by Jada Cardona
The most memorable moment I had at AIDSWatch was standing on stage with all of my PWN sisters and chanting, “All women, all rights!” This powerful moment was one that will resonate in my activism for years to come. I am inspired by PWN’s commitment to inclusion and it’s great show of love one toward another. I love you all so much!
I enjoyed having days where the mere fact of having HIV made me special and powerful. Those days are rare and on those days, I take full advantage of all the love and acceptance surrounding my heart.
The meeting with Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) affirmed that the fight in my home state is worth troubling all efforts. He reassured his commitment to HIV and inclusion of trans individuals throughout his decision making efforts. He made me proud to be a Louisianian!
The most challenging part was my visit to Senator Kennedy (R-LA). He sent what seemed like a disinterested child to pretend that he cared as he was writing our concerns down but was most likely (given his totally exasperated body language) just doodling and laughing internally at us. Our meeting was in a loud hallway where the trash was being taken out and there were so many distractions. To boot, the senator himself walked out and with a look of disdain, snubbed us and walked away without even so much as acknowledging our existence. I made a live Facebook video about it and, as promised, I will keep my commitment to lead Louisiana’s LGBTQ population to oppose his re-election and will show up at his town halls with fervor to remind him of that fateful day.
I’ve learned that together we are very powerful and that this movement is what keeps me alive. Each and every soul that continues to fight and resist the powers of hate strengthens my resolve to never give up and to fully prepare for upcoming battles with a renewed fighting spirit.
My advice to someone thinking of attending AIDSWatch next year is to share that no one thing is as important as our advocacy, and AIDSWatch makes it possible for us to meet the very elected decision makers of our great country. Consider it a privilege, and I hope to see you there next year, where together, we shall overcome!