WATCH: One HIV-Positive Man Confronts His Fears With Your Support

A dynamic and groundbreaking new web series will talk about self esteem, fear, and rethinking how we define positive.

BY Todd Murray

April 09 2014 11:33 AM ET UPDATED: April 09 2014 1:41 PM ET

At some point we are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, feeling like we're not good enough, and letting fear control what we do. In the body-centric gay community we all feel the pressure. As we celebrate wins in marriage equality it may be time to for some of us to start asking one simple question: If we don't see ourselves as equal or deserving of love, then what are we even fighting for?

After spending ten years sharing the struggles and successes of others, and traveling the world talking about what it means to learn at 21 that you're HIV-positive, I somehow, somewhere lost myself. I am driven to find myself and conquer my fears and hope to inspire the gay community to do the same. That's where the Body Beautiful Project comes in.

The dynamic and groundbreaking new Body Beautiful Project web series, exclusively for HIV Plus, will challenge you to address your insecurities and conquer your fears — as I conquer mine.  The project will show that together we can learn how to live a strong and confident life, and that it's okay to fall as long as we get back up.  (Can I get an amen?)

I am the first to admit I am the biggest defeatist — ever. I have struggled with body image issues, self esteem, and my own self worth. That's not easy to admit, but that, my friend, is the first step.  I want to change the way I see the world, the way I feel about myself and am committed to building a strong body, mind and soul. I am tired of watching endless YouTube videos, obsessing over the right protein shake, and thinking I can't have what others have. I can't be alone in these same struggles, right?

The Body Beautiful Project has launched a Kickstarter campaign and we're asking everyone to come together by supporting the project and sharing you own experiences, as you define and start on your own body beautiful journey. Becoming body beautiful isn't just having the body you want but conquering your fears and living an authentic life.  As part of the web series I am addressing and talking openly about the fears in my life and asking others to do the same.  I'll go through and document fear challenges many of which will be decided by the Body Beautiful Project supporters.  I will challenge the community to create your own list of fears and then share the experience of overcoming them.  The fear challenges could include doing karaoke, asking for a phone number at a bar, practicing with a local softball team, paragliding, swimsuit shopping, or getting a tattoo — just to name a few.  Remember that fear doesn't just mean spiders, snakes and heights.

Come with me on this journey. It's not just about one gay man living with HIV. There's a whole community, regardless of status, who are struggling with issues. Let's talk and help each other. Learn more here.

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