I am 24 years old, and I love rainy days. As raindrops fall, I am reminded of the place where, ten years ago, I started understanding myself as a homosexual. It was the first time I ever shared something special with another man.
When I was diagnosed HIV-positive, I already had some information on the subject. One of my best friends lives with the virus. What immediately concerned me was how advanced the infection was and, from that point, how to make the best decisions I could about my health. The moment when I contracted the virus is still very clear in my mind. The condom ripped when I was with a guy. He said nothing would happen, that HIV didn’t exist.
I’m dedicated now to providing psychological support to others in a community organization, but I do not consider myself an activist, only a community fighter. I think people are capable of judging what is best for them, and henceforth of fighting for what they want. By contrast, activists tend to pose themselves as starring actors in their own cause.
I have decided to show my face in this project to convey that I work, that I have a sexual and affective life, that I am a son, and that I contribute to the betterment of our community. I have weaknesses, but also strengths. I am not an alien. I do not want any privileges. I just want my rights to be respected.
I was not very familiar with photography, but this first contact with a camera turned out to be a pleasant experience. That is why I entitled my work “Unusual Things,” because it established a link for me between art and my life. I took these pictures to reflect my life—the personal aspects, feelings and mundane activities that remain part of me. I hope you like them.