When did we first meet? Grindr, eh? (And no further details about that, LOL). We didn’t know each other from the advocacy and less than a week later, I saw you at the Pride March in drag. Eventually, our paths meet again, you were identified to be one of the CBS motivators and as a pre-requisite, you had to be trained as a counselor.
You applied with the city health unit under the Global Fund project and when you (and the city) told me that you were using me as your reference, you were already hired. You had issues there and you had to leave in a few months’ time.
As a CBS volunteer, I was particularly irritated when you seem to have frequently lost your patients to treatment, I didn’t know why or what happened, but we never got the chance to sit down and talk about your issues.
Then we noticed something about you.
SUBSTANCE. (no not drugs)
During consultations, we noticed you talked with so much passion and you spoke your mind rather eloquently. You weren’t one of the seat warmers who would attend consultations and well, warm the seats the whole day and just wait for food to be served, and enjoy the hotel amenities. Your presence in the social media was felt whenever you had to raise a voice for the community, or maybe correct a piece of wrong information about the advocacy.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO
You were hospitalized. And up until today, we heard the news that you’re in critical condition. So what can we do, I asked. They told me, we can just wait, pray and hope for the best.
You have given so much of your time and yes, your life for the community. You have given and asked for nothing in return. You have volunteered without asking if there would be any allowances in return. You have trained new CBS motivators pro bono. You have spoken your mind out during consultations. You have joined us both in the Senate and the House of Representatives as we lobbied for the (recently signed) AIDS law.
You have done so much beyond the social media.
You have done so much behind the masks of alter-accounts.
Yes, Choi. You.
So if you get to read this, it means you’re doing better. It also means that you’re gonna be with us for more fights, more challenges, and more community works.
If not, well, I won’t go there.
Not just yet.
I am still hoping. But my hope can only get me so far. Your fight is yours alone. But then who’s to say that there’s a fight going on, eh?
Thank you. I just want you to know that I’m grateful to have met you.
We love you.