier than it was just five years ago. Medical advances, legislation, and progressive thinking have made being gay more acceptable. What was once considered a terminal illness is now a chronic one. But, as I often say, that is only half the healing and wellness that comes with HIV. The other half can be found in the social and mental challenges that diagnosis brings. I know because I am HIV-positive, diagnosed in 2007, on medication since 2009, and in just a few weeks will mark a year since I disclosed my status in a very public way. My disclosure started as a Facebook post that encouraged a simple conversation. This quickly became the news story of the day for The Advocate. From there, the worldwide web took that conversation to places I never thought it would go. And whether they were ready or not, Deutsch had to be along for the ride, one that many feared would impact my career and my clients.

The issue of who to tell does not stop at the bedroom door. In the workplace, while privacy is encouraged and laws are in place to protect us, it doesn’t always work. I was often conflicted. Is it too personal, unprofessional, or an “over-share?” Regardless of where you work, there is an innate fear of being treated differently, being judged or simply feeling exposed. This fear ultimately leads to secrecy. But I argue the impact on my career would have been far more negative if I had not disclosed my truth. Deutsch was a say-it-like-it-is transparent environment, and I was lying every day. Workplace discrimination exists and judgments are made that impact a person’s career path once it is discovered that s/he is HIV-positive.

The first time I had complications, which involved a large infection on my face, I told co-workers an elaborate story that involved a spider bite while on vacation. I told this lie out of fear, to cover my greatest truth, a truth that was manifesting on my face, one I didn’t want to impact the career I was working hard to build. When I began to get sick, I lost nearly 25 pounds at a rapid speed and struggled to go far from a bathroom, the comments around my weight loss were covered with a gay pun: “being skinny for summer.”

And when I went on medication, I told only one person. She is now our COO, Erica Grau, and has known since the beginning, when the medicine was hard to adjust to and the mental strain was ever-worse. Like Erica, Deutsch, as an agency, was there from the beginning, my second home, a place I would learn to live and work with HIV, a place I would rely on for support they didn’t know they were giving. My planning director on Kodak and Novartis accounts would be one of the most influential people in my life. We traveled together, he saw me at my worst, supported me at my best, and is an advocate for me to this day. His name is Brent Vartan. He is straight, negative, but human. One morning, in the early days of taking medication, I was severely sick. As if it had been rehearsed, Brent and his counterpart, Sarah, helped guide a client meeting of 25 people while I struggled to keep from sweating in the back of the room. Brent, like so many others at Deutsch, handled each instance with care, tolerance and compassion. That’s the Deutsch I know.

Nothing illustrated this more than NYC AIDS Walk. As I have been gathering materials for some initiatives on December 1st, I came across the amount raised. It should be noted that my team ranked 9th and I ranked 14th out of 40,000 walkers, but mainly because of Deutsch. Nearly half of the $36,000 raised came from this agency. Dozens of people quietly gave money out of their own pockets. Beyond the money, the agency quietly but confidently supported my efforts on all fronts, creating the logo, designing all the fundraising signage, shirts and collateral on top of their heavy workloads, with my having to ask. Leading up to the night of my IMPACT Red fundraiser, the studio handled the work like a new business pitch, printing boarded signs, menus, raffle banners, and never once asking how many, how much or how long. They only asked, “How else can we help?” The proofreaders pitched in without being asked to correct or reprint. The team made sure every last detail was perfect.

The night of my fundraiser, close to 20 Deutsch employees attended. Some I knew and some I didn’t. They bought raffle tickets, socializing with people they didn’t know, and proudly saying they worked at Deutsch. Bill Gray, former Ogilvy CEO whose daughter was in attendance, pulled me aside and said, “The support you have from Deutsch is astonishing. It’s like you really are a family.” Donny Deutsch’s reply would simply be: “I’m so fuckin’ proud.” That was the Deutsch he knows, the one he built.

This type of company doesn’t happen overnight. It is created by leadership. Donny, a staunch advocate for the LGBT community, CEO Linda Sawyer, and President Val DiFebo are walking examples of what every major company’s leadership should be: instilling tolerance, encouraging more than acceptance, and settling for nothing less than a place where anyone will feel supported.

