Don’t go for second best, baby! People with HIV deserve the best in life: physical and mental wellbeing, acceptance and – most of all – the chance to tell their own stories.
In his show Live to Tell: (a proposal for) The Madonna Jukebox Musical, writer-performer Brian Mullin did just that, mashing up his real life experience of 10 years on antiretroviral meds into a crazy queer hybrid of pop music dreams and personal revelations. But the story of HIV is much more varied than just his experience…
For the past few months, Brian has partnered with Positive East for a series of workshops with women and men from diverse backgrounds, all living with HIV. The result is “Expressing Ourselves” an exhibition of powerful and personal writing that offers new perspectives on what it feels like to live with HIV. Stigma is real, but these writers share voices of joy, strength and empowerment, with a few of their favourite song lyrics mixed in.
The exhibition will remain on show in the Positive East Computer Suite throughout July, and there’s a collection of all the pieces in a booklet.
You can see an interview with Brian and some of the panel discussion featuring Positive East Peer Support Co-ordinator Mina Kakaiya – who co-devised and co-delivered the workshops – here