Sitting here watching the final Oprah show and I can not help but to reflect on what she is saying and how what her messages are translate to me. I have been so fortunate in life to know that at my young age I am what I am supposed to be, with my flaws, my mistakes, my imperfections, and with HIV.
There have been more times than not that I have sat and reflected and thought about how unworthy I am because of some of my past mistakes because so many people have used and abused me because I allowed some of those people to use and abuse me. Carrying pain from loosing loved ones, pain from the things I have done that are just dumb, knowing that no matter how hard I try that I will always make mistakes of some sort, they may not have the results that some of my past mistakes have had and they may not be of the same magnitude that some of my past mistakes have been but I do know they will happen and when they do I will learn from them and share them with whoever will listen so that maybe, just maybe they will not make those same mistakes.
Many people have praised me for what I do because of where I live and because they feel I am brave for standing up and raising my voice, refusing to be silenced or quieted by the social pressures of being different, of not being ashamed of being different and of being different and having HIV which can be a very hard combination. While I appreciate the compliments and the praise I am given, I never stop for one minute thinking about the people who have came before me, the people who have made my road a little less burdened, the people who have died fighting this stigma, this discrimination, the people sitting on waiting lists waiting and dying while waiting for the people who can make the difference to have a little compassion, the young and old men and women who are not only afflicted by HIV or AIDS but who are gay or lesbian and face dual discrimination, people who are living in a country where the simple things we take for granted are luxuries to them. The unseen warriors fighting who continue without so much as thank you in many cases, so I say that whether you are praised by one or thousands or even no one at all use your voice, find your passion as Oprah said today, we all have a special calling we all have a purpose and when we are doing what that calling is there is a passion with such sincerity that it lights you on fire and carries you through whatever hardship or heartache that may come your way.
So after some self reflection I say to you that I am the one who is blessed beyond anything I had ever thought possible to be able to do the work I do, for people to listen to what I have to say, to have an opportunity to make a difference in a world that my son will grow up in so that he may know a more loving and kind world than many of us have.