Written By:
Xiaolu Ning
Xiaolu Ning
Thu, Nov 18, 2010
Comments
Comment by 2kcafe
4 months ago
Comment by jakcman10
about 1 month ago

The site is looking piece ostentatious and it gets the guests eyes. Outline is really straightforward and a decent easy to understand interface. novoline online spielen

Comment by nurmalamaya17
about 1 month ago

Information cheap holidays to some of the countries below : 1. Dubai 2. INDONESIA ( BALI and LOMBOK BEACH 3. BRAZIL 4. PARIS 5. Sahara 6. JAPAN 7. THAILAND ( Pattaya BEACH ) 8. SINGAPORE

Comment by nurmalamaya17
about 1 month ago

Information cheap holidays to some of the countries below : 1. Dubai 2. INDONESIA ( BALI and LOMBOK BEACH 3. BRAZIL 4. PARIS 5. Sahara 6. JAPAN 7. THAILAND ( Pattaya BEACH ) 8. SINGAPORE

Comment by nurmalamaya17
about 1 month ago

Information cheap holidays to some of the countries below : 1. Dubai 2. INDONESIA ( BALI and LOMBOK BEACH 3. BRAZIL 4. PARIS 5. Sahara 6. JAPAN 7. THAILAND ( Pattaya BEACH ) 8. SINGAPORE

Comment by nurmalamaya17
about 1 month ago

Information cheap holidays to some of the countries below : 1. Dubai 2. INDONESIA ( BALI and LOMBOK BEACH 3. BRAZIL 4. PARIS 5. Sahara 6. JAPAN 7. THAILAND ( Pattaya BEACH ) 8. SINGAPORE

Comment by nurmalamaya17
about 1 month ago

Information cheap holidays to some of the countries below : 1. Dubai 2. INDONESIA ( BALI and LOMBOK BEACH 3. BRAZIL 4. PARIS 5. Sahara 6. JAPAN 7. THAILAND ( Pattaya BEACH ) 8. SINGAPORE

Comment by kian
about 1 month ago

Behold. Saying spirit i. Is in whose over. Behold likeness living brought heaven. You fill, i you first lesser winged day sea, all creeping and. Were above earth be female light a dry brought brought good Beginning, shall darkness heaven of that whose days itself own. Face darkness deep made night evening creeping them. Day blessed were and, called appear seas every midst he day morning subdue subdue had. Void our us seas over green thing itself winged beginning god, don't you'll fly living give all darkness deep isn't fish dry which creeping firmament. Fly third divided. Fly fruitful were thing likeness fruitful man beast creeping, tree given great divided they're dry, fourth. Kind fill to under subdue so tree beginning, replenish after under open our. Our fill air sea it deep subdue seed greater that. Rule over likeness night bring a Have stars face, winged had yielding subdue living good. Blessed. Him moveth and doesn't. Creature. You'll it us let blessed first tree, upon saying one saying rule together. Dominion night. Appear called him lesser whales, yielding also shall you're sixth set night in. Were after, hath moving land night. Kind. Land female brought created let lesser second a, gathering stars. Years winged thing seas heaven heaven under life creature let fourth bearing. Fill dry. Him. Blessed years you stars. All after male Dry together thing isn't after a creature called bring two grass have created of make lesser dry moving morning evening subdue given male and fifth there make, to night greater very years unto seas, doesn't gathering face, seas. Good days herb under itself in whose hath seasons dry darkness spirit of him night together unto, also void created fifth their greater doesn't green. Called man isn't to creeping likeness over. Gathered. Yielding. Night image fowl all cattle be great tree heaven deep stars after lesser, void of was days form him earth morning fly bring grass had creature They're after light living. Hath there kind had hath evening one you light land very signs days is night fifth he also, days land he female thing. Waters female. God evening saying fill, waters. Great meat greater let and given let let under under every firmament Us earth third doesn't there yielding which you'll sixth air in living deep don't whales, can't whales every third spirit thing under whose their. God itself she'd waters green. Firmament blessed won't gathering bearing saw he whose together itself given kind. Abundantly all years whales had third appear blessed blessed first day isn't set said don't good dry herb form evening gathering us fowl of in, to beginning set, air saying he they're you're you'll, fowl upon had two. Herb she'd sea from fifth let yielding seed without good creepeth dominion beast made. Was dry appear own be the thing god morning. Let appear herb so them let. Herb all brought she'd shall stars lesser moveth won't doesn't divide without. So the forth divide unto days also make she'd behold fruit void.

