Interview by James Richardson
Senior Forum JUL-AUG 2019
A role model and advocate for people living with HIV, Curt speaks publicly about his experiences and furthers education about HIV.
In addition, Curt volunteers in multiple ways for the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN). He also volunteers with the LGBTQ Alliance Fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, El Rio Health Center’s Special Immunology Associates Consumer Advisory Board, G3 Tucson, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, and Tucson Frontrunners. Curt promotes Odyssey Story Telling and Meet Me at Maynards, an event that advocates building community through fitness.
Curt has worked to bring panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Tucson. “Some families see a quilt section for the first time.”
From Buffalo, New York, Curt has been a familiar face and a tireless Champion in Tucson’s LGBTQ+ community for over 23 years. Testing positive for HIV in 1994, his prognosis was bleak.
“You appreciate life so much more when you think life is coming to an end. I was given a second chance and choose to give back to my community.”
“My first AIDS WALK was in Buffalo, NY. I wanted to raise funds for the local AIDS organization that helped me through those terrible first months of finding out, then dealing, with my diagnosis.”
Growing up Irish Catholic, with ten brothers and sisters, Curt was encouraged to be creative. “Nobody at home ever said, ‘Little boys don’t do that!’ My sister taught me to sew and crochet; then I was off to football practice.”
Mom taught me, “Take advantage of time and take nothing for granted.” Every morning, he texts his family to say hello and catch up on family news.
Curt is a lyricist and composer and plays guitar. He entertains at many Tucson events, including Pride Celebrations and the Tucson Folk Festival. Given a guitar in high school, his sister helped him pay for lessons. He then joined a Rock and Roll band.
In June, Curt brought his guitar and song books to the Southern Arizona Senior Pride Potluck for a Sing-a-Long!