For Tremaine Jones, a supportive family meant that he didn’t need Pridelines as a lifeline. Many youth, who aren’t as lucky as Jones, find themselves in need of the organization because they’re rejected by their parents after coming out as LGBT.
But Jones still found a sense of community and belonging that even understanding and loving parents can’t always provide on their own.
“When I first started going to Pridelines I just fell in love with it. Thankfully, I had supportive parents and my sister’s a lesbian. But I think for me it was just finding that community. We were able to socialize and hang out. It was a space to feel supportive and meet other people.”
Unfortunately, even that sense of community wasn’t enough to prevent every negative experience. Eventually, Jones discovered some of his friends had contracted HIV.
“I knew what HIV was ... but at the same time I couldn’t understand why there were young people still getting HIV when there were condoms and prevention.” Now, Jones leads the effort at Pridelines for HIV testing as the Health Services Outreach Manager.
His activism in fighting HIV was born in the place he now works.
“It got me to be more involved with people in the community. It’s really important that when I get access to information to share with other people.”