I grew tired of always being against everything, traditional activism is a culture that exists in opposition to the world's wrongs. While positive thinking is constantly hailed as the optimum state of mind, here the aim was to draw attention to the negative. It was Twitter, normally happy to provide reasons to be disillusioned, that introduced me to an alternative - craftivism.
As the epidemic continues to rage today, we need ACT UP's inspiring message more than ever. I am endlessly amazed by the difference between the public and the private face of HIV in the UK; between the shiny NGO propaganda and the hard reality on the ground; between the grandiose intentions of HIV policy-makers and what is happening in practice.
I do believe in the good and the bad in human beings who live in the here and the now, that if you're not at the table.. that the only way that bad people prevail is when good men and women do nothing, that the only way to stop it, is to find a way to tell and that the very best revenge is to survive and survive well.
We're not interested in winding back the clock. We don't see the world as an epic struggle between capital and labour. And we don't have all the answers. Yet. What we do see is people being disempowered. And not just by the government. What marks out the political discourse of my generation is that we have organised against any power which negatively impacts our lives.
Like it or not, poppies no longer represent what they initially were created for. Every year we have remembrance services where those in power in the state talk about our military and giving thanks to their courage, whilst handily forgetting that when current soldiers often come back from tours of Afghanistan, it's up to charities to mend what's been broken.
Was it to do with the control of women's and girls' bodies? Was it an older generation demonstrating that they had the ability to show authority, to violate their young? Was it about traumatised women visiting the same pain on girls, using custom as an excuse, in some subconsciously re-enacted cycle of abuse?