My favorite song for this year is by Taylor Swift "Shake it Off." I love the music but I especially find the lyrics fitting. She sings about finding your own beat, doing your own thing, dancing to your own music and shaking it all off! Letting the players play and the haters hate! My future daughter-in-law and I went to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival this year and she was both startled and upset by the small group of assembled protesters. She stopped to listen as they spewed their hatred and read their hideous poster board signs all as a slight drizzle started to rain down upon us. She wondered why I was not intrigued. I explained that I have been at plenty of events where they had gathered and they were old news. I learned to ignore them as most of the crowd was doing. Why give them the time of day. They were always present at the AIDS WALK as well. Their words were nothing I hadn't heard before; their methods were nothing new.
Hatred comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be overt or clandestine. It can come at you when you least expect it. I think you just have to know who you are, accept and love yourself and like the song says dance and shake it off. To keep looking for continual affirmation and outside acceptance without knowing who you are and loving yourself creates such a deep black hole in your soul and just feeds an emptiness that weakens you and lets the virus take hold in ways that only makes it stronger. Together as a society we have to help fight this and help create safety nets to end the stigma. An easy way to start is by ignoring protesters like the ones we saw. By not engaging we gave them no platform; their voice had no purpose. Their hateful words fell on deaf ears. Their arrows landed upon no hearts.
My World AIDS Day wish is to shake it off and dance with joy and peace for a better tomorrow towards a cure!
Until next time,