When I received my HIV diagnosis in 1998, I withdrew from my community of gay men. I “went to ground”, thinking that isolation was the only safe place to avoid being criticized for seroconverting at such a late date, when we were all supposed to know better.
This past week has been yet another bifurcation point in my life. I returned to a community I have known about, if not been a steady part of, for more than 30 years. A community of men whom I could touch and hug. Men whose tears might wet my face and whose body heat and life forces I could feel in ways that can only happen in person. It really did feel like coming home.