In observance of World AIDS Day, the Council of the City of New York is proud to honor Luna Luis Ortiz for his outstanding commitment and contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS; and
WHEREAS: Luna Luis Ortiz is a native New Yorker who has been living with HIV for 29 years. He contracted HIV in 1986 through his first sexual experience at the age of 14. In 1988, theyear of the first World AIDS Day, he began his journey as a spokesperson for HIV awareness for other young people living with HIV, under the guidance of Ann Northrop and Andy Humm at the Hetrick- Martin Institute. As both an activist and an artist, Mr. Ortiz has continued to dedicate his life to HIV prevention in young people ever since. His early efforts were recognized in letters of appreciation from former New York City Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins; and
WHEREAS: In 1995, after studying photography at the School of Visual Arts and working with behind-the-lens luminaries including David LaChapelle, Lisa Ross, Shedrich Williames and Nan Goldin, Mr. Ortiz became a member of the Archive Project at Visual AIDS, the only arts organization fully committed to raising aids awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today. His photography has since been included in photography exhibitions in prominent local galleries as well as the Boston Center of the Arts and New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art. He was a featured artist living with HIV on MTV, VH1, TeleMundo, ABC, NY1, MSNBC, LOGO and PBS. His work has also graced many publications, including The New York Times, The Advocate, POZ, OUT, VIBE, Teen People and A&U—to cite only a few; and
WHEREAS: From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Ortiz taught photography and art therapy at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the Home of the Harvey Milk High School. He is also one of the co-founders of the House of Frame by Frame Fierce, a project that teaches animation filmmaking to high-risk youth as a form of activism. In 2007, the House of Frame by Frame Fierce received a Peabody Award for its work on a documentary short about the life of a transgender youth; and
WHEREAS: From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Ortiz was a spokesmodel for the “HIV Stops with Us” campaign, seen throughout the United States. In 2006, he received an Emery Award for his contributions to his respected communities as well as the Distinguished Service Award from the State of New York; and
WHEREAS: In 2007, Mr. Ortiz elevated his dedication to HIV prevention and youth work at the Gay Men Health Crisis (GMHC), where he works tirelessly on the agency’s social marketing campaigns as well as the organization’s youth workshops, conferences and health fairs to over 300 youth of color. He also plans and organizes a committee of House and Ball members for the annual Latex Ball, an event that attracts more than a 2,500 participants from around the world. On YouTube, Mr. Ortiz hosts “The Luna Show” which celebrates and preserves the ballroom history of the Latino and Black LGBT experience as well as HIV awareness; and
WHEREAS: Today, Mr. Ortiz continues to share his story of living with HIV for 29 years to inspire and empower youth of color around the world. His passions as a father of the House of Khan (whose members compete in “vogue” competitions at the balls) give him the opportunity to continue to guide and support young people from the LGBT experience; now, therefore
BE IT KNOWN: That the Council of the City of New York is proud to honor Luna Luis Ortiz.