Welcome to the homepage of Scott Fried – international award-winning speaker, youth educator, and HIV/AIDS advocate.

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As the holiday of Simchat Torah approaches, I would like to share a page from my third book, "A Private Midnight." The story seems to have inspired so many; I hope it inspires you, as well.

In the Autumn of each year, throughout my adolescence, I joined the congregation at my father’s synagogue as they would rise while the Torah would be taken out of its Ark. Sharing a collective history, we danced with it in our arms. In later years as an adult I celebrated the same holiday in a courtyard across the street from my synagogue. The other congregants crossed Ninth Avenue and rollicked into a garden. I stood among them, frozen. The garden was, in fact, the entrance to the Department of Health, where years earlier, in secrecy, alone, I got tested for HIV. Standing once again in front of that building, in a trance, I halted until someone placed the Torah in my arms. The other revelers drew close, enveloping. They raised their voices in song.

"The wind and the sun are on my face
Aye, Aye, I haven’t loved enough
I still don’t know how"

In order to find ourselves we must first sometimes lose ourselves. In order to move forward in life we must learn to build a lasting peace with our losses, with the changes in our lives. What if we lingered awhile with acceptance and a sense of belonging? What if we were to empty our pockets, open our closets and actually dance with our secrets?

In the middle of that garden, the music filled my ears and cascaded through my veins. Within me something was grasping for air, trying to break open, struggling to be turned loose. With a sense of urgency, I clasped the Torah and while singing the words to the chorus, I danced on the very spot where I was told I have HIV.

"Aye, Aye, I haven’t loved enough
Show me the way and I will go
Aye, Aye, I haven’t loved enough
If not now...when?"

In Hebrew, one of the many words for dance is "machol" and it comes from the same root of the word for “affliction.”

To be damaged or to dance.
To become stuck or to be gracefully moved through adversity.
To triumph in spite of suffering.

The moment is yours. You decide. ... See MoreSee Less

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I can recall one of my acting teachers saying, "Living in the unknown gives us an opportunity to surrender to miracles."

"But I'm afraid!"
"But I'm lost!"
"But I don't know what to do!"

As the High Holidays approach and a new year begins, I offer this short videoclip on living in the unknown.

youtu.be/3Ah-PvR8dJ8 ... See MoreSee Less

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A few days after Edie Windsor won her landmark case in front of the Supreme Court, I had the distinct honor of driving her home from synagogue. As throngs of jubilant LGBTQ fans encircled my car and cheered for her, Edie, sitting in the back seat, reflected on the bittersweet irony in losing her wife and winning her case. "If I can't have Thea's love," she said, waving at all her adoring and grateful fans, "at least I have the love of the community."

May that love last as long as her place in history. ... See MoreSee Less

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I'm very honored to be presenting a plenary lecture at the upcoming statewide conference for the Texas Council on Family Violence entitled: "The Danger and Thrill of Netflix & Chill: LGBTQ Dating & Relationships in a Digital Age." ... See MoreSee Less

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When teaching parents how to effectively communicate with a teenager, I ask them to consider the power of the "shush moment and the seeming absence."

We all long to be heard and held in the darkness of our private midnights.

#howtolistenwithlove ... See MoreSee Less

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