Its my first time to celebrate World Aids Day as a Pozzie. I joined yoga for life's WAD and together with their 6th monthsary celebration. We had a special kirtan session, there were lighted candles formed in a ribbon, where we were in circle around it sitting in our yoga mats. This year's theme was "Light for Rights" HIV rights is HUMAN RIGHTS, we have the same rights as people who are not living with HIV. We pozzie's are just like any other human being, we are still normal, we can do all the things that a normal being can, the difference is we just have to take care of ourselves more.
We begun the celebration by the alternate nostril breathing followed by 9 sun salutation, and then we sang different songs and at the end of every song someone can share anything she/he likes. Someone spoke up disclosing his status, i was a bit teary eyed, I was saying to myself what a brave guy, then another person also shared his, i was just listening and trying to absorb what they was saying, there are about 6 person who share their story before I had the guts to speak up. So I told my story... First I told them how I was negative in December 2009 and came up positive in February 2010, due to memory problems I asked my ex bf to support me with my story telling, I really don't want to cry but I can't help it, I was really in pain because my mom couldn't accept me, she called me a "sex pervert" and she thinks my life is a BIG MESS, she always tells me to fix my life and not to enter another relationship because of my condition. I was in tears while sharing my story in front of people I don't even know (parang tanga lang!) , then someone spoke up about privacy, that disclosing someone else status is against the law, that the stories shared on that room will remain on that room. I remembered the pozzie who disclosed my status and shared it to them, I hoped they will be very careful to whom they share their secrets with. I think 9 or 10 people shared their story, I am very lucky to have witnessed an event like this.
Overall I was very happy, I was happy I was brave enough to spoke up, I was happy that the people in the room accepted me, I was very very happy... some people gave me a hug after the session, I felt very much loved. We finished the celebration with a vegetarian dinner, not really a fan of veggies, but I know I have to eat because its good for me, honestly the food didn't really taste like vegetables the food was really good.
For me yoga for life wasn't just a community or a place to do yoga, I felt like I belong to a "family" like what I always said to my fellow pozzie's "family tayo kc magka-dugo naman tayo", yoga for life is a place where you can be free of judgement, just pure acceptance no matter what age, gender or HIV status you have. Everyone is welcome in YFL. Thank you YFL! Thank you charmaine, paulo, the core group and to everyone at YFL! One big Hug! More power!
BTW! congrats to charmaine and his husband... cheers to the adorable couple!
To all the pozzie's out there, it's not the end of life, don't give up, always remember that your heart is still beating.
And one last thing... someone kissed me that night, nothing intimate just a smack on the lips. Want to know who? nah.. secret! :P