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"Tiger Mandingo,” Who Got 30 Years For Not Telling Sex Partners He Had HIV, Is Free 25 Years Early

In a racially and sexually charged trial, Michael Johnson got a longer sentence than many murderers do.

Steven Thrasher • 14 days ago

"Tiger Mandingo," Who Once Faced 30 Years In Prison In HIV Case, Gets Parole

Michael Johnson, whose conviction for exposing others to HIV garnered international headlines and put US HIV laws under scrutiny, has been granted parole.

Steven Thrasher • One year ago

Why Is "Angels In America" Still The Most Prominent Story Being Told About AIDS?

Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play is back on Broadway 25 years after its debut. But does it hold up — or is its enduring legacy misguided nostalgia for when white men dominated AIDS narratives?

Steven Thrasher • One year ago

“Tiger Mandingo” Pleads No Contest To Knowingly Transmitting HIV

Michael Johnson, better known by his social media name Tiger Mandingo, took a plea deal that could set him free within 18 months. He had been sentenced to 30 years for “recklessly” infecting a sexual partner, but an appeals court ordered a new trial because prosecutors withheld evidence from Johnson’s attorneys.

Steven Thrasher • One year ago

The Whitney Plantation Is The Only Confederate Monument We Should Keep

I went to the Whitney Plantation Museum to see if America is ready to reckon with its past.

Steven Thrasher • One year ago

“Tiger Mandingo,” Convicted Of Spreading HIV, Wins A Major Victory

The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed a ruling that the college wrestler’s racially charged trial was “fundamentally unfair.” Prosecutors say, “We’re prepared to try the case again.”

Steven Thrasher • 2 years ago

HIV Conviction Of "Tiger Mandingo" Has Been Thrown Out

Michael Johnson was sentenced to 30 years for "recklessly" infecting a sexual partner with HIV. Now, an appeals court has ordered a new trial because prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence from Johnson's attorneys "to gain a strategic advantage." Update: This post has been expanded to include more information from the court's ruling as well as context about Johnson's case and the nation's HIV laws.

Steven Thrasher • 2 years ago

A Black Body On Trial: The Conviction Of HIV-Positive "Tiger Mandingo"

Officially, former college wrestler Michael Johnson was on trial for not telling his sexual partners that he had HIV. But inside the courtroom, the man known as Tiger Mandingo was also up against America’s attitudes on race and sexuality.

Steven Thrasher • 3 years ago

"Tiger Mandingo” Sentenced To At Least 30 Years In HIV Case

In the sentencing hearing, new evidence from more than 30 sex videos was presented. A friend of Johnson's testified that he was "a gentle giant."

Steven Thrasher • 4 years ago

"Tiger Mandingo" Found Guilty In HIV Case, Faces Life In Prison

A jury found the former college wrestler guilty of recklessly infecting a partner with HIV, attempting to recklessly infect a partner with HIV, and three counts of recklessly exposing partners to HIV.

Steven Thrasher • 4 years ago

“Tiger Mandingo,” Accused In HIV Case, Says He’s Being Held In Solitary

Former college wrestler Michael Johnson says he has been locked up alone for up to 23 hours a day for the last three months. He has become the face of laws that criminalize HIV-positive people for having sex without telling their partners they are infected, even if they practice safe sex. His trial began today.

Steven Thrasher • 4 years ago

How We Fuck Now

BuzzFeed LGBT editor Saeed Jones joins journalists Steven Thrasher and Dave Tuller to discuss sex, gay men, and what we are (and aren’t) doing. "Marriage and wedding registries are much easier to talk about than fucking."

Saeed Jones • 4 years ago

How College Wrestling Star "Tiger Mandingo" Became An HIV Scapegoat

“Everyone wanted a piece of him, until he had HIV.”

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

Gay St. Louis And City's Mayor Welcome Michael Sam With "Open Arms"

"Michael Sam scoring a touchdown, see Michael Sam tearing through an offensive line.... That will help take Missouri into the 21st century," says out state lawmaker Mike Colona.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

8 Reasons To Miss Gray's Papaya In The West Village

After 28 years, Gray's Papaya has closed and Greenwich Village will never be the same. If you've been a New Yorker at any point in the past few decades, here are some things you'll miss.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

How A Monkey In A Toilet Helped Me Find God

My body started falling apart, then I lost my job. A red-faced rhesus macaque and a bout of dysentery helped me find my path.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

When I Saw Nelson Mandela At The Los Angeles Coliseum With My Dad

My dad toiled away on anti-apartheid campaigns throughout the '80s in California. In 1990, we got to see Nelson Mandela come to town.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

A Personal And Political History Of The Afro

Dante de Blasio's bountiful fro has been a rare flash point in an otherwise drama-free New York City mayoral campaign, bringing the hairstyle's cultural trajectory from revolutionary to mundane and now back again.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

How Unjust Family Laws Are Keeping LGBT Parents Away From Their Children

Even as public perception shifts and marriage equality gains headway, LGBT parents, who are raising an estimated 6 million children in the U.S., face discriminatory parental and adoption rights. Many trans parents especially have to choose between retaining custody of their children and coming out.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

It Turns Out New York City Doesn't Hate Strong Women

Christine Quinn's real problem was that she backed down. Tish James emerges.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago

Bayard Rustin: The Man Homophobia Almost Erased From History

Rustin played a key role in advancing civil rights and economic justice. His partner, Walter Naegle, talks with BuzzFeed about that legacy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march Rustin made a reality.

Steven Thrasher • 5 years ago