I apologized for being late [to my panel at HIV Is Not a Crime II] without dwelling too much, because a friend once taught me to apologize deliberately and honestly, but quickly. And as Naina introduced me and I started talking, she placed her hand on my shoulder and squeezed a little. This feeling of acceptance and understanding and courage came into me. When I looked to the other side, in the light, the smiles of Cris, Tiommi and Ken were essential for me to continue. Somehow, I was able to deliver a message.
I actually cannot remember a word of what I said. To this day, for me, that morning was all about the struggle with my innate fear of disappointing people and the fact that, as an immigrant activist living with HIV, I have discovered that -- as I have had great moments of accomplishment or showing solidarity with my communities, so have I realized that -- we are also very fragile ... or perhaps vulnerable and not supported properly may be more appropriate. We must build up strength and exercise resilience as we are always against the current -- a contracorriente.
Read Marco Castro-Bojorquez's full reflection on that empowering moment.
Credit: Positive Women's Network - USA.