Another Gaydar moment…..
“Hey there guy, interested in hooking up, health poz, undetectable here.”
When I receive a message such as this I’m struck by a few things. First, I have to give some context in that I always put my status on my profile. Most of the time I try to do it in a non-declarative way, but more matter of a fact. The more blasé I am sneaking it in the better.
Remember this one thing: People often take their cues from us when we disclose. If we are dramatic and tragic about it, often we will be seen in a dramatic and tragic way. The less of a big deal about it, the better, and in conversation it almost never comes out as “I’ve got something to tell you…” these days.
So this guy wants me to know he’s positive too. I’m pretty neutral about that part of it, as status doesn’t matter to me. Combined with undetectable may mean that he’s looking to get into barebacking, to each their own, and that’s another discussion.
What I’m trying to get at today is “healthy & undetectable” intentionally or not, what I see is, “It’s ok to be positive as long as you are untouched by it.” By this I mean, working, to issues relating to health, pretty much the same like a negative guy would have, minus maybe some pills and a few more trips to the doctors.
Again, being on disability, having my own issues, although I’ve never been sick with anything that classically related to HIV, and living a life upon which HIV has a huge impact, means that I do not qualify for the “healthy”
Does this mean I’m at the bottom of the heap, or is that reserved specifically for those requiring supportive care.
Is this a question of my own internalized HIV-stigma filtering what I read into the above statement, or is it someone else’s need to appear as “ok” as possible.
Perhaps it is a complement to have someone say, “You don’t look disabled.”
What do others think? Do we take on the stigma we face, and if so, how is it expressed?