Yesterday was Father’s Day. It took so much for me not to be negative. You see for the longest my father and I have not had the best relationship at all. Even at the age of 24 my father and I hardly speak, he never asks about my work or interests, and we never hang out (we currently reside in the same house). So I think many of you can understand why I never gave a shout out to my father. It is very difficult trying to create a visage that all is well when in all actuality it is not. It takes much for someone like myself to be able to be transparent about many things; however, my toughest topics to speak on is the relationship with my father and my spirituality (soon to come in a video).
Father’s Day this year consisted of me reflecting on my life and my rocks (individuals who are tough as nails, care about me, never jealous of my accomplishments, hold me down, never wither away, and stand the test of time of true friendship). My mom is the greatest rock. We may never truly get along; however, she has always been there for me. From the time she held me after being bullied at school for being “gay,” to the time she looked me in the eye and told me she was proud of me of what I am doing (although she may not fully agree) because I am sticking to something and working hard to be successful. On the other end my friends like TJ,Davia, Calvin, Donna, Justin, Bryan, AJ, Corey, Kraig, Josh, James, Rene, Sam (both of you), Bernie, Carlos (MCO), Jorge, and many more who I cannot fit here who have been so supportive of me and loving. You guys push me to be the best I can be and stop me dead in my tracks when I am wrong. My brother Bradley and my sister Patricia who have helped me deal with so many ups and downs. I recall calling my sister plenty of times to talk boys and how I was going to become a Lesbian because of them.
You see I consider everyone who I mentioned (sorry to those I could not squeeze in) father figures. They nurtured, guided, supported, mentored, scolded me when I was wrong, acted as positive role models, and most importantly loved me. Everyone including myself has a little father figure in them. You definitely do not have to have kids to be defined in my words as a father.
When I was diagnosed with HIV I relied on my rocks to the fullest. Not to say my father has not been there but i is safe to state that my rocks have shined through and filled a void I so desperately needed. It feels great when Davia calls me every morning to ask me how my night was and to give me the daily “wake that ass up.” Little does she know it but there were days I was so depressed I wanted to just die but her persistence moved me forward. When my friends tell me how proud they are of me it motivates to continue to cause to erase stigma HIV and to educate. When my mentors give their nod of approval it feels like I won the jackpot.
At the end of the day I spend Father’s Day to celebrate my family and rocks who have helped me deal with the ups and downs of life and HIV.