A guest blog by Helena Sunday Candy Nangombe, Namibia
Life is a gift freely given. I think we all have to enjoy our life in our own way and in doing so discover ways of making ourselves happy. Although we got it free, this does not mean that we are the same because I am me and you are you. So I do not understand why many people suffer for who they are in this world because of being gay, lesbian, or openly living with HIV. It does not mean that you have to be like a person to support them, but you have to support others because of the LOVE you have for them and you must show it. We all know that gay, lesbian, disabled and people living with HIV are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and people around our community. We have to show LOVE and CARE to them. If you do not do that then who do you expect will do the same on your behalf?
It’s our own people that we are stoning to death. What is the use of hating and beating up gay and lesbian people? When we talk of rights for all, where are the rights for them? Where and when are they protected? They can’t walk freely in their own home town. People call them so many bad names. Here I call it time wasting because even in Africa where people believe that this not a place for gay and lesbian people, they are here and they will be here because they are from here and they have feelings like you and me.
It’s still hard because inside your house you are somebody else and when you are with people who really understand you, and then you are somebody else again. It’s simply called feelings- why can’t they be allowed to fall for whomever they want when they are just human being like anyone else? Why do they even have to fight for this in the first place? Our friends, brothers and sisters are homeless now because their family disowned them for being who they are and for not hiding their feelings. I have a child and I am not the master of his destination or happiness. I will love him always as his mother no matter what he might be.
I see us going nowhere with this much stigma and discrimination among us. Instead of us being part of the solution, we are part of creating more problems. Young people, do you see yourself achieving anything? I know that we are the future and leaders of today so let’s fight stigma and discrimination. You are committing no crime by loving and respecting those people for who they are. The best medication of people living with HIV is to be stress free and have support, love and care from people around them. Even in this world when ARV treatment is helping people living with HIV to be so well, the discrimination is still there. Wake up world, we are not dying of HIV like in past years when there was no ARV treatment. Things are much better now so let’s just work on addressing stigma and discrimination because we will get nowhere as long as people living with HIV continues to be mistreated and stigmatized.
In conclusion, I am young, tall, and I have all that can make a woman beautiful. I do not care if people think I am gay, lesbian, or have HIV. What I care about is fighting for everyone’s rights and to see that my efforts mean something to every person. If I have to walk naked for people to hear me, then I will do it. I am here fighting for the right of people living with HIV and the right for all. In all my stories, I like to say young people, let’s hold hands together and walk together as one. I am nothing without you but with you I will achieve a lot. I need you and you need me. I love posting because this is the only way I can talk to many of you- to anyone who is reading this and might be going through some difficult times. Now, I want you to know that you are not all alone because you have me as a friend and sister and many other people around the world. If you find yourself down, please pick yourself up and stand tall because I know you can do it no matter how hard it can be. Live your life like there is no tomorrow and be happy always. I have to love and leave you now until next time.