I am kind of like the Spider-Man of the hospital.
When I tell people I’m a pharmacist during the week and then I DJ on the weekends, they think I’m joking. They think it’s me playing off the superhero alter-ego thing.
During the week, I don my scrubs and work in the nuclear pharmacy handling radioactive drugs. As a nuclear pharmacist, I work with injections or tracers that help diagnose and find cancer and other conditions. I make sure that the dose that each patient gets is the right calibration for the imaging and diagnostic procedure. After an injection, the patient goes through a scan to track the medication that is laced with radiation.
I’ve been a pharmacist since 1995. I used to be an oncology pharmacist at the hospital, compounding and creating the injections and infusions for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatments. I’ve also continued to study, and I will get my pharmacy doctorate in December.
On the weekends, I DJ. I travel all over the U.S. and Canada, and every year I go to Sydney, Australia, to spin for Mardi Gras. I’ve done pride events all over the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta. Pride is actually a season of DJ traveling gigs for me. Some people call me a Pride DJ.
At the 2018 NYC Pride parade, with NewYork-Presbyterian as a sponsor, both my careers are converging, and I’ll be wearing both hats when I DJ at the after-party that closes out the annual NYC Pride celebration with music, fireworks, and a special performance by Kylie Minogue. It is part of a weekend event called Pride Island held on Pier 97 at Hudson River Park.
I’m openly out myself. It’s not just a job for me. I am part of the community. I’m vocal when it comes to LGBT rights. I’m not afraid to say what I need to say or point out things that are wrong.
With both parts of my life, I feel like I’m helping people. Sometimes music is the medicine. And sometimes medicine is the medicine.
I got into music because of my uncle. I grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, and my mother is the oldest of eight. Music was always playing around the house, and I listened to what my grandparents, aunts, and uncles listened to. After school, I would sneak into my uncle’s room and play around with the turntables. He taught me all about musical selections.
We listened to everything. There was always this stereotype that this little black kid from Oklahoma would only listen to rap, but we listened to everything: the J. Geils Band. Journey. He taught me to never be ashamed of what you like, musically. To this day I blame him because he didn’t keep his little pesky nephew out of his room.