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July 11, 2017

Tweakers Documentary Celebrates 10 Years


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The documentary film “Tweakers” is celebrating ten years this month. In recognition of this milestone, the City of West Hollywood and The Tweakers Project are hosting a 10th anniversary screening of this groundbreaking anti-crystal meth PSA on Friday, February 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room at West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

Join me and a group of my sober peers for a panel discussion after the screening.

I’m not in this film. Unfortunately I was not clean and sober when production began. It’s a pretty safe bet that my ass was on a mean, messy and nasty run during the filming of this documentary in 2006 and my freshly kicked ass was on mental lockdown in rehab at the Van Ness Recovery House with only a few weeks clean when the film debuted at the start of 2007 (the VNRH program director Kathy Watt, is featured in the film).

I did have an opportunity to give you some tight abs and perky tits action for the Tweakers Project print campaign in 2007 to promote the film. The images were also used as resources for crystal meth harm reduction programs and drug treatment facilities.

Paulo Murillo The Hiss Fit

 

I barely scratched nine months of meth freedom when West Hollywood resident and Tweakers producer Jimmy Palmiery hit me up to participate in a meth ad campaign with a happy, healthy, and meth free message. He failed to mention that I would be frolicking with singer, model and actor Paul Lekakis, which wasn’t intimidating in the least bit (on Opposite Day).

In all honesty, I was uncomfortable with the word “tweaker” and all the dirty whore stigma that came with it. My then boyfriend forbade me from doing it, because he didn’t want to see me plastered all over West Hollywood with Tweaker stamped on my forehead (instead, he witnessed me pressing my crotch against Lekakis). I decided I didn’t give two fucks and agreed to do the campaign, because I figured putting my past meth use on Front Street would hold me accountable and help me stay the sober course. It was also important to give recovery a positive spin, which was in complete contrast to the “I Lost Me to Meth” campaign that showed sucked-up gay men in the throes of addiction.

Paulo Murillo The Hiss Fit

 

Some people loved the ads and totally understood what we were doing. Others were out of touch with the crystal meth epidemic that continues to ravage the LGBT community and accused us of glamorizing crystal meth use. I’m gonna say I love it and I’m glad I did it, because accountability is a tool that has kept me clean.

So here we are, theTweaker’s film is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and I recently hit double digits myself with 10 years clean and sober this past January 10. I don’t know why some people get to stay off of crystal meth and others do not. I’m definitely one of the lucky ones.

The Tweakers documentary is based on a book by Frank Sanello that chronicles the devastating impact of crystal meth addiction on the LGBT community. The film was sponsored by The City of West Hollywood, Christopher Street West, Wells Fargo, the Women’s Cultural Arts Foundation, Michaeljohn Horne, Prometa Health Center, and the Van Ness Recovery House.

Participants included people who previously struggled with meth addition, as well as recording artist Brian Grillo, (Extra Fancy) who composed the original score; Tony and Emmy Award winner Elisabeth Ashley; GLAAD media award winner and drag impresario Miss Coco Peru; respected immunologist Dr. Michael Gottlieb, radio personality Cary Harrison, awarding winning author Zsa Zsa Gershick; award-winning playwright Dan Berkowitz, adult film star Kevin Kramer and members of the West Hollywood City Council.

A lot has happened in ten years. I hope to see you guys at the Tweakers screening and panel discussion this Friday. Admission is free, the movie is only an hour long, and you get free onsite parking in the 5-story public parking structure with validation.

For more information, call 323-848-6823 or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/thetweakersproject/

Luv,
Me

 

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About Paulo Murillo,

Paulo has been writing for the gay media for over 16 years. He made his debut as a columnist for FAB! Newspaper. He has written for LA Health News, IN Los Angeles, Frontiers and The Fight Magazine. He has been featured in The Bay Area Reporter, XY Magazine, Bay Windows, Windy Times, and Press Pass Q, He has been quoted in the pages of Edge Magazine, Gay & Lesbian Times, Seattle Gay News, Fuges, and in a shitload of online news outlets and blogs, thanks in large part to Rex Wocker’s Quote on Quote – Wockner Wire.

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