I hope all of you have been well. If you didn’t notice I took a little hiatus from writing my column due to limited time and juggling life. Can you believe we are in October? Even more unbelievable is that 2022 is just a few months away! This year seems like it passed by slowly, with Covid still around and new variants, but in all actuality, I cannot believe the end of the year is upon us. I hope you have all been able to stay healthy and productive during these wild times. Since we are on the subject, have you guys gotten the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd vaccine yet? I’m patiently waiting for me to get my booster (3rd), I know there are a lot of people on the fence about getting any of the vaccines. I think that we should all be free to make our own decisions with our body, however, I also find it important that we all take care of one another to avoid getting sick. I know a lot of us have lost loved ones during the pandemic, stay strong and always carry their love with you. Let’s stand together and stop the spread of Covid.
During my Hiatus I have lost some very important people in my life, and it just made me realize how precious life truly is. We need to remember to make memories, take pictures, listen to stories from our elders about our family to reshare them to the next generations, learn family recipes, and spend time and share with our loved ones. We never know what day will be our last and we must truly live our lives to the fullest. There are many things I regret, but lately I have been really beating myself up for not spending more time with the people that I love. Take a moment and think about this before it’s too late. If you had a falling out with someone and want to be able to move forward and grow from that, reach out to that person and fix it, if you want to help someone with something, do it. Let go of all the dead weight you are carrying, and you will see how much easier your day to day will become. Love those around you and hold them tight.
Some other fun things I have done is go to Mexico, LA, SD, SF, PS and a few other places. I don’t know about you, but I love traveling to new cities to check out the boys, the eateries, the culture, shopping, and site seeing. I’m lucky to have been able to visit these places more than once so I don’t have to do the whole tourist thing repeatedly. I talked to a few boys on Grindr and Scruff at different cities. The boys at PS, LA and SF were not so worried or concerned about my HIV status.
PS was very welcoming and fun! The best part of PS is having a pool. It was so hot, and a pool party is always a wonderful way to meet new people, have a fun afternoon, and drink some cold drinks. Remember that clothing is ALWAYS optional LOL!
SF was super fun! I went to Folsom for my second time and let me tell you it never disappoints! There was sooooo much to look at, lick, nibble, and taste! Everyone is so loving and welcoming in the Bay Area. I love seeing all kinds of body types, colors, and people from all walks of life while being accepted and embraced into the wonderful SF culture. It was nice to see all the eye candy from around the world. I will say that I had forgotten how hot it gets wearing leather in the full sun! I tried to behave, and I was only able to succeed for a few hours, ha ha!
In SF, I met a porn star that was asking if I was having fun. I told him I was, but a guy I was going to meet up with, who I had met the last time I was in SF, ghosted me (after inviting me to meet his friends and hangout) when he saw my Grindr profile picture where I wore a shirt supporting an HIV organization. My new sweet friend quickly reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that some people still have a very bad image of people living with it. He told me he has been POZ for more than 20+ years and that he has encountered the same kind of people and judgement. He gave me a hug and said, “We have come a long way since the 80’s and 90’s but we still have growth to do. We need to educate ourselves, especially as Gay men, and be more accepting. Nobody chooses to be POZ.” I appreciated his kind words and truly understood that I wasn’t the only one that has been turned down or shunned.
The “boy” I was supposed to meet up with said, “I didn’t know you were POZ! When were you going to tell me?” I was shocked that he would just assume I was POZ from a shirt I wore. I felt ashamed and like a liar with such questions and quickly realized that it was his lack of education on the matter than had him talking from a place of fear. I told him I was POZ and undetectable and what that meant. I felt great being able to educate him and allow him to ask me any questions he might have. At the end I realized that he wasn’t someone I wanted to continue being close to as he was still not very comfortable being with someone that is POZ. I must remember to not take it personal and move forward with my own happiness and love. Folsom was a wonderful way to have some fun. All I will say is that I haven’t had so much fun like I did in Folsom. Whatever happens at Folsom must STAY there (insert evil grin).
Be kind to yourself and others and remember that your words can hurt others. Remember that nobody choses to be POZ and we need to EDUCATE ourselves. As a community we have a lot of growth to do to be more inclusive.
Until we meet again and who knows what adventures await.
Much love and stay Positive,