Why I’m at the Table

By Naimah O’Neal

I went to a Ryan White part A meeting last night and the comment made in the executive committee meeting had my brain was on fire. “Why?” you ask? Because I found myself looking around the room questioning why some people were at that the table.

I remember that in day 2 of my blog, I shared the statement that, “If you are not that the table, then you are on the menu.” While I feel that that statement is still true, I forgot to said that you must say to yourself what my motivation for being at the table is.

Ladies, first and foremost, you must know that you have a right to be present at the table, because we have always lived in a man driven society full of penises that truly think with them. They forget about vaginas, and I always wonder why, since every man came through one, but nevertheless, when it comes to our health, wealth and wellbeing, ladies, we must stand up and have our voices heard.

But I must caution you to question why you wish to sit at the table. Here are my reasons why I sit at the table. I sit that the table because I have a right to be present when decision about my healthcare are being decided. I am present to be a voice for other women who want to be there but can’t or are looking for an example of their possibilities. I sit there to help make decisions about my life. I am present because the penises in the room need to hear that the meds don’t affect me that way affect you and I still may wish to have a baby. The penises that made the HIV criminalization laws must keep hearing that these laws must be changed because it will never reduce the community viral load, because it keeps people from getting tested.   

I sit at the table looking for nothing but to be a voice for my HIV community. WHY AND WHEN WILL YOU BE THAT VOICE AT YOUR COMMUNITY TABLE?   PEACE AND LOVE

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