Good intentions

Words are everything.

We know this.

We have all experienced a time where words have been able to lift us up as well as tear us down.

The producer of those words, in both instances, is another human.

That’s all.

Another human being who is figuring their way through their first time on Earth too.

Man, if that ain’t power, I don’t know what else is.

So how come we don’t think about the words a little bit longer before they actually come out?

I’m guilty of this sometimes, too.

You know, I done said some really foul shit to somebody but I didn’t realize how foul it was until they checked me.

So here I am checking …

all out of love (and frustration).

So look,

when I disclose my status to someone one of the WORST responses I get is …

Awww, I had an aunt (uncle, cousin, whomever) who died from AIDS.

I mean, please don’t get me wrong. I feel so very sad for those who have lost a loved one for ANY reason.

I know it doesn’t feel good and it changes one’s life.

I get that.

And I’m sorry.

But damn.

Before I was really connected to so many others who have been living with HIV for decades at this point,

I was out here on my own.

I was on my own to use the images and stereotypes of HIV that I was familiar with to paint whatever grim fate for my life that I wanted to.

I pretty much just accepted (irrationally) that HIV was going to be my cause of death – in the near future.

So when people would respond to me with these bangers, a little piece of me would die in that conversation too.

Damn. Auntie ain’t make it. I ain’t got a chance.

Nah unh. Both your parents dawg? Fuck.

I don’t know.

I have never gotten the feeling that anyone was intentionally being shady when they have responded to my disclosure by announcing the death of one of their loved ones …

It just takes a lot of positive self-talk to come back from.

Tip: Reframe it. It might look different.

I have to remind myself of this person’s intention.

It was probably just to relate.

I have to remind myself of the medical advancements which have taken place since the time that they lost their loved one.

At one time, nobody had a name for this damn virus.

I deliberately go seek out hope and inspiration to fill me back up.

There are so many of us out here THRIVING y’all.

What not to do: Don’t get discouraged.

Words are everything.

So I speak for those who came before me and couldn’t.

While I’m still in good health, I use my words to bridge the gaps of ignorance with truth.

Shit be heavy and complicated sometimes.

Words are everything.

One day, the narrative will go a little something like this:

I will disclose and someone will say:

I have a friend (pastor, coworker, son) who is living with HIV and living a full, happy life.


even more dreamy,

They passing out HIV cures.

Now, that shit would be fantastic.

+ Ci Ci +