World AIDS Day 2015:
Best of Dini Petty:
21 years ago today,
I was a guest on the Dini Petty Show
for World AIDS Day, December 1st 1994
By Bradford McIntyre
Best of Dini Petty:
Published on Dec 1, 2015: Bradford McIntrye comes out on World Aids Day 1994 and begins a journey as an HIV/AIDS warrior. He had been given
6 months to live.
December 1, 2015 - World AIDS Day - In 1994, I decided to write a letter addressed to government and the media, about my personal story living with HIV, along with the needs of people, who were living with HIV/AIDS. My friend, Leah Brenda Smith, helped me draft the letter. My letter was one of putting the information out to the Universe! There was no anger, no telling government what to do, no demands for action. Telling my story about living with HIV, providing insight and information and hopefully, create awareness and change, touching the person or people who would read my letter. A Course in Miracles says, “A shift in perception is nothing short of a Miracle”!
Before mailing some 70 letters, I felt as though I was guided to send just one letter before any of the others. I would send the first letter to Dini Petty, talk show host, of “The Dini Petty Show”, in Toronto. I waited a few days and then mailed the rest of the letters. Just 3 days after I sent the letter to the Dini Petty Show, I received a call from Randy Gulliver, the Director of the Dini Petty Show, inviting me to be a guest on the show for World AIDS Day, Dec.1st, 1994.
I mentioned to Randy Gulliver, at the Dini Petty Show that every year, I would celebrate on November 28, the anniversary of my being told I had six months to live, in 1985. For many years, I celebrated the day by myself, as another milestone reached! I decided to make the 1994 anniversary the biggest celebration. Going public about my living with HIV in October on CJOH TV - Ottawa News and a Feature story in the Ottawa Citizen, meant I no longer needed to hide that I was HIV+! I was having a Celebration of Life party, the biggest ever because I had just come out about being HIV+ in the news.
A few days later, I flew to Toronto to be a guest on the Dini Petty Show, with accommodation for my overnight stay at the Royal York Hotel. All was provided by the Dini Petty Show. Being on the Dini Petty Show was cause for great, nervous excitement. While watching from the green room I heard Dini say,
“It's World AIDS Day and later in the show we are going to share with you one man's very inspirational story, an incredible story, of a man who is facing this disease head on. A story of Courage and a story of Hope!”
While seated next to Dini Petty on the show stage, she told the audience about my “Celebration of Life” party. The Dini Petty Show had arranged for a film crew from CJOH TV in Ottawa to cover the party. Dini told the audience,
“And every year you have this wonderful party, it's a celebration of life. This past Monday was the biggest celebration ever and CJOH TV in Ottawa was there, so we can be there. Let's take a look!”
I didn’t know they had done that so it was a total surprise.
Randy Gulliver and the staff at the show, pieced together from all the CJOH TV - Ottawa News footage of my Celebration of Life, a very moving look at the celebration. I was seeing the clip for the first time just as all of us watched and I could hardly keep back the tears. I had no idea the Dini Petty Show had arranged for CJOH TV in Ottawa to be at my party. When CJOH TV in Ottawa interviewed me, it was my first time on camera.
Never would I have imagined myself on the Dini Petty Show, having such an experience, especially meaningful to be on for World AIDS Day!
I have kept in touch with Dini and remained friends ever since being on her show. Dini Petty gave me wings to soar and create HIV/AIDS awareness.
When I launched my website Positively Positive Living with HIV/AIDS in 2003, I included a video of the Dini Petty Show on my Video page but it was taped from the television and not of good quality. A long time ago, I mentioned to Dini that I would love to have a video clip of the original show, for my website.
The Dini Petty Show was a Canadian daytime talk show, hosted by Dini Petty. The Dini Petty show aired from 1989 to 1999. All of the footage of the Dini Petty Show has been donated to the York University Archives. It's all been catalogued and is in climate controlled storage. Dini's collection of photos and video from her entire career is there. Here's the link to the archive. The footage from the Dini Petty Shows are being transferred and digitized. Dini has started a "Best Of Dini Petty" collection of her favourite interviews from the Dini Petty Show, on YouTube.
Now, it has all happened, the 1994 World AIDS Day show, when I was a guest, is posted on YouTube today, December 1st 2015, World AIDS Day.
I will be able to include the video on my website, which for me, really represents my beginnings as an HIV/AIDS Advocate.