“My name is Nancy. I have been living as a non-binary HIV positive Asian person for ten years. My experience has been lonely and fearful because of hiding my HIV status from other people. I have never told my family in Korea about my HIV status and I don’t know if I can ever will. My parents are not accepting me as a gay. I mean, they said they were accepting until I told my cousin. They wanted to keep it as secret and were angry when I opened up. My cousin did something evil and harmful by telling everyone in my family. I was hurt because I had helped her for study for college and this is what I got in return.
I figured out that I was non-binary when I came to Canada nine years ago. I knew I was gender fluid but I never heard the term until I came to Canada and met people in the gay community.
I gained a new chosen family after I was diagnosed with HIV – people in the gay HIV community became my family. I never had friends before. Before, I was just alone all the time thinking there were no gay guys around. I didn’t know that gay men were meeting and having relationships.
I am non binary so fitting in the gay community in Toronto has been hard. I am almost always rejected because I am considered too feminine. It’s struggle living with two faces. Sometimes I think and act more masculine and at other times more feminine. I have no control over when I become feminine and masculine. It’s like changing character.
But I feel accepted by people in the poz Asian community and have a good support system – like Asian Community AIDS Services, Ontario Positive Asians and McEwan House. I just wish I was HIV negative and could live my life freely away from stigma – However this won’t happen not until a cure for HIV is found. I believe it will happen someday.”