“When my son Ryan wanted to continue going to school, only one man in all of state government was brave enough to stand up for him. Ryan and I are both so grateful,” said White-Gender. “With all that’s wrong with our country, we need courageous people like Dr. Myers in Congress who will do what’s right.”
As Health Commissioner from 1985-1990, Dr. Myers championed Ryan’s cause when his community turned against him. Diagnosed with HIV in 1984 from infected blood-based products, 13 year-old Ryan was told to leave his public school for the erroneous fear he would spread the virus through casual contact. At a time when HIV-AIDS was widely misunderstood, Dr. Myers boldly took on his role of Indiana’s state’s medical expert, educated Hoosiers on the nature of the virus and took action to bring a voice to a child who needed it most.
“I’m so honored Jeanne is helping out our campaign,” said Myers. “She exemplifies the hope and courage of the people of Indianapolis. She serves as a role model in compassion and tenacity to our city and our nation.”
Myers has been criticized by some in the GLBT community because he once favored the quarantine of all AIDs patients who knowingly spread the disease and tracking all persons who tested positive for the HIV virus when he was Indiana's health commissioner. When former New York Mayor David Dinkins appointed Myers to head that city's health department, he met with strong opposition from New York's gay community. Myers later softened his position after he learned more about the disease.