I grew up watching all the Disney princess movies. So I had dreams that most young girls have: I wanted to find my Prince Charming, I wanted the glass slipper to fit my foot, and I wanted to be a princess! One day, not even searching for Prince Charming, I found him. So what now? We get married and live happily ever after, right? Wrong! I mean that is what happens at the end of the all the movies. Life isn't some fairy tale.
I wound up contracting HIV from my Prince Charming. I know what you are thinking. Which prince had HIV? Was it Aladdin? John Smith? Well, none of them. My dreams were crushed. I always wanted to get married and have kids. HIV wasn't going to stop my dreams, but where did I come into the equation? Where were the girl-empowering Disney animated movies?
Women are mothers, caretakers, spouses, employees, friends, sisters, and neighbors. And some superwomen with different blood types are all these things at once.
These days I am still a princess — well, I'm getting to queen status, with this age, but there is no Prince Charming. He is make-believe anyway. Me being a princess means talking care of my castle (my body) and loving my full self while remembering to put me first, because if I am not well I can't help or take care of anybody.