HIV Stigma, my new morning routine, that and a cup of coffee. Who would have thought?
Ok,I wanted a title that would grab peoples attention, cheap ploy, I know
Weekend Post story sharing time.
One day I had an encounter (well communications via messaging) with someone who was looking for a group sex thing, but wanted everyone to be negative. I decided to be polite and say no, that’s ok, I don’t think I’m the kind of guy you’re looking for (my status is on my profile). Then we got into it. I still was very nice, didn’t take personal offence.
He put me down as one of his “friends” and forgot about our chat, and re-invited me to one of these things. And then I got into it, not viciously, but more like, “Look I was polite once, this is the second time, it’s well marked on my profile. You don’t go around messaging people for “white only” parties to men who don’t fit that description, so I’d like the same respect please.
I won’t give all the details other than he apologized and then we started chatting about how it came to be he was organizing these things, why he was asking for negative only, etc.
Through our conversation I understood how he got to the place where his was at in organizing these things and why he was looking for negative only. I might not of agreed with him, but I understood it. He turned out to be a very sweet guy, and if he hadn’t lived in New York (he was organizing for Toronto) we would have met up.
The moral of the story, we are all human. Once we take the time to make a connection and actually communicate, the issues are taken from abstract ideological views to a form that is more real and human.
Thus, the ultimate goal of this campaign. We need everyone as much as possible to participate, negative and positive alike.
This is supposed to be a safe place to share. I won’t cut your head off if you share honestly and respectfully.
Ever since I had that one particular exchange with the guy from NYC, I look at the guys a bit different online who used to really piss me off.
I still think trying to serosort yourself into a false sense of protection is not an effective harm reduction strategy, but maybe someone can convince me differently.
HIV Stigma is not just about disclosure. I’d really like to invite others to comment on what they think it is to them the negative guys. Others contributions will help make this campaign a success, and give us ideas of topics to write about.
HIV Stigma is sexual, social, medical, employment, housing, school, religion.
Enough of me writing, I want to someone other people do the work here:)