Melancholy clouds my atmosphere
Oxygen escapes me along with the right answers
and without you I am as I was before you
I’m an imperfect being
In an imperfect world
but in your presence it’s amplified
the silence is deafening
I’m a 30 year old black male who has been living for 5 years with HIV and I’ve recently entered into a relationship with a younger male who is HIV negative. I’ve used a condom more in our relationship than I ever have before throughout my entire life. At first, the condom served as a reminder that by circumstance of the decisions I made, he would always be something I could no longer be. As my respect for him grows, I see them (condoms) for what they are - a barrier to ensure his safety & protect him while we are together and if, God forbid, things don’t work out - protect him and those he associates himself with after me. I’d also like to add that he doesn’t allow me to think badly about myself and reminded me in the beginning how untrue it is to think of myself as damaged goods, adding that “No one goes to the doctor and asks to get an HIV injection”. It’s not just what he says but the respect that he regards me with that eventually brought me out of my haze, where I thought that everyone’s sexual responsibility was their own - and that if they did contract any STI’s that they Owned 50% of the blame in equal portions. Not that I was at all sexually malicious with anyone I had been with but now I see the world almost as differently as if I were once again back on the other side of the fence.
Having an STD or STI does come with responsibility that people without simply don’t have. Not to say that they are removed from the responsibilities of protecting themselves and their partners in whichever fashion they so choose. I understand personally how this reality can be an intimidating factor almost 100% of the time. We have all got to realize and agree that until we admit that we and the people we choose to have sex with are at least worth A: acknowledging there IS a conversation to be had and B: that speaking the first words are primarily in the court of the ones who know their risky behaviors (with or without diagnosis) may put someone else at risk - we are doomed to be locked within a prison of our own design. I know how intimidating this is - I didn’t come out to my man for weeks all because I… didn’t know how to form the words… thought he already knew… and didn’t want my business in the hands of someone who could use it to hurt me. It was after knowing him that I learned when you ALWAYS LEAD with the truth about who you are and what you do/have done, there’s no way someone can have you in shackles - Literally, or otherwise. This doesn’t always feel practical - but in life, in order to ascend to a higher level of being, we have to constantly be shedding the stale layers of who we’ve always been and “Simply become who we are”.
If I could say anything to everyone that may/may not be living in fear as if I were sitting across from you it would be this: People are going to say things that rub us the wrong way - Sometimes intentionally, sometimes without intention. This fact is multiplied to the trillionth power via the anonymity of the internet. The thing to remember is that these rotten responses are generated by people. Who have lives, emotions, and entered this virtual platform the same way you did, albeit with varying degrees of intentions. They may be responding out of fear, ignorance, pain, anger, sadness, or even a place of concern. It’s how we choose to respond to them that either adds fuel to the fire or throws water on it. You are who is in control - so respond, if necessary, from a place of control, but first make an attempt not only to understand what they’ve said/posted, but why…
-Archer, Chasing Arrows
(Source: thisismyfriendnicki, via mancunts)
Happy National Coming Out Day! -
Today, LGBT people around the world are celebrating National Coming Out Day, but that means something different for all of us.
For me, NCOD means it’s been about five years since I told my friends and family (in different stages) that I liked girls. It means I don’t apologize for my sexual orientation or shy away when I tell people I’m involved with LGBT activist work. It means my girlfriend and I can go to her sorority formal or go out to dinner with our families without any discomfort or awkward stares.
NCOD reminds me of how lucky I am that I can be myself around my loved ones and in public, but I realize that it’s not so easy for everyone. Some of us haven’t come out yet because our background, culture or country doesn’t allow it, and we must consider our safety first. Some of us simply aren’t ready to tell the world. Some of us fall somewhere in between; maybe we would like to come out, but a particular friend, family member, or even an employer stands in the way.
Coming out is important to some people, but it’s certainly not everything. Your identity is entirely your own, and you don’t need to tell anyone in order for it to be valid. That said, coming out is empowering for many people. For some of us, coming out is a big step in coming to terms with who we are. For others of us, it’s not such a big deal. Both philosophies are perfectly okay.
Whether or not you’re out, I hope today you can feel secure about who you are and know that no matter how out or not you are, you are valuable, you are loved, and you matter. If you feel like coming out today, that’s great! I wish you the best of luck and hope your announcement is met with love and support.
Today I’m thinking about how grateful I am to have come out when I did, and how much my life has changed since then. What are you thinking about?
I would say the same