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Screenshot 2013-02-25 at 10.52.57

Hello there,

If you follow me on Twitter (and you really should) you may have noticed that I changed my avatar, name and posted a photo of myself. Yes, all of my face, not a quarter of it, or obscured by a book, or an owl or something.

I’d always planned to reveal my true identity on the 1st March, just a couple of days ahead of my Attitude Magazine column – on the day I headed to Brighton for the Student Pride weekend I’m attending. But last night I was over with a friend, I was talking about the whole thing and getting more and more nervous. Then one follower on twitter suggested I should treat it like a plaster and just rip it off, get it over and done with quickly.

After a little thought, and a large Gin & Tonic I did it. I thought “She’s right. To hell with it. 5 days isn’t going to change anything” and posted “Hello, my name is Tom, and I’m @UKPositiveLad” (see screenshot of tweet to the right).

Photo 2013-02-25 11

To say the response was positive is putting it mildly. I only had my personal phone on me, and not my UKPositiveLad mobile, but when I came home I saw that I’d received 53 DMs, 503 mentions and loads more RTs and Favourites. Completely overwhelming.

I want to thank you all for your kind words, support and encouragement. It’s been quite a journey from being diagnosed (not all that long ago really) to starting the blog as “Sam” through to coming out as Tom.

 

Fear not though, I’m still the same blogger and twit(terer) you’ve come to know over all these months – I’m just doing it with a face and my real name now. It’s pretty liberating.

I look forward to speaking to you all soon, I’m going leave you all with a little YouTube video (a bit camp) but the song pretty much sums up how I’m feeling at the moment!

Tom
UKPositiveLad

12 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, you’re hot….! Supermodel….! HIV doesn’t mean anything, you could be the face of a charity organization or something….!

  2. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing yourself in so many ways and inspiring hope and evincing change in the world around you. Welcome to the fantastic joys and challenges of integrity. We all have our own journeys but those we share in are what makes this life amazing. I posted a link to your blog on mine as well, if that is okay? I look forward to seeing what life has in store for you.

  3. Very dear Tom: I don’t do twitter so I’m way at the back of the long queue of your fans waiting to congratulate you on ‘coming out’ with your real name and your photograph.
    May I just say that you are as good looking as you are brave and sensible? Loved the song, the dancing and the background shots of — I’m pretty sure — Budapest.

    Chris xxxxx

  4. I salute you. Well done and I hope this makes the difference that you want it to make. I’m a good deal older than you, I’ve been HIV+ for over 20 years, and would not (at the moment) have the guts to do what you are doing and have done. Inspirational.

  5. That’s fantastic, Tom! You’re an inspiration to others, and rather good-looking one too 🙂 All the best!

  6. Tom, how lovely to finally meet you :-)!

    Ha ha I’m sure I must have accidentally read your mind though, because I’ve just wrote a short story where my two main characters were called Sam and Tom!

    But seriously, well done. It isn’t an easy thing to do and you should be proud of yourself.

    Antony

  7. Hi Tom! Happy that you’re … well, you. You’re an amazing dude, a wonderful inspiration to me and many others. And you’re easy on the eye too.

    x

  8. Hi Tom, many people have already said my words already in their comments. It just goes to show that you are not alone and that you have so much support, which is lovely. However, for me when I read your blog a whole array of emotions were felt. Bravery being the first and then I sat and thought about how hard it must have been to show your true identity. Following this I listened to the Kati Wolf song ~ it is wrong on so many levels that you should and others with HIV should have the fears of coming out, frightened of being judged and critacised ~ YOU are a beautiful person on the outside and through reading your blog I know you are just as beautiful on the inside. I have never even met you, but you are a pure inspiration ~ I am in Durham celebrating my 40th Birthday tomorrow and I will be living my live, thinking of you and being reminded of how precious life is. Live your life luv and be the strong person you are ~ very proud of you!

    Big hugs,
    Triece
    XX

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