My HIV Diary: Rejected, Week 8
Ryan Dixon (a.k.a former porn star Kameron Scott) has started taking HIV medication. He’s keeping a diary of his experience.
Being in my mid-20’s isn’t easy, add HIV on top of that and we have one hell of a complicated life. I’m making the best out of the hand life has dealt me and the decisions I’ve made along the way. Writing helps free my mind. Hopefully these words will help you understand the plight of others like myself, and inspire you to live each and every day in the moment.
Week 6 (Oct. 19 – Oct. 25)
On day 56 of my medicine study I find myself facing a familiar foe that I’ve discussed before: stigma.
I was literally on the verge of tears Monday while texting a guy I had spoken to over a month ago. He apologized for being a flake after we first met for coffee, but he was “going through some stuff and was being selfish.” I’ve since moved on from any thoughts of him, but our conversation as to why we never got together really hurt me, and I’m a tough kid.
I think stigma affects every single person in the world in one form or another, some of us more than others. As a gay man with HIV, I believe I face a specific stigma from both the gay and heterosexual communities. People think I’m dirty. When a guy I completely hit it off with holds reservations back from me because he doesn’t want to hurt my feeling means stigma still exists. He was afraid of me, he was afraid of my HIV. I just don’t get it. To me, a person is taking the same risk knowing my status as opposed to not knowing some other person. Yet people still think they can get “insta-AIDS” just by drinking after me.
I don’t think this situation would bother me so much if the guy was actually educated on the matter. Saying you’re scared to catch HIV and have reasons aside from the fact you really don’t understand HIV is pretty sad, in my opinion. I can take rejection, I’m not upset about that. I’m upset that when I asked what scares him about it, he couldn’t answer. I found his reason misinformed, limp, and hurtful. I can respect anyone’s decision on any matter, but only if they have a conviction about it. My dad hates gay people. Do I like his opinion? No. But do I challenge his conviction? No, because he believes what his religion tells him is right and will fight tooth and nail to stand up for what he believes in.
I don’t want to sound like a bitchy little queen that’s upset because a cute guy turned him down. I get told no all the time. I’m just over the bullshit reasons that guys hide behind. I’d rather you say you think I’m fat, because at least I could make an effort to lose weight to change your opinion (I would never recommend anyone change their appearance to please others). I’m stuck with this disease. It’s not who I am, I am so much more that HIV, but it’s a part of my life and helps shape the decision that I make.