|Photocredit from gmanews.tv|
It was fear that led me to dark bath houses and bars for anonymous sex and eyeballs for no-strings-attached one-night-stands with strangers. I was afraid of commitments. I was afraid of being dumped and left alone.
It was fear that prevented me from getting tested for HIV even when I knew I was at high risk of contracting the disease. I was afraid of what I might do (or not do) should I test positive. I was afraid of the stigma.
It was fear of dying with an unknown disease which rendered me incapacitated for months that finally led me to give a consent to the HIV test suggested by my doctor.
And it was also fear that forced me to tell my parents about my sexuality and the possibility of me having HIV - I was afraid that if they found out they'd cast me out and I'd be left alone, dying on my own. Some would say it was courage. But I knew better. I wanted to know whether they'd accept me if they knew who and what I really was. My plan was if they didn't accept me, I'd leave and go to an out-of-the-way place, curl up and wait for death to come and take me.
But in hindsight, I would have been in a better situation had I learned to walk in fear, not out of fear. It would have made me more careful. I could have found the right person. I would not have the virus now.
And yet, all these are "would haves" and "could haves".
Now I face new fears. Will I allow myself again to be led in fear, or will I stand and stare Fear in the face and say "Bring it on!"
Carlos Celdran had it right. Stand up despite of fear. Speak up inspite of the threat of being left all alone in the world.
For if I don't stand up and speak for myself, no one else will. And I will truly be alone.