Montana does something that, to my knowledge, is not done anywhere else in the U.S.- we invite HIV+ persons and their partners/support persons to learn about coping and living with HIV. It’s a fantastic weekend filled with information, activity, relaxation, community and support, and I’ve been part of it for five years now.
I highly recommend it. Out-of-staters welcome. To check it out and/or register, click the pic below.
I had the privilege to spend the weekend with 14 young gay/bi men from across the state of Montana for a weekend of fun, education, fun, community building, fun, discussion and did I say, fun?
Whenever I go away for the weekend I have a lot to catch up on- thus the reason for no posts for the last two days. But I wanted to say that being around these guys, watching their enthusiasm for life, their interest in making life better for young gay men in the state and the strength and energy they brought to (and hopefully took home from) this weekend, energized me and gave me renewed energy to do what I do.
It might sound sappy, but I don’t care. This retreat was the best I’ve ever been involved in- and the (I want to call them kids, but I don’t want to sound condescending) participants made me realize that the future is in pretty good hands.
That’s excellent, because I’m not getting any younger.
Special thanks to FDH and Associates (David Herrera, Chantz Thilmony) and the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force for their dedication to the wellness, safety and education of gay/bi men in Montana. And to Bernie Kneefe for being the Den Mother.
If you’re a young gay/bi man who wants to be involved in this next year- go here. They’ll hook you up.
It’s always nice to get away.
It’s especially nice if you’re with someone you love whom you don’t get to see often enough.
It’s even better when you’re able to learn something and maybe help someone else at the same time.
All those things happened last weekend.
Ken and I joined others at the Rising Hope Retreat, a retreat for HIV+ people and their partners or other significant support people, coordinated by FDH and Associates and sponsored with prevention grants from the State and Federal governments.
We had Paul Dalton in from Oakland California, a genuine expert in the field of HIV medication and science of treatment. He gave treatment updates and we had all the time we needed to pick his brain about our particular issues with treatment, and get his opinion on side effects, collateral issues and generally, just enjoy his company. He’s a great guy.
My friend Lindsey Doe, Clinical sexologist was there to help us negotiate in relationships and give human sexuality feedback. There was a body movement workshop, staying healthy discussion, medical marijuana update and Ken and I led an addiction/mental health discussion.
It was great. I felt like part of a team, not just the Ken and Greg team, but a team working to help people live more full lives in the face of fear, uncertainty and some very serious health issues- happens with everyone as they age, I guess. And we were aging. Not dying.
I also love the Feathered Pipe Ranch where we stayed- such a beautiful, peaceful and spiritual place- and the food was awesome!
For me, someone who rarely gets time for himself, it was time to treasure. And to get to share it with my partner was even better.