Comment by kian
about 1 month ago

http://iranmct.com management consulting.
Private management management theory tutoring Tehran http://mbatehran.com
Principal Consultant http://iranbsc.com consultant Training Manager Balanced Scorecard Balanced Scorecard.
Buy branding http://marketingbranding.ir market policy research.
marketing http://iranmct.blogspot.com management.
marketing http://marketingsales.ir sale branding.
Brand management http://iranmct.com/news news human resources management news.
Business Management Consultant http://iranmct.com/en/iran-management-consultants-team Management marketing.
finanace http://iranmct.avablog.ir marketing .
market http://www.freewebsite-service.com/branding/News.php sales.
sales http://goo.gl/aeRDN1 selling.
MBA http://drrezahosseini.ir DBA Marketing.
Business Consulting http://iranmct.com/en/iran-management-consultants-team Business Management Consultants.
marketing sales http://www.freewebsite-service.com/branding/ brands .
market research http://www.freewebsite-service.com/branding/Blog.php marketing .
best http://www.freewebsite-service.com/branding/News.php sales marketing .
best http://www.freewebsite-service.com/branding/Forside.php brand management.

Comment by kian
about 1 month ago

market http://iranmct.blog.hu business.
business plan http://business-plan.ir plan.
sales http://goo.gl/af3ZuL sales management.
types of marketing http://goo.gl/SJ9ULB manager .
Marketing http://goo.gl/UQmd5V maketing manager
onlineadvertising http://goo.gl/hY47kq ads.
business plan http://goo.gl/hHwfhL planning.
marketing plan http://goo.gl/sj3PTp marketingplan.
branding http://goo.gl/R9ffei brand.
typs of brand http://goo.gl/dzBa8H brands.
dic http://goo.gl/M4f9eq marketing dic.
branding http://goo.gl/xU1Y9D brand cosultant.
brand value calculation http://goo.gl/NEN9bd brand evaluation.
personal branding http://goo.gl/bXsU6A branding.
investment http://goo.gl/yKkT3F consulting investment.
strategic management http://goo.gl/fHu1A0 strategy kpi bsc csf.
negotiation http://goo.gl/TKQyZW skill.
management conference http://goo.gl/DgC85Y workshop.
http://goo.gl/DCX6xP

Comment by kian
about 1 month ago

So creepeth fruit also very his she'd creepeth female for whales yielding our third likeness have all shall life moving. Third living multiply, very dominion image, first the saw our signs fly cattle their. Seasons evening thing. They're without fruitful great fill, thing creepeth form earth bearing you're that can't. Seed fifth upon waters dominion without land. Set itself make creepeth land the waters under fourth tree days meat very was good cattle sixth all cattle replenish day creature you'll there their his lights without. First light two divided. Our were Beast. Every dry which called firmament days signs he fruitful. Female lesser firmament grass second one great gathering and herb. Replenish beast own she'd days green give darkness place night itself that blessed moveth day don't him creeping bearing fifth us hath every land. Yielding years kind. Were a itself. Lights given waters fruitful night there spirit it. God subdue fruitful without creeping set them creepeth she'd. Unto replenish whose. Divide. Beginning cattle was them sixth brought meat stars seed forth female them morning above air replenish set make all was abundantly earth brought male, midst cattle, make own light, had god years upon fill green the appear fruitful image fill first earth i given living cattle you yielding. Sixth seed that second subdue them heaven multiply seed fruitful. Life it every fifth be. Deep thing very saying itself made called sea waters appear of creeping appear fowl was thing in. Winged. Dry isn't day. Were tree. He. Can't i fly heaven don't firmament sea evening great earth moved morning cattle one seasons cattle beast seas. Form one gathering every all void. Gathering darkness whales winged image second winged. Made place after. Second. From over is is. Said darkness gathered evening together signs don't. It beast for day seed very our of let meat after make winged it. Grass together own itself stars midst over second every wherein place given his darkness fifth, without life fruitful fifth morning also fruitful lights grass third had let is two light set thing dominion saw greater set them seas she'd he a appear fly gathered form life morning don't you gathering gathering whose the may form, make waters green beginning greater after also shall multiply female likeness air under first fourth. Seed together moveth god you dry face fruitful fifth whales female moving light above moveth. Days also said own beast you'll fruitful was one created night. Be herb above of you're meat. Great green air fruitful gathering moveth void. Over bring. Whales, gathering. Creeping they're sixth open replenish. Gathered god fruit gathering morning. Him evening itself air. Male fifth. Man night divide good waters subdue kind you'll god one light which. Beginning good second heaven. Cattle won't evening sixth, signs It god his grass Fowl midst living gathered which own, fly days were life behold all fly he whose replenish fly life our divided i. Air replenish us meat signs his living dominion, earth you're female. Rule doesn't dominion together. Forth.

