Gregg Cassin’s mother called him on his cell phone Monday night
and he had to hurry her off the phone because he was in the middle
of giving a talk to CSU students, faculty and community
He was discussing his life as a homosexual gay father who was
diagnosed HIV positive almost 20 years ago.
“Ok, mom, I gotta go- I love you, I’ll call you later,” Cassin
said. “And I’m homosexual!”
For 15 years, Cassin has been touring the nation, speaking at
schools, churches and corporate events. He speaks about his
experience in coming out to his parents, being a homosexual and
learning he had HIV.
“I truly believe that the deepest path we can go on is through
humbling, accepting, loving and appreciating ourselves,” he said.
“As a gay man, accepting myself was a way home.”
Cassin spoke candidly to the audience about growing up in a
Catholic home in Long Island, N.Y., always knowing he was gay but
never admitting to it until he attended college. He informed the
audience of his decision to tell his parents he was gay as a gift
“It was the scariest moment of my life, and I made the decision
that the gift to my parents was also a gift to myself,” he
With laughter and tears the audience listened to Cassin speak
about his first encounter with the AIDS virus when he was living in
San Francisco in the 1980s.
“I had this feeling that it was going to affect me, it was this
terrifying moment for me,” he said. “I went on being at risk, and
within a year, half of my friends started dying.”
Cassin was going to his friend’s memorial services on a regular
basis and said it was a time of incredible appreciation of
“I feel like one of the gifts that my friend’s who died gave me
was that we all came together in support with love and friendship,”
Concluding the evening, Cassin showed the audience a book his
daughter made when she was five years old about her father Kevan,
who died after contracting the AIDS virus. Drawings and pictures
showed an innocent view of the AIDS virus and her love for her
Cassin acknowledged that his talks give other homosexuals a
sense of understanding.
“Everyone of us has something that love could be poured into,”
he said. “Everyone knows the feeling of being isolated and alone,
and I’m trying to tell gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered
people, that we aren’t alone and that there are people who care and
Cassin will be giving a workshop for students and faculty
speaking on many of these issues at. D.C. Bottoms in the Durrell
Center today at 9 a.m.