i have posted some efforts i have engaged in during my recovery before. i founded an hiv newsletter for Denver and helped kickstart a peer advocacy organization for hiv+ which created a platform for educational forums, dinners for newly diagnosed, and the continuation of 2 weekend retreats in majestic grand lake colorado.
i haven’t ever really hesitated with beginning things until i started working at the public hospital. that somehow put the fear of judgement and failure in me. prior to this however, i had already lost everything, so losing didn’t hold any weight or influence my decisions.
about a year into the not-for-profit business a friend named carl frazier was murdered on the outskirts of downtown. there was much gossip and innuendo about his death. people were saying the coldest and most unkind things. it was very disappointing. carl’s sister came to denver to speak with detectives about the details they had on the case. i met with her and she showed me the murder site, and gave me a rundown of their paltry case. she was frustrated and being the good co-dependent i am, my heart went out to her.
so simultaneously i encountered disappointment with my hiv community and their seemingly nasty habit of back biting their comrades and the visible and palpable heartbreak of a siblings sense of frustration and loss. i decided to create an award to thank a member of our community for their volunteerism and advocacy. since 2009, treatment education network (ten) has recognized a member of our small community to say “thank you” for their hard work and efforts.
carl’s murderer has since been discovered. he was killed during a robbery in 2012 and discovered through dna samples. i have resigned from ten and am no longer involved in the game. and the current members have decided that i should be recognized this year to receive the carl frazier commemorative award. i don’t feel the same way but i have learned that visibilty can be as supportive as a good ear and a strong shoulder.
so i will suit up and show up. better than shooting up and throwing up.