Health Educator, Bay Area, Calif.
In reference to the best relationship I've ever been in, which happened to be mixed status, the only challenge we ever faced came from the external community, even my best friends and my greatest family members.
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These great sources of support in so many other arenas ended up putting up their guards when it came to understanding and opening communication. And this is 2009 in the Bay Area, where we tout ourselves as having such an open dialogue in reference to HIV.
It was a really cool opportunity to make new connections and open up new dialogue with people that I really care about. Instead of getting turned off away from them or getting hurt from all these external factors, feeling like they were trying to break our relationship apart, it made us stronger in so many ways. I'm so fortunate for all of them questioning the viability of a mixed-status relationship because it only reaffirmed my understanding that it's possible. It almost seemed like a silly question after a long time.
We fought so hard for that love and it grew in so many new ways. I grew into a place where, although we're not together anymore, I share the knowledge and compassion and dialogue with so many people in my life and I bring it into my work. I bring it into my familial, my love relationships. It's helped me grow into a place where I'm capable of loving all people, friends, family, lovers, without regard to who they are or where they've been, meeting people where they're at and working with them, adjusting and growing together to fight for each other.