Julene (she/her), is a native New Yorker, who moved to Seattle in 1989. She identifies as a bisexual. She has a long history studying Chinese and Western herbal medicine; she is certified as a green witch in the Wise Woman Tradition; she wild harvests and makes medicine for personal use. She went officially public about being a long term survivor in 2017 when her second full-sized poetry book was published, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS. A finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, her book won the Bisexual Book Award, and four Human Relations Indie Book Awards.
An experienced speaker and advocate, she has shared about living with HIV on panels, in poetry readings, and with the AIDS Memorial Pathway. She advocates for medical and educational systems to grow their awareness so engage with HIV/AIDS communities. She facilitates writing workshops and presents at conferences. Her book, truth be bold, was taught in English college courses at Long Island University - Brooklyn.
Julene worked for twenty-one years in AIDS services, eighteen of them as a case manager and adherence counselor, then in AIDS education. She was one of the founders of Babes Network, served on their Board, ran the committee that came up with the slogan "A sisterhood of women fighting AIDS together," and was the first columnist for their newsletter’s Health Corner. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is writing a memoir about her work in AIDS services while living with HIV/AIDS through the heart of the epidemic.
Julene is a fun-loving human with a warrior spirit. If she could leave you with one message after being in her presence and hearing her story, it’s this; “One can survive and thrive living with AIDS.” And boy has she.
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