giovedì 16 febbraio 2017

On social stigma and kindness

The last few months have been very busy fundraising and creating awareness.
On the 4th of March I will travel to Cork to take part in the Mr. Gay Ireland final. 
I am very excited and honoured, during this year I have met so many people who are passionate about  many projects, charities and causes. 
Especially, I have had the pleasure to fundraise for the new Fill Project at the Guide Clinic (St. James' Hospital).
Today the new combination drugs for HIV are very successful – HIV + people live normal and healthy lives with almost the same life expectancy as HIV- people. To get this far, various treatments were developed over the years. From earlier times, one major side effect that can impact on some people remains wastage in the muscles of the face, so that a person is medically healthy but looks seriously ill. Collagen injections (which your donations pays for) restore the facial tissue and the dignity of the patient to resume a full life in society. The State pays for a course of three – in many cases, this is not enough for full muscle restoration, so more injections are needed – your monies pay for these extra injections.
This is a very laudable cause that aims at relieving the weight of social stigma and personal low self-esteem.
I have read so many stories and I have personally become so passionate about it. Therefore, I have decided to write a poem which expresses  how hard it is to accept physical changes and social stigma. I hope these verses can inspire as many people as possible to donate towards the New Fill Project. If you wish to donate:

My demon

It is time to wake up,
clean and soft sheets caress my calves,
warm and maternal womb.
I want to crawl back to where I truly belong,
my dreams are my world,
the only reality where my life takes shape.
The clock is ticking,
the sound of the hands echoing in my head,
it is time,
no kingdom will come,
thy won’t be done.
Shivers run through my spine,
knots in my stomach,
auras in my eyes.

Here it is,
my personal demon stands before me, 
every day,
and every day it drains my strength.
Squinted eyes,
trembling voice, 
pounding heart.
This is who I am, 
this is my inheritance, 
of dark times, of fear, of confusion and terror.
The mirror reflects an image but I cannot recognise that person.
He is not the same person of my dreams,
he is not who I remember.
Time heals and curses.

Tears flow on my face, 
they used to make it shine, once,
now they rest in the wrinkles of my skin,
relentless and unkind. 
Wasted flesh and healthy body,
I should be happy 
but my face betrays me.
Each glance digs a hole in my soul,
Each word makes my heart pound,
arrows torture me and I am as lost as my skin.
Courage and determination, every day, always,
but for how long still?
Give me this day our daily bread,
and forgive my trespasses,
wash away my scars,
soothe them and make them disappear,
grant me the strength to forgive those who trespass me,
let me see the light,
let me see the light,
let me see my real image reflected through that light.

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