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

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Many, many years ago, in an HIV/AIDS support group, my friend Gordon raised his hand to share.

"I'm going to die of AIDS. And it's okay with me. I'm NOT afraid!"

Sitting on the other side of the room, I held my breath as the facilitator nodded her head and asked, "Then what is your greatest fear?"

Gordon replied, "Losing my dignity."

Thus the song, "Will I?," for the musical RENT, was written.

Almost three decades later, sitting in a high auditorium, I held my breath as a group of teenagers rehearsed their favorite song from their upcoming production of RENT.

Thank you to the students, teachers and especially, the performers, of William Cullen Bryant High School for serenading me and igniting my memories.

#fivehundredtwentyfivethousandmomentssodear ... See MoreSee Less

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A new year brings new opportunities to interrupt the future narrative and inspire this world.

Whenever I feel unsure about our future, I look into the eyes of my students and I know we'll be okay.

Here's my proof:

"I am currently sitting in my college dorm room after you had just lectured to us. I did not get a chance to say thank you afterwards, and I so wish I did. I wanted to send you this to say thank you for driving the 7 hours up to talk to us, to look into each of our eyes, to affirm that we are loved and accepted, and to share your story, and grace us with your presence. It was a pleasure and an honor to be able to listen to you in person and feel impacted and empowered by your poetic words. You truly have a gift of touching people's hearts and souls, in the most beautiful way." ... See MoreSee Less

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In honor of World AIDS Week, I remember:

Steven, who was the first of my 133 friends to die. At 25 years of age, he was only one day older than me.

Dennis gave all his possessions away in his final days; I got his high school ring.

Mark and I played American Top 40 trivia as he lay dying, while his parents sat in the next room, too afraid to come in.

Adrian’s KS lesions covered his entire face. The only part that wasn’t covered was his smile. He once said, "Every rosebud is a formal promise."

At Jennifer's funeral, as a soft wind stirred, a willow branch tapped me on the shoulder and I remembered her saying, “Of course there’s more when we die. Where else would music go?”

Michael insisted, “I’m not dying till I find out who wins the Oscar for Best Picture." It was “Schindler’s List” that year.

Greg said, "I feel like every cell in my body has a tear to shed."

Philip would get down on his knees every time he hugged me as if to say, “Don’t ever reach for love. Let love reach for you.”

Jesus cried out for his papa in his final hours.

Lynn was quiet. He always held his hands in his pockets.

John Fletcher Harris once said, "Stand up, let your leaves fall all around you, and with bare branches, expose yourself to the sun; expose yourself to God."

Diana finally found the love of her life.

On the day he died, Larry looked at the circle of friends that had placed their hands on his body and said, "I feel so much pain and so much love...all at the same time."

Jerry and I got our ears pierced in the east village. When I was scared of dying, he would pray with me.

Billy shared his umbrella with me on rainy days.

Andrew gave me $5 to buy myself something to eat. He said, "Everyone deserves to be saved once in awhile."

Anna Marie was always smiling. She called me, “Sunshine.”

Eddie refused to stop dancing. He died on stage, while performing in a ballet production.

The last time I saw Ritchie, he told me to go back to dance class. “Because you can, Scotty," he said. "Dance because you can!”

Ross wept when he said, "This is not the way I wanted my life to go, but I'm still so grateful for my life."

And I remember the man from whom I got infected, 29 years ago this week, who looked into my eyes and said, "I didn't use a condom that time."

I remember
I remember
I remember ... See MoreSee Less

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Here's what a group of amazing 8th graders have to say about the future! ... See MoreSee Less

Peace Will Come!

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