Charis Books and More Logo

Desire Lines: Cary Alan Johnson in conversation with Dazon Dixon-Diallo

Event date: 
Friday, September 23, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free, but registration is requested if you choose to attend in person, and required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtuallyClick here to register to attend in person. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page to be sure you can participate in the event. 

Charis welcomes Cary Alan Johnson in conversation with Dazon Dixon-Diallo for a discussion of Desire Lines. At once graphic, intimate, and harrowing, Desire Lines is a roller coaster journey through gay New York in the 1980s--the sex, the drugs, and the trauma of AIDS--a moment marked equally by dramatic devastation and the fierce determination to survive. This event is co-hosted by THRIVESS. THRIVESS exisits to achieve health equity for Black gay men living with HIV through direct support, advocacy and building collective community power.

In Desire Lines, a Black teenager growing up gay in Brooklyn is captivated by a vision of life on the other side of the river, where the sparkle and glitter of Manhattan beckon. Coming into adulthood, he finds himself living in a five-floor walk-up in Hell's Kitchen just as the AIDS epidemic is hitting the city. We follow him and his group of friends as they experience the first wave of illness and death, and then accompany him on a two-year journey to Zaire, Central Africa, where he must confront corruption and homophobia in new and unexpected ways. Back in New York, he and his best friend-a biracial straight woman-try to find their place in a rapidly changing and increasingly perilous city that threatens to destroy first their friendship, and then the narrator himself.

Cary Alan Johnson is an author, activist and Africanist raised in Brooklyn and currently living in Central Africa.  He studied writing with Wesley Brown, Jane Copper Alexis DeVeaux, Randall Kenan, Louise Meriwether, and Susan Scarf-Merrell and has a Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  A long-time innovator in national and international queer politics and cultural activism, he was a founder of several ground-breaking organizations, including the Blackheart Collective, Gay Men of African Descent, Other Countries, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. A public health and HIV specialist with experience living and working in Guinea, Haiti, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe, Cary is currently the country director for Population Services International in Burundi.

Dázon Dixon Diallo is Founder and President of SisterLove, Inc, established in 1989, the first women’s HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Justice organization in the southeastern United States. Dázon is a recognized visionary and advocate in the struggle for human rights, sexual and reproductive justice, and the fight against HIV with, and on behalf of, communities of women and girls living with HIV and those at risk for HIV and STIs. She is a proud member of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda Partnership, where she advocates for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice in public health and prevention policies and programs.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage 

In-person event guidelines: 

  • RSVP is strongly recommended.

  • All attendees must wear a face mask at all times

  • Tickets are limited to restrict capacity and preference will be given to ticket holders.

  • We will begin seating people at 7 pm ET.

  • Additional copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

  • Home address is collected for contact tracing purposes.

  • This event will be live-streamed via crowdcast. Click here to register to attend virtually.

  • As a reminder: If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the event.

  • If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or to request specific accessibility accommodations, please contact info@charisbooksandmore.com or call the store at 404-524-0304

If you would like to watch the virtual event with computer-generated captions, please watch in Google Chrome and enable captions. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we continue to connect across distances.

By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
Charis Books and More
184 S. Candler Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Pre-Order Now Badge
Desire Lines By Cary Alan Johnson Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9798985034103
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Querelle Press - September 6th, 2022

In Desire Lines, a Black teenager growing up gay in Brooklyn is captivated by a vision of life on the other side of the river, where the sparkle and glitter of Manhattan beckon. Coming into adulthood, he finds himself living in a five-floor walk-up in Hell's Kitchen just as the AIDS epidemic is hitting the city.


Event Summary: 
At once graphic, intimate, and harrowing, Desire Lines is a roller coaster journey through gay New York in the 1980s--the sex, the drugs, and the trauma of AIDS--a moment marked equally by dramatic devastation and the fierce determination to survive.