E112 – He wasn’t supposed to live past 1985, yet here we are sitting down with Reverend Steve Pieters! Hear the incredible life story of this inspiring pastor and long-term survivor of AIDS. His interview with televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in 1985 turned the Christian and LGBTQ communities both upside down, a storyline featured in the upcoming film “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield, coming out September 2021. Steve discusses his background growing up gay in the 1950’s, his journey into religious studies and leadership, the reality of his sickness in the early 80’s, and his miraculous story of recovery. He explains his near death experience in detail, and tells how this new knowledge influenced how he helped others with AIDS. Hear about his relationship to Albert Einstein, his discovery and career with the Metropolitan Community Church, and his current love with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. He even sings an original show tune “Medical Anomaly!” We hope you enjoy this amazing tale of recovery and hope.
- INFO: You can find Rev. Steve Pieters on Instagram and Twitter @aspieters, and on Facebook
- MEDIA: You’ll find Steve’s story in the following in The Los Angeles Sunday Times, Time Magazine, Omni Magazine, Life Magazine, CNN, Headline News, Tammy’s House Party with Tammy Faye Bakker, CBS This Morning, The Tom Snyder Show, America Talks Back, Real Life with Jane Pauley, many local tv and digital sources, the 2000 documentary and 2021 drama films “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and in the play AIDS US/II. His story is in books Surviving AIDS by Michael Callen, Voices That Care by Neal Hitchens, and Don’t Be Afraid Anymore by Rev. Troy D. Perry. He has written a series of articles for Journey magazine about his experiences with AIDS, which have been collected with other writings of his in the book, I’m Still Dancing.
- APPEARANCES: His appearances include as a speaker at the first annual AIDS benefit dinner with Elizabeth Taylor and First Lady Betty Ford, as a presenter of Buddy of the Year Award to Whoopi Goldberg at the third APLA benefit, and as a guest at the first AIDS Prayer Breakfast at the White House, with his conversation referenced by President Bill Clinton in the World AIDS Day speech on December 1, 1993. You will currently find Steve singing with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and giving sermons at MCC.
- AWARDS: Rev. Pieters has received many many awards for his ministry in the AIDS crisis from many churches and religious groups. He received an Honorary Doctor of Ministry Degree from Samaritan College the seminary of the MCC, the prestigious Sheldon Andelson Award from the Stonewall Democratic Club, and the Sandra L. Robinson Award from Community Unity in Dayton, Ohio. In October, 2019, examples of his work in AIDS Ministry and of his life as a person with HIV/AIDS were placed in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. See his full bio on https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7044504
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