This year was my first time celebrating World AIDS Day anywhere. After I heard about the various events, I decided to go to a candle vigil and walk in Wilton Manors. For the last few weeks, my idea was my daughter wouldn’t be coming with me. I’ve never brought her with me to any of my advocacy events, so I thought this would be a good experience for her that seemed like something an almost 4 year old could do. So as the day went on before the walk, I started to go “Mom-mode” and was concerned about taking my daughter on the walk with us. What I was worried about was hatred; from the people who believe HIV/AIDS is a “gay problem” and may do something crazy. Every day we hear about attacks against the lgbtqa community, and you never know what could happen in public arenas. I spoke to my bf about it, and he reassured me we’d be fine. I am so grateful for listening.
The 3 of us wore matching Planned Parenthood t-shirts, which made most people smile when we went by. But I started to slowly realized, everyone was smiling around me. There was nothing but positive energy throughout the entire space. This was because everyone in the walk was there to stand up for HIV/AIDS, especially for the ones lost to the disease. When my daughter asked why we were there, it was a little difficult to explain at first. Again, she is technically only 3 and a 1/2 (but swears she’s 18). I thought about it and told her,
“Today is an important day. Were here to walk for people who have a really bad disease and can’t get better. We want other people to know this is important too.And it shows the people who are sick, they’re not alone.”
I think she got the point Seeing her in her pink P.P. shirt, raising her glowstick along with the crowd, I was reminded that she should be here. Until there is a cure, this will be a virus that continues to effect of society for the coming generations.