Greg Wilson Interview-Warriors in the Movement ITMT Archives

greg wilson

This interview is conducted by award-winning journalist, Love TaShia Asanti, on behalf of the In the Meantime Men’s Group organization.

Greg Wilson is currently the Senior Manager at In the Meantime Men’s Group in Los Angeles, California. In his current position, he assists with managing day-to-day operations of In The Meantime under the leadership of Jeffrey King.

LTA: Where did you enter the movement to end HIV/AIDS in the Black community?

GW: My entrance was different than others. I found out about HIV/AIDS in 2005 when I was diagnosed with the virus. Finding out I was HIV positive forced me to educate myself and, later, my peers about it. I did not know about HIV prior to becoming positive. I figured if HIV/AIDS could fly under the radar for me, I knew others could have the same experience. I wanted to play a part in helping other people get educated so they could understand what they needed to do to not get it.

LTA: What did you see, experience, encounter, and observe at the height of the epidemic?

GW: What I saw was a lot of my peers and community disappearing. I also experienced silence and lack of communication about why they were disappearing. Nobody was having the conversation about what was happening right before our eyes. And people weren’t just dying from getting HIV, they were dying from not taking care of themselves after they were diagnosed.

Part of the reason for my not being educated about HIV was being part of a network that was somewhat isolated from the larger community. I was brought up in the House of Baldwin community. This is a subgroup that met and came together based on our identity, race, and age. We were among those who were disappearing. We were teenagers and young adults ranging in ages 16 to mid-30s. Because we were a subgroup, there weren’t many people who had access to us.

At the height of the epidemic I experienced shame. I was ashamed of getting the virus and I was afraid of what might happen to me. I had no idea there were organizations that really cared about young Black people. I was a kid from Palmdale/Lancaster. I didn’t know there were people who would look after me and walk me through the process of getting support. After I connected with some of these organizations, I realized having HIV/AIDS didn’t mean I couldn’t live a long life.

Though I had hope for living a full life, what I now encountered was the stigma around the disease. It wasn’t letting up. People who had the virus were afraid to ask for help. By the time most people opened up and asked for support, they were so sick that it was almost too late to do anything to help them.

I observed a spirit of hopelessness within my community that was a direct result of HIV. People started to think HIV was a curse for being gay. That it was going to happen to them because they were gay.

LTA: What impact did HIV/AIDS have on your life specifically?

GW: Being diagnosed made me fight harder for my community. I wanted the community to see that there was hope for them, too. I felt a sense of responsibility to help other people who were living with the virus and those who had not yet gotten it. It was this work that ignited my purpose.

LTA: What did your role become in the movement?

GW: I was shown what I was here on Earth to do. I became the liaison and bridge to education, prevention, education, and support for those who were battling the illness and those who were trying not to get infected. Soon thereafter, I started doing volunteer advocacy work for HIV/AIDS. While I was doing that work, someone told me about In the Meantime. The organization’s founder, Jeffrey King, believed in me and gave me a chance to prove myself, even though I didn’t have direct experience in non-profit work. Through that position, I was able to make a commitment to educating communities and delivering valuable resources.

LTA: What’s your perspective on where we are as a community around HIV/AIDS and ending the epidemic?

GW: I feel like we need a reminder that HIV is still kicking butt. Some people’s HIV is undetectable in the blood, meaning their T-cell count is normal and the virus is undetectable in their blood. They’ve started moving like they can’t get sick anymore. But that’s not true. HIV can be detected again. We have to continue to take care of our health to stay healthy.

LTA: How do you want to be remembered?

GW: I hope to be remembered as someone who extended their whole heart to the community. Someone who helped people be and do better. I want to be remembered as someone who brought valuable resources when and where they were needed the most.

I want young people to know they don’t have to take this walk alone. Whether it is embracing their sexual identity or living with HIV, I want them to know that they can have a full life, be successful and happy. That is why I do the work I do and that is what gives me strength and inspiration to do my work in greater ways.

Love TaShia Asanti is an award-winning journalist, author of seven books, activist, and spiritual teacher. More about her work can be found at

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