Ahoy My Friday Lovers,
The past couple of weeks have been pretty interesting really. Lots is changing in my life, and all of it good – for once!
Just over two weeks ago I told my parents and my siblings that I was HIV+. I sat them down in the living room on afternoon, turned off Bargain Hunt and explained to them that I was HIV+, how it’d happened, and that they shouldn’t worry because I was perfectly healthy and happy. They all took it surprisingly well, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was so good to just get it off my chest.
Last week you may have seen me tweeting in a panic as a young friend of mine who’d recently been diagnosed HIV+ was threatening to take his own life due to bullying and harassment over his status. It took nearly half a day to track him down with the help of his friends and the police. For me it was a case of deja-vu, I’d been through this courtesy of an ex-boyfriend soon after I was diagnosed.
I couldn’t believe it was happening again, and to such a nice young lad. It made me so angry. In combination of frustration and dismay I took to Facebook and wrote a coming out piece telling my 100 or so selected friends, family and co-workers that I was HIV+. I was beyond tired of watching people’s statuses being used as a weapon or as idle gossip. The reaction I got was astounding. Everyone was universally supportive, my parents, siblings, friends, distant relatives I’ve not spoken to in years and even co-workers were telling me how brave I was, how proud they were and that they loved me. I’m not ashamed to admit I had a bit of a happy cry into my wine that night. It even inspired another HIV+ friend of mine to do exactly the same, in solidarity, on his Facebook wall – he too was overwhelmed with the support and love he was given.
Then this week I thought to myself, well I’ve tackled Facebook why not my personal Twitter? Twitter is a bit of a scarier beast. I have hundreds of people on my personal twitter as opposed to the 100 on Facebook, and things travel a lot wider a lot faster – one of its core strengths in my opinion. The 140 character limit is also somewhat of a limitation. So what I did was write my message, split it up into several 140 character chunks, and then copy and paste them into twitter in order. Rapid fire tweeting if you will.
Once again the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. This time I had a few negative comments but they weren’t from people I really knew – so I can’t say I cared all that much. My friends (both online and in real life) have been incredibly supportive, some through offering hugs and coffee – others through just being my friends as normal. I’m at a stage where I’m largely comfortable with my HIV, I don’t need as much support as I once did, but it’s nice to know that it’s there should I need it.
The next stage is my coming out (as it were, I don’t know if there’s a better term?) on here and my UKPositiveLad Twitter/Facebook accounts. This will be timed to happen at the same time as the April issue of Attitude is released on March 6th. I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous as hell – it’s playing on my mind something chronic. But if the way people have reacted over the last couple of weeks is anything to go by then hopefully I won’t have too much to worry about.
Have a fab weekend,