Welcome Message

This blog celebrates the beauty of Asian men by illustrating the depth and variety that is so often missed by those who make foolish statements like "All Asians look the same." It is primarily a photo blog, but I will also occasionally write comments related to Asian men and gay life as it relates to them.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day



Today is World AIDS Day, and many others have spoken or will speak of it far more eloquently than I ever could. I do think it is wonderful that, each year, the tragedy that this disease has caused worldwide becomes more and more understood and responded to. Slowly, we see foolish assumptions and myths about HIV/AIDS fading away, as politicians, physicians, and the general public are realizing the importance of addressing the issue with compassion and honesty. I love how celebrities like Bono are choosing to leverage their popularity to accomplish great things in this realm. And a day like today is excellent for helping to increase public awareness, education, and compassion for those who live with HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS does not have the power to crush the human spirit or to fracture hope or to restrain love. It cannot suffocate laughter or silence creativity or shatter true friendship or stifle compassion.But I also think today is important for a reason that those of us in the gay community are probably aware of more than most; that is, for those of us who are HIV-negative to remind our friends and family members who are living with HIV/AIDS of our love and support and total acceptance of them. I have known many people in my life with HIV/AIDS, having lived in West Africa where it was very prevalent, as well as knowing numerous HIV-positive friends and acquaintances here in the States. But it hit home more directly than ever this year, when within three months of each other, two people very close to me tested positive. Suddenly, it wasn't just acquaintances that I would see occasionally at a club or party; it was people who I would interact with regularly, people who I loved and looked to for help when I faced difficulties in life.

And, as my loved ones have progressed on their journies through this new challenge, I have been so happy to see them both moving from a very low place to paths of hope and happiness--anticipation of lives that will be full and satisfying, perhaps even more so than before, since they have faced a challenge that gives them an appreciation for life and health and love. And, I think that is a wonderful message for World AIDS Day... HIV/AIDS does not have the power to crush the human spirit or to fracture hope or to restrain love. It cannot suffocate laughter or silence creativity or shatter true friendship or stifle compassion.

Have you ever had a really bad day? One in which you just feel like your are overwhlemed by your circumstances? Where you are on the verge of tears or just want to hit a wall or scream into your pillow? But then, a friend or loved one comes into the room and, with a clever comment or well-timed joke totally diffuses the tension. I don't mean a careless joke that indicates your problems are not real nor important. But a gentle humor that communicates they love you and that they know you are going to make it through this trial. When this happens, at first you don't want to laugh, or even smile, because in a perverse way, we sometimes jealously hold on to anger or frustration. But when the laughter overcomes us, and we are forced to release the anger (since anger will not co-exist with laughter), we physically and emotionally feel that knot in our stomach begin to loosen and the load on our heart to lighten. It doesn't eliminate the problems we are facing, but it gives us the perspective to know we can make it through the valleys in life because we are loved.



And now, for some pictures of hope and laughter...































2 comments:

bkkdreamer said...

A lovely post, thank you. This blog consistently impresses with me with its big heart.

Michael said...

bkkdreamer...

Thanks! That's very kind of you!