01619: The Desire To Get More Involved

It seems like every month, we get yet another update on the continued rise of new HIV infections in the country with the repeated statement that we're at another new all-time high by one metric or another. To some extent, it's almost becoming white noise droning in the background of things. In truth, it's a serious and alarming issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

And it's even more frustrating since the spread of the virus is born primarily out of ignorance and fear. I say ignorance from the perspective of all those people who just don't know any better and do not practice safe sex or do not understand how HIV is transmitted. And there are those who give in to fear more - fear of buying condoms at retail stores, fear of asking a sexual partner to use one and eventually fear of getting tested on a regular basis.

This is one of those cases when our being a supposed Catholic country has definitely worked against us. Even just talking about sex feels like taboo, what more about safe sex practices, especially among LGBT? And these are conversations that NEED to happen in order to move past the ignorance that is contributing so greatly to this problem.

For some time now I've been wanting to start an online advocacy program - a simple enough initiative that makes involve as easy as a re-share or re-tweet an image. Ignorance can be fought head-on with exposure and appreciation for the facts. Understanding how things work with a positive message instead of one of fear should go a long way.

I want this group to be a speaker box for the community in a way - a central place to spread news about LGBT causes and not just HIV/AIDS awareness alone. I won't favor any one group over another - thus partnerships will become essential to making this group work. And this group doesn't need to be front and center for events and things of that nature. I just need to get the message out and help spread relevant information by the use of catchy images, memes and other social media staples. Thus people end up helping change public sentiment and opinion bit by bit without feeling overly inconvenienced.

And this means running some campaigns that work for more closeted members of the community. It means to find as many different ways to spread that supportive message that the community needs in all things.

Does this sound like a good idea or am I just going crazy thinking this might actually work? Does this sound like something that you would like to get involved in? Do you have ideas to contribute to make this work? I'd love to hear from you - even if it's just a kind word of support or perhaps your full support as a volunteer. That would be totally, totally awesome.