full name: demetre costas daskalakis
profession: infectious disease specialist
neighborhood: williamsburg, brooklyn
thesalting: what did you want to be when you grew up?
demetre daskalakis: a doctor
thesalting: when did you move to nyc and why?
demetre daskalakis: I moved to nyc in 1991 to start college at columbia university. I was 17....
thesalting: married or single?
demetre daskalakis: married
thesalting: what does gay pride mean to you?
demetre daskalakis: it means an opportunity to shine a light on our community by spreading awareness, tolerance, love and joy.
thesalting: guiltiest pleasure?
demetre daskalakis: sleep! LOL
thesalting: you're a force of nature. we rarely see you at rest. between your incredible work at the new york city department of health and owning/ running MONSTER CYCLE, how do you find the time for YOU?
demetre daskalakis: I'm a libra....so, balance is what I do. my husband, michael macneal, is a great reminder to me that life is not just about work. we make time together and that makes me sane and active!
thesalting: best advice you've ever received?
demetre daskalakis: don't apologize unless you really mean it, especially for doing the right thing.
thesalting: favorite piece of clothing you own?
demetre daskalakis: hmmm.....is a harness clothing? my Zana Bayne harnesses and my house of LaDosha naomi campbell t-shirt.
thesalting: why do you do what you do?
demetre daskalakis: HIV prevention and treatment is a mission for me. I do it because it hits close to home and because I love the science and the people. I feel like I am playing when I am at work. my new job has me going deeper into other areas like measles, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and more. I just love infectious disease public health and medicine and the social good that you can do when you do it right!
thesalting: 3 wishes for the world?
1) more love and less hate, especially in our current US political environment.
2) a cure for HIV that is affordable and accessible.
3) more time away from media and electronic devices to connect with each other.
thesalting: favorite pride memory?
demetre daskalakis: my first time dj-ing on the nyc health department's pride float!
thesalting: tell us a secret.
demetre daskalakis: I am a devout madonna fan, and get upset with people who criticize her.
thesalting: what is one step you take daily to erase hate form the world?
demetre daskalakis: I am just me. without apology. it influences all that I do and all of my work. being authentic and true to myself helps fuel the work to erase hate. also making sure all that we do for HIV is status neutral. that means doing right by people and not just seeing them as an HIV status.
thesalting: who inspires you?
* my husband
* my boss...oxiris barbot, nyc's commissioner of health
* all the young LGBTQ+++ folks I meet in the world who are activated to make a change in sexism, racism, transphobia, and homophobia...the equity battle touches all communities.
thesalting: how will you celebrate WorldPride 2019?
*dj-ing on the health department's WorldPride float
*speaking at the WorldPride rally
*going dancing with my husband and our friends