A Reply To a Friend
Thanks for checking out my blog again today. We are almost through another week. I hope you have been having a good one so far.
I had some errands to run today which took up most of my morning. I am starting to workout again next week after a recent lower back problem. Can not wait to get back into the groove so I do not lose the gains I have made.
Today I received an email from a new friend who had written a blog about the lack of acceptance in today's society. The following is the reply I sent to him.
A fantastic post of your feeling and perceptions. I have to agree on almost every point. Where we would disagree is that there are a few choice organizations and communities where groups are able to come together inclusively and embrace each other's difference while working together toward community or a common goal.
Now sometimes you luck upon one of these or you end up making your own. For example, I was very discouraged when first moving to north Florida (bubba land) from Los Angeles. I did not find a group or organization who were willing to accept everyone based on their true selves instead of attaching labels or stigmas. So since activism is a huge part of my life, I met a group of individuals who ended up forming Dab the AIDS Bear Project.
While we are mostly definitely advocating for Americans with HIV and AIDS, we also go out into our own communities doing HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention. We are all genders, religions, races, sexual orientations and ages. We are HIV positive and negative, rich and poor, from newborn to 83 years old (at this time). Yes we came together because of an issue for which we all have a passion. But by working together, encouraging input from all sources and believing in our mission; we had formed not only a great organization but friends who will last a lifetime.
I hope you are able to accomplish the same. I was lucky to know a similar group in SF in the 80s. But that was a different time. There were no life saving meds. No AIDS Service Organizations. No federal funding. We had to take care of each other with the money in our pockets and the money left by those who had already died from AIDS. Most of whom had been disowned by their families.
So while the world definitely has it's problems. And yes, America has a long way to go. But I hope you find the friendship and acceptance from a group as I have been fortunate to do.
I know many of you may be having the same feelings as Kengi. Whether those feelings are caused by your HIV status, sexual orientation or other reason; know you can always count on us at the project to welcome all.
Wishing you health, hope and happiness.
Big bear hug,