Publishing my book, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a bold thing to do in 2017, it was coming together during the approach of the presidential election. In the book I ‘came out’ as a long-term survivor. This public reveal was frightening at many levels, even though I had a circle of support and knew many people would be open and accepting. What I feared most was the Republican candidate might win, which I did not think was possible.
HIV/AIDS is still highly stigmatized, even though it has changed dramatically over the years; now, if one’s viral load is undetectable it is untransmittable: U=U is the slogan to convey this information. News was available as early as 2012, but even many positive people have not received the message.
The support I’ve received has been remarkable, even as my worst nightmare came true. After the election the acronym AIDS was removed from the Federal website, and this president continually tries to destroy the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care); this would hurt many and people living with HIV/AIDS would be hit especially hard. So in actuality, my book is timely, because getting the word out to help destigmatize HIV/AIDS is important.
I am pleased to announce I will be on a panel talking about stigma and reading from my book at an international psychology conference on October 26th in downtown Seattle. It is open to the public but very expensive, so I am sharing this with you without expectation of your presence.
The Boldness of Truth, Silence, and HIV/AIDS
Room: Green, Moderator: Laurence Green
Speaking Out to Stigma: Truth be bold, a long-term survivor breaks her silence
Presenter: Julene T. Weaver, M.A., LMHC (WA)
Speaking Out to Stigma will invite participants to think about chronic illness as a hidden trauma and how societal taboos impact your healing journey. Through timed writing and discussion, this presentation will encourage finding one’s voice, developing inner resources, and the healing power of expression that builds strength to confront stigma.
The Conference Schedule can be found here. I will also moderate a presentation on Thursday, October 25th, at 4:20—5:30 PM, How Poetry Informs and Shapes Silences, featuring Fredrick B. Davis, MD, and Laurie Burns, MS, MFT.
Additional writing news:
- On October 1st my poem, “The Things I Do Become Calendar,” was my second poem published online at MadSwirl: A Creative Outlet.
- On October 14th my poem, “Road Side Wonder,” was published online at Minute Magazine.
- On October 20th I will read at the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytical Study (NWAPS) event, Potential Space, held at the Golden Gardens Bath House, 8498 Seaview Place NW, Seattle, 98117. Cost is $20 and there will be refreshments. It runs from 6 to 9 pm.
Thank you for reading my blog and my writing! My books are available at Open Books in Wallingford.