Positive Life NSW Blog

Givers, Takers and Fakers

Posted by on in Advocacy and Policy

On 1 October 1 2013, there was a celebration of the life of Malcolm John Leech at the Recital Hall in Angel Place Sydney.

Malcolm died aged 57 from cancer. He was a very proud and very gay man, who made no apologies for his HIV or hepatitis C status, making a significant contribution to theatre and community alike. His contribution to people living with HIV was considerable, being a Positive Speaker and Director, Secretary and President of Positive Life NSW.

Sitting there in the Recital Hall, listing to speaker after speaker recount a life lived to the full, with humour, with wit, with energy and resolve, I couldn't help marvelling and wonder how much of that life and its choices had been by design, or by chance. Either way, Malcolm provided an excellent example of how public service is not only recognised and rewarded after death, but can serve as a source of focus, energy, drive and meaning in life.

Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, gay men with HIV have chosen to put their time and energy into helping their peers to live a better life. Yes, it sometimes involves: long meetings, torturous community politics, inappropriate humour and disagreements with colleagues from time-to-time. But, on the up side, it does provide a sense of collegiate connection, meaning and of course, public service.

Community organisations like Positive Life NSW, ACON, BGF and Mardi Gras, can only survive, evolve and flourish while they have committed people who are prepare to put themselves forward. Despite facing criticism and anger from sections of a community - who disagree with decisions or direction, serving your community it its own reward!

So, if you've been thinking about getting involved rather than sitting on the side-lines and either throwing a hissy fit, or just being disengaged, I urge you to consider getting enagaged and to do your bit. It will open up a new chapter in your life, one with perhaps unexpected consequences – and I don't mean bad ones!

See you round the traps.

Also at http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/viewpoint/givers-takers-and-fakers-12134.html

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