As a gay man in my thirties, I have witnessed a transformation in attitudes towards gays from the wider community. This was the catalyst for me to go public with my status. I decided to go public during the 2014 AIDS Conference in Melbourne and to time it with their Candlelight Vigil. I knew that I could get some heat from certain quarters, so I rallied my close friends that I had already disclosed to. I told them that it was to be on the Wednesday.
News 24 was on in the background on the Tuesday night and they were going to cross to the vigil live. Fuck! My heart skipped a beat. It was now or never. Only an hour before I was talking myself out of it. What to do? I copy and paste my pre-prepared speech (I won't post it here - there's so many things that I would change about it now.) I contact my comrades to let them know that it's done in order for them to be available to show support. I wait - my heart in my throat wondering why the fuck I pressed 'enter'. A flood of goodwill comes pouring in. I'm relieved! A massive weight is lifted.
I was suddenly actually feeling pretty damn excited at the possibilities. On a whim, I booked a flight to Melbourne to join my positive brothers and sisters to share in my moment of elation. After the revelry I decide to celebrate my new found liberation and freedom by going to a sex club only to find that I couldn't get hard with a negative brother, even with his smouldering good looks and calming words. Shit. I had further to go in this journey then I thought. I did end up smashing through that barrier, but that's a story for another day. All said and done, it's been the best decision that I have ever made as I have had some wonderful conversations and have met some amazing people.