Killing HIV Stigma in the LGBTQ Community
I have touched on this subject before but I feel passionate about it and I think it is something that really needs to be discussed more in the GLBTQ community. We all talk about erasing the stigmas related to HIV and how people need to be educated on the subject, which I fully support and believe in, and also in the GLBTQ community we talk about wanting equality and to just be treated like the rest of humanity, which I also support and agree with.
We can not erase stigmas or be treated as equal until we start treating each other as equals. I can not tell you how many times I have heard stories about people in the GLBTQ community telling each other not to talk to somebody just because that person has HIV or it is rumored that that person might have HIV. I have had it happen to me more times than I can count. That right there is one of those stigmas that need to be erased, last time I checked you could not contract HIV from having a conversation with someone and damn really, if you could, the whole world would be infected. We all know how much the "community" loves to talk about each other, especially in the bar/club scene. For those of you who love to have diarrhea of the mouth and then drive off with your "equal love" stickers plastered all over your car, this message is for you.
You can not go out preaching equal love until you treat others in our community as equals. Just because a person like me has HIV, does not mean that they are beneath you, or "dirty", or any of the other crap you want to talk about them and personally I welcome someone to come up and tell me I am "dirty," I will give them an education like nothing they have every had.
I really believe that if we want to fight and erase stigmas about HIV we need to start by educating the up and coming generation. Most of the generation today is ignorant about HIV and that is simply because they are lacking education on the subject, and most of us (me included) do not remember the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 80's or were not even around for it. I have said it before and I will say it again, I think social media should be our new frontier for fighting stigmas and for education. I mean everyone already lives plastered to their phones and stays connected to social media all day, so why not use those to reach out to the community?
If we can erase stigmas the GLBTQ community and learn to treat each other as equals, then and only then can we start to erase the stigmas in the rest of the world and be seen as a EQUAL UNITED COMMUNITY. We all want the same thing and that is just to be loved, so why single a group out because of something like HIV?
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Read Brian's blog AMarineAndHIV.