publishing this issue really has me thinking..
we are winding up our 4th year of putting this little periodical together. i remember when i started it..
i was just taking on the facilitator role for a social networking organization in denver. i had come to realize that living in colorado meant living alongside hiv stigma. it was very real and often painful for many of my neighbors. i wanted to visibly assure others that indeed there were hiv positive individuals, living in colorado, who were doing well, were not ashamed, and were finding success and happiness.
and here is the current incarnation- colorful and hiv very much in your face…
peace and happy new year.
the following is the article for the winter newsletter. this completes our 3rd year. it’s definitely had its challenges. mostly my stamina. but i have heard from one or two unexpected people that they have found strength in the pages we produce. i honestly never expected that.
As the 1st decade of the 21st century recedes into the background, I am humbled by the myriad of events that have transpired. The toppling of the twin towers. Americans elected an African American president. A national discussion on gay marriage as well as a thoughtful and long-overdue mentoring campaign for struggling lgbt youth was started by Dan Savage. Sobriety and recovery entered my life after it had become a grassroots national movement. And the conversation around HIV shifted from what’s not working to what does work including the challenges of aging with the virus.
Hopefully, this issue will illustrate several local examples of these home- grown best- case scenarios (out of the thousands here in Colorado). Pozlings who were, once newly-diagnosed and devastated souls have confronted their fears, taken some punches, taken their meds, and found a way to let their inner lights shine. This remains the story of the decade in my eyes. There is recovery from alcohol and drugs and then there is this recovery from the depths of diagnosis.
Story after story, issue after issue, TEN highlights local examples of a how-to guide to personal success. If you find yourself reading this, take note- it is completely possible to be healthy, to contribute, to overcome -even to surpass. And it can be done on your own terms.
I dare say (following the lead of sage Pat Gourley) that a cure could readily be in sight this coming decade. Until that time, TEN hopes to continue to bring to light these individual stories of strength and triumph. Courage is rampant among our poz community, but not often recognized. I believe not only that we were once heroes, as Mark S King so lovingly states, but that there are still many, many more heroes among us. Certainly this includes you, doesn’t it?
Since when did bullets stop to sing?
(It didn’t have to end like this
Is this the end of everything?
(It didn’t have to end like this)
I feel, I feel, we can’t stop here,
I feel, I feel, we won’t stop here,
It didn’t have to end like this,
We owe this to ourselves,
We owe this to ourselves,
We can’t just let this go,
the most amazing thing happened to me earlier in august. i was at a gathering and i was introduced to this woman who had just had some recent notoriety with an article about her in our local paper. she had been the subject of a story of a woman with HIV and how she is dealing with it. I could really relate as I had a similar experience with a different paper and it really started me down a whole new path.
anyway, as she and i talked a bit , it became apparent that she was becoming a bit of an advocate and was interested in pursuing this path a bit more. i then asked her if she was interested in contributing to the newsletter I publish. She indicated she might be interested and we should exchange information before we left. as she was going, she did seek me out. I gave her the latest copy of the publication and she shrieked- yes shrieked- and said “I love this”. It has been my bible since I got my diagnosis. I have 3 or 4 issues with items circled and things I still plan to check out.
i was quietly gobsmacked. frankly, this doesn’t happen to me often. i don’t even know if it ever has. but i know that when it did happen, i felt a shift in my world. i could instantly sense that i really wasn’t doing this for myself. i couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
and still don’t.