HOUSTON, January 13, 2013 — Fashion is changing and many of us in the business believe that the industry needs to change as well. One of the reasons I pride myself on managing the Carter’s Bombshells and partnering with Vera Wear is that we stand for something. We have substance.
It’s really okay to be in the entertainment industry and want to make a difference, the Carter Bombshells are the evolution of fashion and we believe in positivity in this industry. Recently I met a kindred spirit in the industry who is doing just that.
Actor, designer, TV host, blogger, and model, Joseph Squellati, is coming forward to use his spotlight to make an impact. Joseph has a very popular and successful fashion blog for livingdeelife.com, hosts a segment on loadedtv.com and has worked in indie films like the John the Baptist docu-drama for National Geographic TV.
“Fashion is an amazing way to express your own individual style, there may be people out there who tell you what’s in and what’s not, but you can literally mix and match until you find a style that suits you and makes you unique; now that’s fashion! Fashion should be an extended way of expressing who you are, and the genre of fashion needs to become more positive.
I want to have my voice heard, plain and simple. I have found an industry that is crazy and wonderful that I fell in love with, and I, of course, want a long lasting career, but above all else I want to be at a point to where I can make a huge difference in the world and change people’s lives on a larger scale!” Joseph told me during a recent discussion.
But more than just an entertainer, he is an inspiration, having faced many obstacles in his life and overcoming them with the right attitude and sheer perseverance.
Being gay isn’t as controversial now as it was thirty years ago, but it’s still a brave step to take in coming out openly about it, and so many are still afraid to do so.
However, who can blame them when there is a large segment of society casting them to hell and trying to prevent them from having equal rights. So it’s important to stand up and have your voice heard in the face of adversity and Joseph does just that.
As hard enough as it may be in certain social circles to be openly gay, it also takes courage to admit you are HIV positive and to be a voice for that movement. Joseph is one of those voices. He’s open about his condition because he wants to change the perception of HIV and educate the ignorant.
“I remember being at a party,” explained Joseph, “and meeting some new people. Everything seemed great; we were doing shots together, getting to know each other. Then some of people overheard my friend asking me about my condition and they started to treat me very differently. They didn’t want to drink from the same shot glasses as me and were afraid that just by coming in contact with me they would contract HIV.
“It was complete and utter ignorance on their part, but the way they behaved was so rude and degrading that it put me into tears. I felt so isolated and pushed away that I ended up leaving after my friend had kicked those guys out of her house. It was one of those moments when I hated the position I was in. It was a very difficult thing to deal with at the time.”
Joseph recently decided to go public with his HIV status so he can spread truth about HIV and create awareness to help end ignorance. It takes an intrepid voice like Joseph’s to get this message out. But we all can play a part in spreading awareness and raising money for a cure. Many of us have teamed with organizations like Until There’s a Cure to help raise money for research and to help educate people about this disease. We must stand together with our fellow brothers and sisters to fight bigotry, to fight ignorance and to raise money to find a cure.
Inspirational, entertaining and driven, Joseph Squellati is sure to be a voice in the industry that will be heard for a long time. A good way to sum up the success of Joseph and his dauntless cause is with a motto that he lives by everyday: Never give up!
Carter Lee is the author of When Jonathan Cried For Me, host of Carter Lee Presents the Fever, Partner to verawear.com, a coach, and manager of models (Carter’s Bombshells). To learn more about Carter or to see all of his projects visit TheCarterLee.com.
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