Standing in the background I pay attention to what’s being said and how others are reacting to what’s going on….guess that’s what’s in my nature. From my perspective, I want to keep my eyes open to understanding the hiv community, it’s needs, it’s understanding, the patience that helps some of us through the toughest times of our lives. Sometimes when I look at those who have taken the lead, the struggle and the progress that comes from it, I also can’t escape the comments of problems, stigma, not helping, setting the movement back. Honestly some of that actually scares me and then I don’t feel so welcomed, then I don’t feel safe, then I remember how limited my resources are being in the hiv community.
We have to remember to be a refuge to newcomers and veterans at all times. That’s what we need, the more voices that reach out in solidarity I would argue the better. We won’t always be famous, or ready for a role to make a profound difference, still anyone who knows what it’s like to be there for the hiv community either having the virus or dating or married to the person carrying it, your voice counts all the same.
I won’t deny the constant frustration of wondering how many years go by and people still seem to be stuck in the neutral position wondering when sexual education is going to be manditory in mainstream life, this is what I have accepted, what I have know that education doesn’t always start at a phone or computer screen, often times its word of mouth and when we accept the talks we have to have, keeping it organic, we may just make more advancement then the last generation. That means that I’m asking for us to endure some of the coversations that are annoyingly taboo, to our culture, and just break it down and hope it holds fast this time.
My goal, one way or another is to be the last generation that has to experience hiv in my lifetime, or the next, that advocates find more just like them and teach them the skill necessary to keep walking that road to the finish. My goal is to take the fear and ignorance away, leaving no more spaces to hide. Some days I feel as though we are refugees in a foreign land, waiting for a time where we are not viewed as threats, to people’s way of everyday living, where we are seen as like everyone else. Living in the light where we don’t have to fight everything that comes our way.
What’s important to me is not just the fact we need to live to treat ourselves and those alike with the same love and respect we show ourselves to others, please understand this, “trust and respect are thing earned and displayed.” What this quote means, is that it takes effort on our part to take the lead, helping others like us to know how to stand up in good times and stand up in times of difficulty, that we look out for each other no matter where we are or live and that we provide a safe place because we should, it should be automatic.
If we find ourselves in a place where we don’t agree with where a person is at stepping on to the scene of hiv, leave your arms open to help, love, accept, and give knowledge. Knowledge is a gift, a free one at that, it shows we care and that we have been there. Welcome home as we send you back out there in the real world once again standing on two feet out in the open.