Proud: Beyond HIV Status - Living Fully
I am HIV-positive.
I am a gay man.
I am a son.
I am a brother.
I am a lover.
I am PROUD.
Out, loud, and proud
On my journey in life, being proud is something that I always feel. I do not only feel proud around pride season. I am proud to be an HIV-positive man.
I have spent way too much time early on in my diagnosis worrying about what other people thought about me. I am proud to be living my most authentic and transparent life. I take pride in being an advocate for my community.
I continue to do the work that I do each day to be a voice for those who may not be able to tell the world that they are living with HIV. I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community and to stand in my truth.
I work for an LGBTQ organization, and I continuously give back each day. I want to ensure that my community is being highlighted and given the respect and love that they deserve.
Building stronger connections
The past year I have built an even stronger relationship with my family. I have grown wiser and have realized how fortunate I am to have such a beautiful support system in my life. I am proud to be a son and a brother.
In the past, I have spent a lot of my free time with friends out at places like bars and clubs. In the last few months that has all changed, and I have been spending more time with family. My sisters are not children anymore and I really do enjoy spending quality time with them. I try to create outings with my mother and sisters a few times a month because I see how proud my mother is of me when I do.
My mother loves when I reach out to her to ask her to come with me to an event or gathering. In the past few years, I have been able to bring my mother with me to events related to HIV/AIDS and have educated her on many new things.
Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQ community?
Building stronger relationships
The past year and a half I have been proud to be with my loving partner. We are in a monogamous relationship and currently live together. We are trying to grow our family by searching for another puppy.
We currently have a Shiba Inu named Kobe who has been the best fur baby anyone could ask for. I take pride in finding such an amazing person to spend my life with after many failed attempts at love in my past.
As some of you may know, I contracted HIV from my very first partner who I was with for almost 2 years. I have had my fair share of challenges when it comes to dating so I am grateful to have this relationship now.
I am proud of all of my identities, relationships and accomplishments. Pride is not only something that you feel around Pride Season, but something that you should feel all year round.
Have you ever been unhoused or insecurely housed?