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This is a story about coming to terms with the guilt and shame of becoming HIV positive…  and my hopes for future generations of young religious gay people.

Written by Anon:

Being involved in digital story telling has been very challenging for me especially because I chose to tell one of the stories that, if I could turn back time, I would change... the story of how I became HIV positive and the head space I was in at the time.

I also live in the countryside and while open about being gay, I keep my HIV status to myself. I was torn between using personal photos or representative images, being out and proud of where I am now but not wanting to risk being labelled by a disease and ultimately a mistake. So when I somewhat de-identified the film I initially felt weak yet relieved.

I could have talked about HIV and being a nurse, the challenge of sex and disclosure, the feeling of going back into the closet, but the kind caring religious little gay boy wants people to help the next generation. More positive role models, respected relationships and happy kids.

Being part of a group was vital for inspiration, persistence and sharing supportive people. The film was amazingly put together by Andy and would never have happened without the kind heart and persistence of Sonja.

PS Wish I'd known about P.E.P at the time. ( Post Exposure Prophylaxis)

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Comment by Bronwen McClelland on October 2, 2011 at 16:36

hi there, 

I also grew up in a strongly Christian family, and resonated with some of the messages of shame and guilt that you express here. I love your message at the end, the hope that young religious gay people will find ways of understanding that they are loved and lovable as they are.  thanks for sharing. Peace to you. 

Comment by Melina MIchelle Magdalena on October 2, 2011 at 11:30
The words coming across the screen are very effective. I think the voiceover is also very clear, and helps to convey the story well. It's a very sad story, and I think the themes are so everyday - it really can happen to anyone. Scary. I too, hope that we no longer have to hate ourselves, and feel that our lives are pointless. I hope that we can be in families that nurture and nourish us, no matter our sexual orientation. For me, one of the saddest lines in this film was about not being able to have children, and the impact that this belief has had.
Comment by Greg Kelly on September 28, 2011 at 15:00
Absolutely beautifully said anon. Full of deep soul searching and brutal honesty. The message of self awareness and compassion FOR ONESELF is inspiring! Truly beautiful Thank you xo
Comment by Michael Barnett on September 28, 2011 at 14:58
Thank you for this story.  I reminds me of the true story a man called Danny, who's religious community turned their back on him when he contracted HIV.  Read about it here.
Comment by Sophie Pointer on September 28, 2011 at 13:58

Wow, very brave, open and honest! Be proud of yourself for having incredible courage and strength to 'come out' in this way.


Thank you for sharing.

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