No Boundaries: On the Set of Ron B’s Show

On the set of Ron B’s show, No Boundaries: Up Close and Personal, at MNN (Manhattan Neighborhood Network)


Ron B at MNN. No Boundaries show. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Ron B at MNN. No Boundaries show. Photo by Alina Oswald.

“Just call me Ron B,” the out trans actor, activist and Tina Turner impersonator once told me, back in 2008, when I first interviewed her after meeting her at a World AIDS Day 2007 event. Who’s Ron B? She’s an inspiring person, an activist and also actor–she appeared in Angels in America, Law & Order among others. Ron B. is a mentor, impersonating in a way many people’s goals, inspiring and empowering others and guiding others on how to make it not only in Manhattan or in the world of entertainment, but most importantly, in life.

I was humbled when Ron B. invited me to be on her show, No Boundaries, taped at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network in…you guessed, New York City. While I feel much more comfortable behind the camera or the mic for that matter, I accepted the invitation. I was worried though. When you end up in front of the lens is much more…difficult. You become aware of things you might not really care to pay attention to otherwise. I surely don’t. Things like–how to apply makeup or how to get the hair to stay put (mine never does). And also, there’s the constant awareness of how you look, overall. So, yes, I was excited but also…freaking out for lack of a better word. But, luckily, I had Ron B. to calm my nerves and fears. Ron B. is that kinda person.

Behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes at MNN.

The experience of being on No Boundaries show was one-of-a-kind. Fantastic. Fabulous. Unique. Eye-opening, too. I got to reconnect, and also meet great people–artists and those working behind the scenes at MNN. And I got to chat about a few things dear to me, like, for example, A&U Magazine–America’s AIDS Magazine and the team that makes this publication one of its kind. And we also got to mention my book, Journeys Through Darkness–A Biography of AIDS, and award-winning legally blind photographer, Kurt Weston, at the center of this book.  Stay tuned for the upcoming vimeo video to find out more!

I also took a few pictures of Ron B. and PepC performing, after the panel discussion. Check them out!

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Thank you Ron B. for this fantastic opportunity, and for always being a beacon of hope for many of us. Thank you also to the MNN team!


Until next blog post,

Alina Oswald



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