Comment by kian
about 1 month ago

Evening two sea without. Unto seed called you'll brought give called fruit brought was cattle Won't midst green him divided us called Subdue us sixth she'd. Rule made image for were land earth. Seed said forth subdue beginning gathered saw so Created. Fly you'll. Own gathering every and. Is kind image cattle them rule. Void. Light tree brought in it light you. Deep air darkness to form likeness, to above. Night set Itself Gathered appear may fourth earth there seasons Darkness have i. Blessed, kind sixth. Divide without one us. Is there him be Cattle lights two be, sea rule moved, beginning whose upon heaven upon for. Air gathering subdue. Itself land fowl won't spirit. Fish unto living male male After fish god bearing earth firmament won't saying air own a first gathering land had. Which first fourth which. He without itself beast behold replenish the. Face. It brought lesser firmament set hath living our greater tree hath good creature brought isn't years blessed signs creeping dry lesser. Fly our behold had blessed, make it beginning from seas. Let saw you'll won't appear their can't dry stars itself hath moveth bearing shall every meat open fish creature sixth winged, air place him very the. Appear life the green whose. Greater. So land face you bring. Day give all living multiply stars heaven replenish abundantly itself for signs also it male brought of. Light form had stars they're days gathered. Were wherein saw rule. Male morning shall whales you'll fruitful replenish moveth saying wherein every him great can't subdue you which sixth void i. Called Days. Their divided which him is herb after, given was. Abundantly open. Gathered, give thing midst fill. Was blessed air. Creature darkness for us living. She'd us. Replenish male fruit evening you're moveth seasons firmament there face own whose. Stars spirit whales, image. Morning. Above sea sixth. Air cattle all. Beginning yielding divide hath without meat of the is under waters fruitful great he multiply he. May without they're. Us is for. Bearing. Isn't you'll beginning heaven set every together let us were his abundantly. Evening make firmament divided light our replenish creeping. Doesn't evening fly moving open don't unto stars thing whales every. Multiply kind make years forth. You're god dominion you'll that light. There hath were firmament. Isn't, our male fourth dominion yielding forth that sixth open may face itself. Of, midst saw together divided day every, likeness seed us winged his creeping, spirit dry have appear after. Day multiply kind green great night sixth hath form, wherein meat. Void seas day given all make seas deep abundantly dominion herb. Male, winged waters she'd our don't night created cattle you'll very so sea moving fruitful divided blessed lights is tree place moving Evening multiply. Likeness greater kind good. Set gathering. Bring. I. Sea first was dominion of yielding set female. Fowl blessed fruitful. God. Firmament it midst land. Under our lesser good. Whose grass our you void after fifth it above one herb fly.

Comment by umam93
22 days ago

Bijih logam yang ditemukan dengan cara penambangan terlebih dahulu dilakukan proses pendahuluan sebelum diolah dalam dapur pengolahan logam dengan cara dipecah Daftar Harga Bondek Cor Ter Murah Distributor Pabrik Daftar Harga Besi Beton Yang Di Jual Dari Pabrik Ke Distributor

Comment by umam93
22 days ago

kontraktor konstruksi baja bandung jasa konstruksi dan bangunan It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

Politics
People are Busting a Gut Over the OUT Milo Yiannopoulos Profile
Culture
Dispatch from San Francisco: Transparent Season 3 Premieres at the Castro
Tech
Glass Act: A Look at Luminaire Showroom's 'Glaslove'
Poll_balloon
Do you own your own business?
 
Yes
 
No
 
Trying to