The saying that “there is nothing new in this world, it’s just the past renewed” really seems to resonate more with me
today as I sit to write this message. 2020 for me has been a season of dealing with past pain, regret,
fear and uncertainty for what my future would be. In having dealt with living with HIV for over 31 years,
I found myself for the first time ever honestly scared that I didn’t have what it took to make it through the
battle of COVID-19 and this fear brought back many past thoughts and feelings left unresolved.
The loneliness, isolation, guilt of surviving this plague, hopelessness and inadequacies that I truly
brushed over and never honestly resolved came screaming back with a viciousness that I had never
encountered and forced me to face me in a way that was so raw that shook my soul.
The feelings though familiar were much more intense, pointed, rooted in the core of my being.
My chickens have literally come to roost and I was ill prepared to deal with them. The abrupt death,
isolation of going through a new plague. The familiarity yet newness of this
season brought back an avalanche of feelings unresolved. I lost so many during the AIDS epidemic
and the suddenness of the corona virus startled my soul.
The unresolved feelings and reckless behaviors that came to surface, finally had to be dealt with.
The major difference this time was I truly felt as if I had no one to support or help me through and that only helped
to deepen the depression, darkness, and despair I felt.
After 34 years devoted to the fight of HIV/AIDS and the many people, causes and agencies I have given my life’s work too, I literally had only one person who called to check on me. Made it his mission to give me any semblance of love, called me out and made me want to
continue the fight though I was ready to throw in the towel. In the mist of this turmoil I didn’t make things any better by making decisions that only helped to worsen the depth of my darkness. I didn’t feel I was worthy of this life anymore and made decisions to hasten its end.
Everything that occurred seemed to become penetrating, personal and I didn’t feel equipped to deal at all.
Dealing with COVID-19 and the long term effects upon my life has been life defining for me. I literally am starting over again, yet the journey is not easy and all my wisdom and experience sometimes feels inadequate for this fight. Finally dealing with unresolved guilt of
living, the honest fear of death and dying alone. Not feeling worthy of the blessing of this life and feeling like a fraud because my shit wasn’t together. These feelings only intensified when I felt my tribe didn’t care or didn’t even bother to reach out.
If I can say the most important lesson I learned during this season is to understand what a true gift of friendship is. I lost faith in many because though we all were going through this COVID era, I HEARD NOTHING from many that told me I was part of the collective. You see I have never honestly felt part of any Black gay circle, never felt I lived up to expectations because my pedigree wasn’t the college route, but I represented the ghetto gay kids who had to fight to survive and though I was and am exceptionally smart
my life’s journey took me on another route.
My extreme sensitivity to this and honestly though a lot of this shit was my stuff, I also knew that I wasn’t too far off on my perceptions of how others saw me. I was tolerated, I was stomached but I felt the genuine lack of wanting to tread deeper and get to know me for me. To look past my flaws, inadequacies, and see the depth of a Black Gay man who lived the journey that could honestly tell the stories of what this journey of Black Gay Equality was and is. One where pain and lost is at their true core but Love has sustained. No my passage was not roses and sunny and I have had to walk on a many of cracked, broken and jagged sidewalks yet
my experiences are no less valued.
So “In This Season” that has taken me to new level of self-awareness, I can deal with this moment right now.
I will get back to a place of serenity again but this time I want to be there in the truth that
I have finally gotten to a place of real self-acceptance and Love.