DC's Different Drummers
D.C.'s Different Drummers is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender music organization welcoming ALL musicians as it fosters pride, inclusivity, and engagement with the greater Washington, D.C. region through music.
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
— Henry David Thoreau
Josh Robbins "I'm Still Josh"
HIV-positive activist, blogger, talent agent, writer & social media marketer
“[...] I learned on Jan. 24, 2012 that I am HIV positive. [...] But that is just part of my story. It’s just part of how and why I got here today. I decided to make an HIV blog because my circumstance of being newly poz isn’t my death sentence, it isn’t even close to what defines ME as Josh, and I want people both positive and negative to find a piece of hope through my experiences: to prevent the result that was read to me from being given to them OR if it was a POZ result– realizing it’s only the beginning on a new world.”
Pedro Zamora (1972 - 1994)
HIV/AIDS Activist & Educator
A Cuban-American diagnosed with HIV at the age of 17, Pedro was a fearless influencer, role-model activist (HIV & LGBTQ+), advocate and sexual health educator.
He starred on the national TV show MTV's Real World: San Francisco where he came out about being gay and eventually HIV positive. His story gained national attention from the Wall Street Journal, Geraldo and Oprah Winfrey. He proceeded to go to high schools across the country to talk about his HIV status and educated students about sexual health and safety.
He spoke at a Capitol Hill reception as a gay man of color living with AIDS in 1993. He testified before a Congressional hearing on HIV/AIDS prevention, awareness and sex education reform in 1994. He told Congress that "what we need is the collective will to care about young people and about people with different backgrounds and make sure that one day people grow up in a world without AIDS". Soon after, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala personally thanked and recognized Pedro Zamora for his work and leadership on the AIDS Action Council Board of Directors as well as for humanizing and personalizing those living with HIV and AIDS.
In 1994 when he was 24 years old he died from AIDS complications with his family at his side. Even though Pedro is physically deceased, his memory and work live on. Whether it be through medical centers, streets, schools and scholarships being named after him or whether it be people affected by his relentless mission to educate. My advocacy and activism is a product of Pedro's tireless efforts. He cannot truly be dead because when I found his story days after being diagnosed with HIV at the age of 17, he both inspired and empowered me to do something about it. He made me feel like my HIV status did not make me a slut because and that I could make a difference by speaking up.
Since he has continued to substantially impact generations a decade and a half after his death, then it is clear that he lives on. He lives on through the passionate words and decisive actions that work towards a world free of HIV by people who have been activated and empowered by his story. Empowered by Pedro Zamora's story of courage, relentless positivity and a determination to affect change through compassion and speaking up in the face of immense adversity and stigma.
Director of Product Development,
Infinite Biomedical Technologies (IBT)
Martín has a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland and a MSE in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. In his time working at IBT he has launched three FDA-registered medical devices that empower prosthesis users with next generation technology. He has over 6 years of experience in product development and strives to build strong teams that are ready to tackle the most challenging problems.
Martín's work with prosthetics helps amputees to break down barriers so that they can have a fairer chance at pursuing their life ambitions. His continuous goal to "empower people to live meaningful lives through better technology" aptly illustrates the impact he has made and continues to make everyday.
Not only does his work speak for itself but throughout his life Martín's love and compassion towards others has left positive footprints on his communities, friends and family (myself included).
Secretary, Virginia Young Democrats (VAYD)
Graham Weinschenk serves as the Secretary of the Virginia Young Democrats (VAYD) and as an At-Large Member of the Democratic National Committee Youth Council. Prior to serving as the Secretary of VAYD, he was the Chair of the VAYD Teen Caucus. For the 2016-2017 academic year, Graham served as the Vice Chair of the Arlington Public Schools Student Advisory Board. He is a passionate advocate for medically accurate sex education, having worked on legislation in the Virginia General Assembly for several years. Graham is a freshman at the College of William & Mary and is studying Government.