After a long contemplation, I’ve finally gathered my confidence to come out to my Boss. This is one of the bravest things I did this year. However courageous I feel right now, I still feel anxious on how they would react to my news. Since both of them are out of the country, I decided to compose an email and send it to them, and hope to be able to clarify whatever concerns they independently arrive next week.
Below is what I wrote in my letter.
Dear V and E,
I hope you are doing very well today.
Before anything else, I would like to thank you both for being kind and supportive bosses. Working with MC has been one of the greatest opportunities ever, and I could not thank you enough. Though I believe I have shown diligence and efficiency during my tenure with MC, I am aware that there is still much room for improvement and there will always be more chances to prove my worth. Nevertheless, I have learned a lot from working with you, and it has instilled in me, among others, the ability to make wiser decisions.
Today, I reach the point of making another decision, but whether it is a wise one will remain to be seen. I am not certain as to the right time to open this up to you, but now seemed as good a time as any, as I would rather that you hear of this straight from me, than find out about it from somewhere or someone else.
Prior to joining MC, I was supposed to fly to the Middle East for a promising employment opportunity in late 2007. Unfortunately, something very concerning prevented me from taking the job. You see, I tested positive for HIV. With that development, I was forced to forego the job offer abroad.
So I have been living with HIV for more than a year now. But I can say that I am living a normal, healthy and productive life, just like everyone else, other than the fact that I am currently on medication, anti-retroviral drugs that help keep the virus at bay. My entire family, my close friends and some important people in my life all knows about my situation. And it has been such a blessing that everyone has been very supportive about it.
Early this year, I decided to slowly come out in public about my health status, and through this, I am supporting advocacies in the field of prevention of HIV and AIDS. Currently, I am doing volunteer work with related NGOs and hospitals, and have been doing speaking engagements, inspirational talks and counseling. I get much fulfillment walking this avenue, and look forward to build a career in counseling and sharing more of myself for the benefit of others.
You must be wondering why I am telling you this. I am sharing this because I consider you as among those important persons in my life, and that I regard you both as persons of inspiration. I feel as my superiors, you have the right to know of my status, and would rather you receive this information from me first hand, than get if from somewhere else.
Another reason is that, since a number of people already know about my condition, I am aware of the risk of the news spreading like wildfire, and cannot help feel concerned of how my condition might affect the Gallery. I do not expect people to understand or accept me fully, and I am concerned that my condition might have a negative effect on MC’s reputation, and gallery operations as a whole.
Furthermore, the possibility of having some health concerns that I may need to prioritize to ensure that I stay healthy will continue to haunt me. And so, with that, the possibility that I might, sooner or later, need to give up my position in MC also looms constantly. I have been contemplating for weeks on the latter.
I am not expecting you will understand my predicament at this point, as I know this is not the kind of news you receive very often. Or this might even be the first time someone disclosed his HIV-positive status to you. For now, you have the leisure of time to digest what information I have disclosed herewith. If you need me to shed light on some concerns, I am more than willing to clarify them. But rest assured that I am still the same person that has been giving much of himself for the success of MC.
Again, thank you very much for being very loving and supportive of all of us in MC.
For more information on HIV/ AIDS please visit: