New Year's Resolutions

The Zakar twins on how to avoid “getting the side eye about sexual escapades”

OraQuick’s in-home HIV test is the simplest way to get accurate, fast results without waiting in line at the clinic or doctor’s office. In less than 20 minutes, in the privacy of your own home, you can obtain your results and access to free counseling, and be on your way.

Perhaps most importantly, it’s the way to take control of your own sexual health and to own your own fabulous sex life, a perfect message as we head into the new year.

That’s why these Instagram stars and LGBTQ advocates are among OraQuick’s World AIDS Day ambassadors who are inspiring everyone to get tested regularly. Their goal is getting an additional 5,000 people to know their HIV status by New Year’s.

Queerty checked in with five of these ambassadors about why they get tested-in home, and their resolutions for 2019. 

Corey Lay

Instagram influencer Corey lay poses in a tank top in front of a rainbow flag.

Who Corey is, in his own words: Fitness coach who strives to be a positive source of motivation for people trying to reach their health goals.

1. People famously buy gym memberships in January, but then end up going just a few times. What’s your secret to sticking to healthy New Year’s resolutions?

It’s all about setting attainable and incremental goals. Instead of saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds.” I might say something like, “I want to stick to my meal plan every day and weigh myself once a week.” Knowing that if I stick to my meal plan I will reach my weight goals over time. Making my goals smaller and more actionable I am able to keep myself honest. This way I have something to celebrate every day and it is easy to recognize if I am off track. I also use technology to my advantage. I love to use my Apple Watch to track my workouts and calories burned. It’s really nice to get on a good multiple-day streak of hitting my goals. Not wanting to break the streak is a big motivator.

2. New Year’s resolution?

I have a few resolutions for 2019 and they’re all centered around fitness. I am currently working towards becoming a group and personal trainer. I’d like to become certified in 2019 so I can start helping others. Not sure if this will happen in 2019 or not, but I’d also love to start a queer-focused group training class that meets regularly. The fitness world can be very intimidating and isn’t always inclusive to all members of the queer family. I want to break down those walls and encourage everyone to reach their health goals.

3. You’ve teamed up with OraQuick to get 5,000 individuals tested by New Year’s. What inspired you to join the Together We Test campaign?

I have always been a firm believer in knowing your status and getting tested regularly. I’ve also had the benefit of coming out at a young age and having a very supportive family – discussions about HIV and getting tested were never taboo. I know not everyone has this same experience. Many of my social media followers are queer people of color – some of which aren’t open about their sexualities for various reasons. OraQuick is a gamechanger in allowing people who may not be out to get tested in the privacy of their own homes with no fear. I wanted to join the campaign to spread awareness and let people know there are options available for them whether they’re in the closet, out of the closet, have a doctor, or don’t.

Luis Alvarez Schacht

Bob the Drag Queen's gay assistant poses in a selfie with an I Voted sticker.

Who Luis is, in his own words: Bob the Drag Queen’s assistant & Los Angeles resident

1. How do you stay in shape?

Well, I’ll start by saying that I’ve gained 20lbs since moving to LA. While I’m allergic to the gym, I think it’s time I become one of “those” people. My secret? Probably see a hypnotist to get me to actually like salad.

2. New Year’s resolution? 

In 2019 I plan on doing everything I didn’t do in 2018, like finding a boyfriend and a decent full-time job. You know, the basics. Oh, and drink more water.

3. What inspired you to join the Together We Test campaign?

I’m ridiculous about getting tested and reminding everyone to get tested. I’m also a big fan of products that allow you to do things in the comfort of your own home. Everyone has reasons why they can’t or may not feel comfortable seeing a doctor or getting tested, so why not be a part of something that can take away that anxiety for some people?

Aurora Sexton

Transgender performer and actress Aurora Sexton poses in front of a beige wall.

Who Aurora is, in her own words: Performer/Writer/Actress

1. What’s your workout routine?

My secret is living a happy healthy lifestyle all year-round. Eat well but eat what you want, stay active, go on those dream vacations, eat off the nice china, ask your crush on a date, live well! When New Year’s actually does come around, I try to make resolutions I’ll actually keep – which isn’t going to the gym.

2. What’s the queer spin on your 2019 New Year’s resolution?

Oh, it always has a queer spin 🙂 This year my resolution is to take bigger risks. So, in January I’m leaving my job of 7 years, packing up my Nashville home and moving out west to Los Angeles to pursue my childhood dreams of acting and filmmaking. As a transgender woman, those avenues were not always available to me. There was no one on TV like me unless they were the butt of bad jokes and for a time I thought I might have to give up those dreams in order to live life as my authentic self. Thankfully, the industry is now more accepting and celebratory of trans and queer people, offering more serious roles and opportunities in film and television allowing us not only to grow and thrive but bring awareness and understanding to our communities as well. I’m ready to take the plunge and see what’s possible.

3. What inspired you to join the Together We Test campaign?

I came out at an early age and as such, was exposed to real life issues early on. I remember in my teens learning that 2 people very close to me had HIV and I cried thinking they would die soon because I was ignorant to what being HIV positive meant. Now that I know the differences between HIV and AIDS, and that you can live a full, long and healthy life with the virus, I feel it’s important to pass that knowledge on to others. Knowing your results and taking charge of your health and well-being is the best thing you can do for yourself. Now thanks to OraQuick you can test in the privacy and comfort of your own home. I’m honored to be a part of an important and lifesaving campaign.

Zakar Twins

Gay Instagram models the Zakar Twins pose shirtless with pride stickers.

Who Michael & Zach Zakar are, in their own words: Advocates against assholes and authors of #PrayTheGayAway: Bestseller coming to off-broadway 2019

1. What’s your secret to sticking to healthy New Year’s resolutions?

You have to be self-motivated. As far as being “healthy” you have to factor in what you eat. Because we work out six times a week, but eat like two New York rats & don’t see drastic results immediately. Trying to be healthy isn’t a resolution it’s a lifestyle. You have to physically push yourself, a gym membership means nothing if you’re just texting on your phone and collecting the free pizza and bagels at Planet Fitness.

2. 2019 resolution?

We’re currently in the works of turning our memoir, Pray The Gay Away, into an off-broadway show come 2019. Our resolution is to sell out every venue. We want people to get on their knees and and pray with us, obviously.

3. What inspired you to join the Together We Test campaign?

Knowing your status is very important & puts major ease to your mind. As two individuals traveling around the US it’s hard not hooking up, but having a product like OraQuick, you’re able to jump in and out of a store, instead of waiting at the doctor for 17 hours and getting the side eye about your sexual escapades.