We Are Women
We are women with strength unimaginable. We overcome obstacles with a smile and never stay stuck. Many of us experience partner violence, abuse, homelessness; we sometimes must decide that sex work is a way to survive and that is okay.
Some of us are women who are HIV positive and deal with the stigma from a society that does not treat us as equals. The internal stigma, especially, has made a lot of women stop loving themselves.
Women are the voices of change
The Black woman has the highest rate of HIV diagnosis; there are other health issues to deal with too.1 We have to keep working to reach all women. Ladies, we are what makes the world move. We hold our families together. When you see us, you would never know what we have been through because we keep our heads up and continue to figure out how to get through whatever it is.
Women are the voices of change, the solid rock that keeps things together, and that scares those who want us to stay silent. We must continue to speak up, but come together as one and stop talking about it. I say we are resilient, powerful, amazing, and a force to be reckoned with.
HIV shouldn't hold us back
So believe in your strength, ladies, your determination to grow, your perseverance to climb high and achieve every single dream you see right in front of you. Do not let a virus hold you back from your true self, your passion, your dream, and the accomplishments you see right in front of you.
To get past some things, I tell myself that if I got through homelessness as a teen, rape, partner violence, and HIV for 24 years, I can get through anything. And the stigma of HIV, I will not let win and take over me. Not now or ever.
We must empower each other as women
The battle has been won, and every woman with HIV who is standing right now has beaten that battle of finding out their diagnosis of HIV. That means to keep fighting the battle of stigma and shame because women can overcome so much. We all always make everything feel so right but, at the same, we make it look so good while doing it. Don’t you agree (smile)?
And then hiding our pain behind a smile. There are times that I cry inside because of how so many of us women cannot see our value or worth. We should not be fighting among one another, but uplifting each other in all we do, pulling one another in to be awesome and allowing all of us to be able to win this fight together on stigma, internal stigma, physical abuse (partner violence), mental abuse, etc., and just loving one another as women as we should. So, I reach out my hand to all of you and say...
I love all of you and we are strong because we are women!
Do you live in the Southern US?