Intro - Bethany M. Brown, M.Ed.

The best way I have known how to address HIV/AIDS has been to live openly, transparently, and authentically with these medical diagnoses. That is, from the time of antibody testing (1996) to current day, it has been part of my everyday conversations in all arenas of my life: family, friends, work, and volunteering, as well as dating, marriage, and divorce. I had hoped it would address issues of fear, ignorance, and lack of education right in my very own backyard. It was the one, singularly, most powerful thing I thought I could do in my day-to-day life. It has been personally lifesaving.

In addition to living openly with HIV infection and an AIDS diagnosis for more than 25 years, I also bring a career built on an expansive formal education with diverse work experience. As a mental health clinician and a psychoeducational trainer for nearly 30 years, issues of empowerment, advocacy, self-agency, independence, and autonomy have been universal. It is why I am now certain to also advocate for issues pertaining to domestic violence. For many of us, they go hand-in-hand. It is why I am often heard saying and writing "HIV is more than a mode of transmission!" If preventing the transmission of HIV was as "easy" as abstinence, safeR sex and antiretroviral treatment, our world would be rid of it already. Our lives are layered and dynamic…so are matters of health, safety, security, and well-being.

Why Bethany wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: To be a voice in a chorus of voices that desire the same song of harmony: safety, belonging, community, understanding, options and answers.






ci.ciiiiii's picture

Welcome to this amazing community!! So happy to have you here!


Hello...and...thank you. :)

Bethany M. Brown M.Ed.'s picture

I appreciate the welcome.

What I have been able to discern from the skuttle butt thus far is that you seem to be a loving thought leader on this platform, wrapping others in your wisdom like a hug. Tis most beautiful.

I suspect I will be the antithesis of this for I have a sharp tongue with complaints to express. Meaning, sans aggression, there are some most uncomfortable issues that I might express that feels more like nails on a chalkboard rather than that beloved hug. It is not that I want to hurt feelings or harm anyone. I feel compelled to speak of the uncomfortable issues from the place of righteous anger that many of us have but feel as if it is unladylike to express. <Why does this feel, all of a sudden, like a warning label?> 

God bless you. I hope to achieve a means of expression that is not altogether offputting and will put another voice to the inner pain some of us feel in a way that is not dainty nor apologetic. This is not to suggest that you do. Rather, it is to admit that I may not be velvet-gloved as you seem to be. 


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