Faces of Freedom Logo
Share on FacebookShareShare on TwitterTweetShare via EmailEmail
TJ King
Lincoln, NE

TJ holds dear to their heart the values of “Nebraskan Nice” that their home state teaches. However, because TJ is a Black gay man who has lived with HIV for nearly 30 years, TJ’s neighbors have not always shared those values in return. “I’ve experienced more discrimination in the last 10 years than any other time in my life,* TJ says. “I worry that we’re being divided by politicians and powerful interests that don’t actually care about our community and our way of life.”

TJ is a person of faith active in the African Methodist-Episcopal denomination and finds significant comfort in the belief that God loves everyone, including those who are LGBTQ, those living with HIV, and those who have been incarcerated or who are suffering from addiction. TJ espouses their Christian faith and finds strength in it in times of need. While working in the corporate world in Nebraska, TJ felt compelled to go to great lengths to hide their HIV status and appear as straight-passing as possible. The burden is exacerbated by what TJ calls the subtle racism that they continue to experience.

Still, TJ is encouraged by the recent passage of an LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance in Lincoln, and hopes that the rest of the country will follow its lead on the federal level. TJ now works as an AIDS outreach specialist where they feel much more safety and support. They hope for a federal nondiscrimination law to rebuild the wider feeling of community that has been lost among Americans.

Read More Stories By:  Freedom for All Americans

Get In Touch

Want more information about this story? Fill out this form, and the partner organization connected to this story will be in touch soon.