Born and bred in Brighton, Gary considers growing up as a Gay man in Brighton to be an advantage and comparative privilege. He was diagnosed HIV positive in the early 1990’s and, like many, has lost numerous partners and lovers, friends and an entire social network to AIDS. He has volunteered and worked in the HIV & LGBT voluntary sector for 22 years, and founded Lunch Positive HIV lunch club in 2009 providing deliveries of cooked food and groceries, a crisis food bank, telephone befriending, outreach visits, and peer-support groups. He has a deep trust, belief and commitment to community which has been life affirming, fulfilling and inspiring.
What does your identity mean to you?
Being a Gay man has always been unquestionable and immovable. I consider myself HIV positive & proud, totally accepting of my HIV status. Acknowledging & celebrating that my personal resilience, spiritual growth & capacity for a happy life is largely owed to 30 years of being HIV positive, the widely varied experiences & insight that can come with that, and importantly the friendship, love, and continued acquaintances of so many other HIV positive people, friends and allies.