Kimberly Glanz’s detailed experience as an AIDS patient attempting to access disability benefits in Ohio while struggling with her health.
I have been in counseling for over a year now. At first, I was very skeptical and let’s face it, defensive. No one wants to think they can’t handle the stuff in their lives on their own. I have been taking care of myself in that fashion since I was 14. I moved out at 16, had my first child at 18, the next one at 22, and from then on have been a mother.
Imagine waking up every day not knowing how long you’re going to be alive because you can’t even get a ride to the doctor for treatment. Now, on top of that, you have two children that depend on you.
No more did I concentrate on men who only wanted me in the shadows and in the midnight hour. Luckie was teaching me that as a HIV+ trans woman of color I deserve to be love and treated with respect. We have been very successful with PrEP In our lives, it’s helped us maintain Luckie’s HIV- status. I hope by sharing our different love paths to each other, we can inform the community that love has no fear when it’s love leading the way.
This is why I force myself to take my meds every day, to hang on to still be here for my kids. They may be adults now, but they still have a place in their lives where I fit in.
I arrived at the clinic with my two youngest children. Sitting in the waiting area everything appeared to move in slow motion. A barrage of thoughts swirled through my head. My nerves were all over the place. Finally I heard my name called. I immediately snapped back into reality. The walk down the hallway to the office room was as though I was walking to death’s chair. The nurse walked in and said Ms.Thomas, “I’m not going to beat around the bush. Your HIV test came back positive.” In that moment, my heart dropped in my stomach. I felt numb all over. Her words were final.