Live Boldly & Authentically ~ Tiommi J. Luckett
About a year ago I was honored with interviewing the outspoken advocate I just quoted here Tiommi J. Luckett: Advocate and you can find more wonderful articles and OP, reviews, art, and so much more can be found here at the A&U: America’s Aids Magazine website. No, this is not a paid endorsement. For the last year, this magazine has been the only source of income outside disability. For my New Year’s Resolutions I decided to raise my standards and live a bold and authentic life as a thriving woman living with HIV in 2017. I am an advocate for treatment for all as well as for better services for Long Term Survivors, and I have spent the last year taking classes and workshops learning to tell my story in a way that is educational and empowering. I feel that I have earned that right to put all of this on my resume. No one has told me that is why they are not calling me back. But it’s been a year and I have never gone a year without a job in my life until now. I thank Sean Black for spotting me in the beautiful sea of advocates that I am more aware of now. I feel so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to interview a few of these people that editor’s like Chael & Sean put me in touch with. These two men have spent the better part of the last year and a half encouraging, and mentoring me with knowledge I would never have had access to in my life.
You see when I found out I was HIV-Positive as a single mother who thought she only had a few years to live 21 years ago I did not further my education instead I chose to focus on my family. Today, as a thriving woman in her 40s I of course, see my mistake.
I was so shocked that day when Sean Black reached out to me via Messenger asking if I would agree to be one of his subjects for Survival Guide, pictured here:
And then Chael Needle reached out and wrote this article about my then website livingpos.com: https://aumag.org/2016/02/09/living-pos-advocacy/
He then asked me if I would be interested in writing a piece for the Roll Call column. Listed here: https://aumag.org/2016/05/06/role-call-connie-rose/
I had no idea at the time that A&U paid their writers so after my article released and Chael told me to send an invoice I seriously almost shit my pants. I have been blogging at that time for six years and only getting paid to blog for Vegastickets.com and certainly not as much as what a&u paid me. That lit a fire I didn’t even know I had inside me. I didn’t think much of my writing no matter how many people told me they liked it before because I was only writing to get the thoughts out of my head.
Thank you, Sean and Thank you, Chael and a huge shout out to David Waggoner founder of A&U Magazine: America’s Aids Magazine for giving this no name a chance to live her dreams to be a voice and not just an echo.