What Pride Means: Visibility

A Note from Our Chairman

What Pride means to me: visibility. Our month is an outward display of strength and support–equally for ourselves as for others. Growing up as an LGBT person there is a lack of representation, and what exists isn’t always the most favorable. Pride gives us a chance to take the stage and tell our story. We are given representation in the public domain. The opportunity is invaluable and tells our younger members that it is ok to live their truths and it pays homage to all the work done by our foremothers, our forefathers, and our forenonbinaries. While we celebrate our successes we must not lose sight of the ongoing struggle– particularly for our Black, Brown, and trans community members.

Pride is a celebration of visibility. A celebration of our collective coming out. Some of our LGBT family have had the opportunity of coming out multiple times with truths of queerness to trans identity to HIV positivity. I have on two counts. I am gay and I am HIV positive. The former for a lifetime and the latter for almost 10 years.

In the spirit of visibility and public inclusion, I serve The Museum of HIV+AIDS Art as chairman. The museum will launch on World AIDS Day 2020 (Dec 1st). The intent is to give representation to every life living and every life lost from HIV/AIDS. Currently, in the US there are 1.1 million Americans living with HIV. As of 2018, the world had lost an estimated 32 million people since the start of the epidemic. Further, an estimated 37.9 million people are living with HIV. 

To build on the representation, art galleries will be featured that speak to the experience of living with HIV. In many regions, HIV remains a stigmatized conversation. We need to remove this stigma. We need to show others they are not alone. In regions where conversations are not available we want to provide a link to community connection. With this in mind, we intend to remove the barriers of access due to financial means, geographic remoteness, and physical disability. Our museum will be housed virtually–available to all via online access 24/7/365. 

To make this vision a reality we need help. Please check out our website’s “Get Involved” section to find out more. 

Jacob Sandler

Chairman, Board of Directors

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