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Fighting in Southwest Louisiana

Fighting in Southwest Louisiana

A portrait of Danny Cooper, a mailman in the rural American South who has been openly gay since high school in the middle of “redneck” country. Modest and self-effacing, when asked how he finds the courage, he shrugs, smiles his impish smile and says “People respect you if you respect yourself.” He went from being the only gay person in the region (except for his lover) to being the only HIV positive one, his home becoming known among the locals as “the AIDS house”. Because of his mail route, everyone knows him, and because he restored his run-down “gingerbread house” and saved it from demolition - generating a ton of local press coverage, His good deeds and winning personality have done much to help the community overcome its homophobia, although he did have to wage legal battles (both successful) to keep his home and his job. When it comes to living with HIV (in the days before effective medication) he again displays an inspiring wisdom: “Maybe I’m going to die. Oh well. But I’m still going to live until I do.” Danny is a real charmer, an uneducated local boy with an astonishing yet unassuming sophistication, and a role model for gay people and people with HIV everywhere.