Come Out at Work: As HIV+ [video]

Gretchen Jones won Season 8 of “Project Runway,” and still Mondo Guerra came out on top.

Heidi Klum looked ravishing wearing his “bubble” dress at a recent screening of “Black Swan,” and Mondo collaborated with Piperlime in designing a t-shirt for World AIDS Day. How could he be so successful so soon after the season finale?

Guerra left an indelible mark on the judges, his fellow designers, and perhaps on the “Project Runway” franchise itself when he came out as HIV+ near the tear-filled end of episode 10.

The project that week was to incorporate something about one’s past into the design of a textile pattern. Guerra used positive and negative space to vibrant effect:  he designed a pattern with purple, gold and black geometric shapes, and with inspired subtlety, the black negative space was in the shape of “+” signs.

During the judging, he revealed that the plus signs represented his HIV+ status. Tears ensued, naturally. Take a look:

Mondo displayed real courage in revealing a part of himself that others could readily disparage, sometimes with painful consequences.

Through his confident proclamation, he demonstrated that other people’s reactions are less relevant than one’s own sense of self. Upon divulging his HIV status, he said “I feel alot better. I feel free.”

To which one of his fellow competitors responded “We love you.”

Our friends at Gawker have additional video on this heart-wrenching story.

What would it take for you to let free a part of your self you’ve been hiding at work?

Image via


  1. Pingback: Come Out at Work: With a Triple-Whammy | Whole Wide Work
  2. Pingback: 18 Ways You Can Come Out at Work Today | Whole Wide Work

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>