I met Dorian on the St. Charles Ave. neutral ground on Fat Tuesday 2016. I recognized Dorian as a 610 Stomper, one of my favorite dance groups of Mardi Gras. I had to say hello. We shared a very brief connection and I asked to take a picture with my son, who was dressed up as Darth Vader. Dorian and I connected on Facebook, but I did not interact with him again until Mardi Gras 2017, when we crossed paths at the same exact spot as we did the previous year. I reconnected with Dorian and shared that I enjoy following his posts on Facebook and appreciate everything he does as a 610 Stomper. We shared another photo and went our separate ways.
When deciding to launch The Magic Hour, I felt compelled to highlight unique connections with people like Dorian, people you meet for very brief moments of time, yet share a powerful energy and connection. The image below captures the energy Dorian radiates on a typical march with the 610 Stompers.
Dorian’s interview left me thinking about the North American Indian Proverb, ‘To understand the man, you must first walk a mile in his moccasin.’ With Dorian's zest for life, it is hard to imagine a background full of many obstacles to overcome, including his adoption and his diagnosis as HIV positive. However, these challenges do not define his ability to be a positive force of change in the community. In fact, he embraces his identity by being the consummate volunteer and promoting living with HIV in a weekly radio show, “Proof Positive Show.” Dorian states, “It does not matter that I may save lives or care for the sick, the thing that brings most joy to people is my role with the 610 Stompers.” His fierce dedication to advocacy and education has not gone unnoticed; members of the community have named Dorian a hero in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This hero just happens to wear bright blue shorts and flaunt extraordinary moves parading down the streets of New Orleans.