Monday, July 20, 2009

'scared and embarrassed and feeling alone'

Recently I started following a blog, Under the Bridge, written by Jason V. I know Jason, but not well. We move in the same circles, go to many of the same parties, he is a warm and funny fixture on the periphery of my life.

I've been ignoring the internets for a few days now, needing a break from the constant stream of celebrity gossip and geo-political disasters. When i read Jason's blog last night i came across this entry and i sat on my bed and cried.

A few years back when I initially learned of my HIV diagnosis I was afraid of running into someone that might recognize me. Would he or she tell other people about me? What would we say to each other? Should I make eye contact? Do I say hello? I was nervous and unsure.

This morning it happened in reverse: I saw someone that I knew and who by my account probably just learned that he was HIV positive. He's very well known in the gay boy social scene and when he saw sitting there texting away on my Iphone and I looked up and we made eye contact, I felt that same fear swell in him as it used to in me, and I instinctively wanted to leap up and out of my chair to hug him. But I didn't.

When he saw me he just pivoted in the opposite direction and began to wipe furiously at his eyes while I crumpled inside for him. There is such a stigma to being HIV positive in this country that it makes me so angry to see beautiful souls like his scared and embarrassed and feeling alone, most likely feeling confused and angry and all sorts of everything all at once...very much how I felt when I learned of my diagnosis.
I know how ISOLATING those three little letters can be. I know how heartbreaking it is to be rejected by a guy you really like because he can't handle your Status.

Thank you so very much Jason. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your compassion.

You made me feel less alone.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I am so honored.