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The Voiceless Message

June 16, 2014

Alright, let me start off by saying I do NOT regret expressing what I stated before in my last blog entry on PrEP -- MY personal OPINION on such a sensitive matter within our LGBT community, whether HIV poz or not. I wrote what I thought needed to be vocalized. I understood the possibilities of both positive and negative feedback and comments. I put it out there and took it all in. And you know what, sometimes some things, ideas and opinions need to be vocalized. Sometimes the hard, cold, ugly situations need to be vocalized. That also goes with those who have the voices that do not agree with someone else's vocalized opinion.

That's what we all need to do more of. VOCALIZE how we feel. VOCALIZE our thoughts and opinions on what directly AND indirectly hits us within our LGBT, poz or not, community. Stand up and take a risk and speak what you have on your mind. Be fearless and ready and willing to take the punches that may ensue. That being said, I want to end this blog entry on a positive note.

I recently watched the HBO film The Normal Heart with my husband, Devin. And, let me tell you, it is a powerful film. I mentioned to him that for me it is like a modern-day version of the film Longtime Companion, another controversial but awesome and inspiring film. If you haven't gotten around to watching either one, please find yourself a copy and watch and enjoy. Both can be emotionally painful but they invoke very powerful messages. What I get out of both films is a message of hope, and the never-ending struggle and need to continue to be vocal and express our love, our concerns, and our pain out loud to anyone and EVERYONE.

The Normal Heart has one major player who I epitomize and now see as a leader and vocal hero to our cause. That man is Ned Weeks. For me he is a lion and a straight-talking, loyal gay man who isn't afraid to vocalize the issues and tell it like it is.

After watching the film I told Devin that Ned Weeks is exactly what we all should strive to be. I much prefer having the man that isn't afraid to stand on the table and shout at the world when there are wrongs not being righted, when those of us have the same thoughts and ideas but decide to sit there and do absolutely nothing. Do you know what a voiceless message sounds like? NOTHING. And so nothing changes, nothing gets done and nothing gets fixed.

The character Ned Weeks, like Harvey Milk, is a pillar in our LGBT history. He is NOT perfect. He, like myself, may have said things that came out cold and judgmental and harsh. But at least he said and did SOMETHING.

Now, I am VERY HAPPY that those of you who do not agree with some of my comments have the intestinal fortitude to respond maturely and speak out. I often have very positive things to speak out on. I am proud of all of you out there that continue to live boldly and openly. I am damn happy to live MY gay life in today's times. Because I will be honest to say that had I got HIV in those dark years of the early 1980s my scenario would have played out very differently. Back then I would not be here. I would have been dead. I understand that I am the one responsible for how I decide to my lifestyle. But, I also understand that WHATEVER sexual decisions I make THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES to my decisions.

I am not being judgmental or a negative critic when I choose to write what ended up being a controversial piece. I sometimes express what is on my mind. I like what the Ned Weeks actor says near the end. He says that he knows he is an a$@#!le but he wants to be remembered as a fighter.

I am no Harvey Milk or Ned Weeks but I would like to be remembered as a fighter and that I contributed something, ANYTHING for my brothers and sisters in HIV and AIDS. If you ever took the time to listen to my initial interview and read some of my earlier blogs you will understand where I am coming from. I believe that I have a RESPONSIBILITY to myself, my partner Devin, those who are timid and scared of who they are or that they have HIV, and those of our brethren that have passed away, to give back and contribute to the cause. Agree with me or not, I believe that we ALL have something to give back.

Related Stories

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming: A Negative Opinion on PrEP
A Long-Term HIV Survivor on the Premier of The Normal Heart
This Positive Life: An Interview With Enrique Franco
More Viewpoints Related to HIV/AIDS Among Gay Men

This article was provided by TheBody.


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The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy got Enrique Franco kicked out of the Army. It also, oddly, was the reason he found out he was HIV positive.

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