Skip directly to content

Q & A with Board Member Frank Bua

2013 TAGupdate

You have been an LGBT activist for a long time. What appealed to you about TAG?

I had just turned twelve when HIV reared its ugly head. There was so much societal and medical uncertainty during such a critical stage of my development that I determined it was best not to act on my sexual impulses. And watching boyhood idols like Rock Hudson and Freddy Mercury succumb to the mysterious disease helped keep the closet door firmly shut even longer. Looking back, it was probably no small coincidence that I came to terms with my sexuality around the same time that the AIDS enigma started to unravel. Only then—after more than a decade—was I able to claim my place in life as a gay man. I remain saddened and painfully aware that so many people just a few years older than me never got to live their lives, and am frustrated that the same disease that stole a generation continues to exist so prolifically. So I vowed to become involved in the original rallying call for our movement, the fight to treat those that have HIV, and to ultimately cure those who have AIDS, and all roads led to Treatment Action Group. TAG has the organization, infrastructure, and staff to help remove the vacuum of awareness that continues to surround this disease, to drive scientific research and governmental agencies to work in tandem, and to affect tangible on-the- ground change. I do not want the youngest generation of gays hiding in the closet the way I did, but I do believe there needs to be a reeducation about the power and pervasiveness of the virus. A treatment isn’t
a cure, and until there is a cure, there is TAG.

You bring significant board experience to TAG. Do you have a particular skill or area of expertise that interests you most when working on a board?

One of the things that make TAG unique among the nonprofit organizations I’ve worked closely with is that it is more progressive think tank than traditional nonprofit organization. In that context, I hope to do my small part to move the organization’s agenda forward: ensuring that all people with HIV have access to treatment, making treatment as progressive and affordable as possible, and finding the elusive cure. I have long believed in the power of the group dynamic to affect change. TAG has such an impressive collection of minds, and it is truly a privilege to be a part of the organization.

You and your partner have twins. How do you balance all of your activism and work with raising a family?  

My family is the raison d’être for my activism. I wake up every morning amazed that I live in a society where two dads can raise a family, but concerned that the progress that we have made pales compared with all that is left to accomplish. It is my hope that, in some small way, my work with the LGBT community can help educate the broader community, change hearts and minds, and facilitate the types of conversations necessary to make the world a better place for Holden and Zoe.•