Starting the Final Chapter

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be apart of the last NOH8 photo shoot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I know it’s a little late in my life, but I am starting the last phase of my life….

I am very lucky as I do have a partner of 14 years (as of July 22, 2014) to share everything with. I was born in the “buckle” of the Bible belt where and when you didn’t speak of being gay or different in any way. I had very controlling parents that tried to control everything in my life…. and it took me until the age of 32 before I came out of the closet.

49627_mediumI managed to get there through all the hate… being told I was just making another wrong decision in my life. But I made it, and am stronger than ever and so much happier than being in the closet. I was and have been so lucky in so many ways I can’t even begin to tell you, but let me just say that when my partner and I found each other, I got very sick and was put in the hospital diagnosed with AIDS as I had a T-cell count of 2. My new partner stayed with me each day in the hospital as I recovered and has been with me ever since.

I have started a project…. it’s a book of interviews about being HIV/AIDS positive. I have started interviewing a wide range of people: gay, straight, men, women, older generation and current generation, asking questions about their HIV education or lack thereof, and then I end the interview with a quick photo shoot.

I will be 50 years old this year and feel like this could take the rest of my life to finish, but I am hopeful. I hope that by trying to raise additional awareness about HIV and AIDS the people with the virus will not be as shunned, hated, or afraid to tell people. I have a small Facebook page that is my photography page I use to promote this and I think my biggest fear right now is once I get all these interviews done, how the heck can I make them into a book? But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thank you Adam and everyone at the NOH8 offices around the world for your wonderful work you do; I only hope that in the last part of my life that I can reach a small amount of the people you have touched. Team NOH8 has been my inspiration and I thank you…. Please keep up your wonderful work and know you all are making a difference each and every day.


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