Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Am I Angry At?

When gay people in NYC post an ad on craigslist or chat on gay.com and say they are "just looking for friends" that is the biggest lie in the world. I should know because I tell this lie all the time. What gay people really mean by "just looking for friends" is "I am looking to start out as friends with someone who I think could potentially be a long-term relationship guy." That is the truth. Let's face it, if we were just "looking for friends" that person could be ugly, or fat, or ultra-conservative, or someone who does not speak English that well, or smelly, or hairy or a drug addict. "Looking for friends" means you'd better be attractive, have a good job, be well-educated, have sparkling conversation. The list goes on and on.

I recently met two HIV- guys who said they wanted to be "friends". But looking at the way they dressed up for our first dates, it was obvious that no one wanted to be "just friends". I'm sorry, but no one gets that dressed up for just their "friends". And then of course, I mentioned that I was HIV+ and I never got a phone call from either again. I don't know whether to continue accepting this rejection and being disappointed or going on a rampage of revenge, infecting every HIV- guy out there that I can. I've blogged before about how this virus inside me makes me feel like the Incredible Hulk--it turns me into a different person when I get angry. Very angry. And both of these guys made me feel just that.

Of course, I would never intentionally infect anyone. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were other HIV+ guys out there that would. Anger can unleash itself very unexpectedly sometimes. So, to the HIV- community out there, if you're going to reject us, at least have the courtesy to tell us explicitly instead of not taking our calls and deleting our e-mails. And be caring in your rejection. Say that HIV is something that you cannot come to terms with because it scares the hell out of you. (It's not that scary anymore after living with it for five years.) The point is: keep the communication flowing. It's when people stop talking that fear and ignorance have room to grow, and before you know it, they are larger than life itself. I won't deny that I get angry at myself for having gotten infected in the first place. But I only get this way when provoked.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Definitely true ... there's no real "looking for friends" or at least it should be re-labeled to "looking for friends I'd like to have sex with".
The HIV+ part does certainly add an additional layer of complexity. Having HIV+ friends should not be an issue (I mean ... would we make such a stink over cancer or diabetes?).
For a relationship I think the choice is more challenging but there's always the option of only looking for other HIV+ guys to avoid rejection based on HIV status (I have not had to face that particular decision but I don't think I'd automatically drop off the face of the earth if faced with the choice).
As per revenge, there's a fair number of poz guys who do have bb sex whether not stating their status unless they are asked or who would outright lie with a "trust me I'm neg" disclaimer.

joe said...

I'm glad I "accidentally" came across this blog post of yours -- I'm also HIV+, but live in a place that doesn't have nearly as large a dating or "friend" pool as NYC. I completely understand the emotions you explore in your entry. Sometimes it makes me feel like the whole idea of trying to date is ridiculous and as if I want to give up entirely. But hope springs eternal...

I do wish I lived in a city that had a large resource center for HIV+ people, or a city with a "SIN" chapter(if you haven't heard of it, check it out at http://www.sinhq.xbuild.com/). I hate the idea of strict "sero-sorting" sometimes, but it seems like it would be a lot easier than dealing with the disclosure/rejection merry-go-round.

Hang in there, good luck, and thanks for sharing this.

J.T. said...

Thanks guys for posting here. To anonymous, I have looked for other HIV+ guys. With each poz person I found, it felt like the virus was the only thing we had in common. And in the end, the virus alone cannot be the foundation on which a relationship is built. When I was HIV- I too was never confronted with the possibility of dating an HIV+ person. So I'm the last person to judge someone who chooses not to date me. I guess it's asking too much in NYC for the courtesy of a phone call.

Hi Joe, thanks for posting. Merry-go-round was an interesting way of putting it--lately I feel like I'm riding Space Mountain without the safety of being buckled in. :-P Thanks for the link to SIN. I will check it out. And wherever you are, be well and safe and strong. hugs and kisses!

Anonymous said...

Hi .. it's anonymous again ... Certainly HIV status cannot be the sole reason to date someone / start a relationship. I think one of the bigger hurdles even if you were to only look for HIV+ men is the fact that too many are in a "second closet" or may not even want to be aware of their status (I have lost a good friend to HIV who did not bother to get tested and by the time he got ill and was diagnosed he had a terminal cancer at 24 - I guess I'm one of the rare cases of someone who did not experience the AIDS crisis prior to 1995 who has lost a friend when his early death could have been prevented with current meds).
As per a courtesy phone call or e-mail, I would say it happens even when HIV status is not the "deal breaker". You go out date, maybe more than once, and then all of a sudden there's radio silence. Very typical in NYC, but I can see why being rejected due to your HIV status alone would be more painful (pure prejudice, I mean it sounds like they did not even give you a chance to be acquainted and at least become friends) than a more typical rejection (not being compatible).
I've been reading your blog for some time (I read about it in your profile on Fridae, I wrote you a message some time ago there) and find it very insightful when you share your inner feelings ... here's a big hug :)

Jim Ft. Lauderdale said...

J.T.: I know the feeling......
As someone who has been positive for over 11 years, I've faced the same problems and feelings.

Once, on a date, as the conversation turned to the bedroom, I told the person that I was positive. A few minutes later he excused himself and went to the bathroom. Needless to say, that was the last time I ever saw or heard from him. I was stuck with the bill and an aversion to dating.

I've also tried websites like POS to try and meet a positive person, but with no success.

In the meantime, it has been over 3 years since I have been intimate with anyone, and that is only because that person developed a nasty drinking and drug problem.

Hang in there, you will find someone, just as I will one day find someone who is more interested in my, than my disease.