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Food for Thought

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An early step in the development of Paul Lekakis's HIV-themed film Don't Tell, Don't Ask was the thought of linking the movie with an AIDS service organization to both give the film more weight and to hopefully raise funds for the sponsoring organization, Lekakis says. The decision turned out to be a no-brainer. One of the film's producers, Michael Roth, MD, was a former board member of Los Angeles's Project Angel Food, a group that delivers meals to HIV-positive people and others with serious illnesses. Roth quickly took the agency on board. John Gile, executive director of Project Angel Food, says his organization was eager to participate in the project, particularly since the film addresses HIV disclosure issues, which he says remains an ongoing problem for all HIV-positive people. 'I think the quality of the film is very good, and it addresses very important issues,' Gile said after having viewed the first rough cut of the movie. 'Probably a lot of gay men go through the whole routine we see in the movie. It's certainly going to appeal to a lot of people.' Gile says his agency also helped to recruit celebrity AIDS activists Bruce Vilanch, Harvey Fierstein, and Whoopi Goldberg'all supporters of Project Angel Food'to participate in the film through short commentaries they give about safer sex and HIV awareness. Any money raised by showing Don't Tell, Don't Ask at gay and independent film festivals or through broadcasts on cable TV will benefit Project Angel Food, according to Lekakis.

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.