Advocates' Door

In Memory of John Miles, Advocate/Activist (The Bus Stop Advocate): Rest in Power, Dear Friend

John Miles and Davina Conner
Davina Conner

In a deep thought, we think of the smiles, joy, love and care that our friends bring to so many of us. They love unconditionally without limits, without restraint and with every fiber of who they are. Without passing judgment on any other human being, they push to help others feel happy inside and out. We sometimes forget that advocates are people too and have emotions, and when we see their smiles that light up, it gives others hope that they too will smile in that way, but sometimes we have to realize that they need the same unconditional love without judgment.

Many advocates are seeking to inspire and give hope to those who need it and are lost because of this virus we call HIV. When those advocates go home and close the door behind them, who is there to hold their hand, who is there to give them a hug and who is there to tell them that everything will be OK? The stigma from society bothers their souls; their families have pushed them away; and many of them struggle with loneliness in private and in silence, ashamed to speak of the feelings that are so real for them when they sit in a lonely home with no one beside them -- no one to say, "I love you dear," no one to lay next to, no one to have their back in their time of need, no children, no wife, no husband.

But still, they wake up, walk out the door, smile and advocate for change with a feeling in them that goes beyond their own selfless feelings. Depressed and dejected, they still fight for equality, social justice, anti-discrimination and nonviolence for the ones that they love so much. Advocates are human beings who do get tired, who do get frustrated, who do sometimes want to give up, but if they do, what will happen to the many people who need them -- the ones who thrive off their strength, the ones who say to them, "You really made my day today"? So, I say, let's be more aware of our advocates, because we don't know who is crying behind that closed door, and just maybe, one day, that advocates' door won't open again to help bring a change.