Today, I felt like I did really good.
I was asked to be a speaker at the University of St. La Salle here in Bacolod on LGBTQ Representation in the Media. The other speaker had to cancel last minute so I spoke alone, and with the mic in hand, I just poured my heart out on what I felt was the pressing need for more LGBTQ stories to be told and made accessible to the public.
I’m usually asked to talk about HIV and living with it. This was special for me because it touched upon my experiences as a communicator, a storyteller, and as an artist. These are things I don’t always get to talk about and I was so happy to share my point-of-view with Communication Arts students who may become storytellers in the future.
Of all the talks I’ve ever given, this is the one that means the most to me. I feel like I talked about something larger than myself. I felt like I talked about something that I am passionate about, that was of my choosing. I did not choose to be HIV positive. How I’ve chosen to deal with my condition makes my experiences special and important but it was a reaction, more than anything.
If I had a chance to choose, I wouldn’t be HIV positive.
But I am an artist. And I am gay. And even if I wasn’t, I would like to think that LGBTQ representation would still be something I’d be passionate about. I don’t know. With proper LGBTQ representation, there will be less discrimination and stigma among LGBTQ people and that could lead to working on many of the issues in the HIV community.
It feels like I’m getting closer to the source.
And this is something that can be easily understood. HIV is so strange and foreign to most people. Queerness is not. It’s accessible. It’s all around us. We tackle these issues, it will make it easier to tackle the issues of HIV that much more easy.
I feel really good today. I feel like I really made a difference today.