My name is Christopher Holmes, and I’m a 34 year old Black gay man living with HIV. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, and now reside in Bronx, NY. I have six brothers and one sister and they all have kids. When I’m with my nieces and nephews and see what my brothers and sisters produced, I get this unfamiliar feeling inside of me, like a void. It’s funny, my youngest brother Richie has a son, I think he is like two years old, and that little boy looks just like me when I was two years old. That scared the hell out of me. I thought someone got me for my sperm. I did say to my mother when I was 19 years old, before I became positive, that I would have a child before I was 30 years old.

I had a not-so-great childhood. I was given up at birth to my cousin, who was pregnant and had had a miscarriage. I was my mother’s third child when she was 17 years old, and she didn’t want an abortion. I was a secret child til I was 8 years old, and then I was snatched from the family that I thought was my family and given to my “real” family, and molested.

I would never want to bring my child into the world not always having stability and the love that I feel empty from. I’m 34 years old and I wouldn’t mind bringing a child into this world by the time I’m 40 years old, or like my idol Janet Jackson, have a child at 50. I so want to be in a stable, loving relationship and have a career and have a home to raise a child in. I don’t want to be another gay man claiming children and can barely take care of myself. I want to be able to raise a child better than the life I’ve had and to be proud of him/herself and proud of his fathers. Will it come true? Only God, myself and the future can make this dream a reality.

What really made me realize I wanted to be a father was over this past Thanksgiving Holiday. My oldest brother has three beautiful girls. I just love them, and I know, my family, we can produce beautiful children, and I would love to have a girl. I want to be able to enjoy the things in life with a child, like birthdays.

I went to my niece’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. It was so much fun, playing with my niece and her friends, and seeing them happy and enjoying themselves with other children, playing games with them, watching them opening presents and the excitement and joyfulness of a child. I have Christianity for a child to be blessed coming into this world, and know that not only will my child have protection and support, but that my child will have love and protection from all.

I want to be able to experience the birth of a child, going to the baby classes with the donor and rushing to the hospital to see the birth of my child, naming my child and changing diapers, getting up late at night, feeding and teaching my child. I want to be able to go to PTA meetings and bake sales, school plays and see my child grow up to become an adult of this world.

I watch Modern Family every day, and I just love the times I see the same-sex couple deal with their child. I’m single at the moment, and I know that I would rather be in a relationship with a partner than be a single parent. I really hope one day I can find someone to be in that type of relationship, so we can both bring a child into this world and raise our child together.

I do wonder sometimes, if me being HIV positive could stop me from having a child, or is it best to bring a child into this world while I’m living with HIV? But I know that the medication these days is effective and we can live happy, healthy lives. I pray and hope that I can be blessed to have a daughter. But only time and God knows my future.

Christopher is 34 and lives in the Bronx, NY. He loves spending time with his nieces and nephews.

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