Tag Archives: stigma

Daily (Or When the Mood Takes Me) Gripe: After More Than 30 Years of HIV Knowledge and Experience We STILL Have Stigma!

Please view this video first

https://m.youtube.com/watch?utm_source=GayAussie.co&v=UV5uv0589Ec&utm_term=HIV+Queensland&utm_medium=ga-social-ads&utm_campaign=HIV+FQ+GAY+AUSSIE

I can’t believe stigmatisation and internalised homophobia like this still goes on, and we need to have a dialogue about it! However, my own experiences as a 61 year-old with HIV, and a disability who used (note tense) gay dating sites tells me we do! We no longer have the shared experience of the 80s & 90s, so ignorance keeps on rearing it’s ugly head! Both the gay and HIV communities should be ashamed of themselves. The lessons of the past have quickly been forgotten!

This year I “celebrate” 33 years of being HIV+ (yeah, cheers, thanks). It doesn’t take a brilliant mathematician to work out the percentages – I have spent over half my life with this dubious honour. This is not braggodocio, me looking for a chest to pin a medal on, or leaning my head forward for a pat. This has also included a brush with AIDS – not to be confused with HIV, despite the still incorrectly used AIDS misnomer to describe someone with HIV. For those who think that just because I am walking around it has been an easy road, or similarly think that now, thanks to drugs, my life is a dream…think again. Every single day is a challenge, not so much something I dwell on daily, but certainly live daily.

Over those years I have seen stigma and discrimination of pretty well every variety – reluctance of governments to fund in the early day; religious intolerance, including a call for segregation and for internment camps; hospital staff refusing service to those with HIV; the incident with young Eve van Grafhorst (if you don’t know of it, look it up); social stigma; advertising scare campaigns; HIV denialists (while thousands drop dead around them); the deathly silence of many world leaders (mainly US presidents); ignorance and misinformation on every level. Personally, I have experienced workplace discrimination and bullying both as a gay and a HIV+ man. As the mother in the above video states, if this was cancer you would receive nothing but sympathy and support. But as soon as you say HIV, people back off, and the implication is that you are dirty, a sexual deviant. After all this time, and the misnomer that it is a “gay”disease with its prominent creep into the straight world at about the same time – can’t have them as scapegoats, can we! – one would have thought that all the misconceptions about HIV would have been pretty well eliminated. Well, I’m afraid not!

Even now, on Gay dating sites you eill encounter many instances of people adding labels like “clean” to both their profiles, and sexualpartner  requests! The insinuation is that if you have HIV, uou are domehow “unclean” or “dirty” – and it has nothing to do with me having a shower! Ironically, the profiles making this request don’t seem to think that the same language applies to them. Let’s face it, if I don’t disclose my status, you are going to be none the wiser…no I, for that matter! I have to take your word for it as much as you have to take mine! You haven’t really made any sort of a point, have you!

But apart from the degrading insult, it shows a huge gap in the education of the person posting – almost criminal, if they are Gay! For at keast the last decade or more, it has been pretty well acknowledged that if you are HIV, taking meds, and have an undetectable viral load, you are not going tomoass HIV on. The latest research http://mobile.aidsmap.com/No-one-with-an-undetectable-viral-load-gay-or-heterosexual-transmits-HIV-in-first-two-years-of-PARTNER-study/page/2832748 indicates that after two years into yhe latest study, chances of transmission are, to date, zero!

I hate condoms, and haven’t worn one for decades. Back in my pick- up days, I deliberately seeked other HIV+ guys, as within that circle unprotected sex was a norm, of more recent times I have used sites like BBRT – a barebacking site – for sex. At least on this site there is no foubt about what you get. If I had to ge honest – and the same would apply to the HIVphobes from the other sites – you have a getter chance of picking up a garden-variety STD than HIV…something that is conveniently overlooked! 

Perhaps rather than education – which to-date has got us absolutely nowhere – people just heed to get some manners…and a life!

Tim Alderman (C) 2015

  

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Daily (Or When The Mood Takes Me) Gripe: Gay Superficiality!

Please view, then read my commentary below;

http://www.samesame.com.au/news/11585/YouTuber-says-If-youre-over-40-or-not-a-model-youre-pushed-aside

I guess I am just used to being ignored – except for a select few – on gay sex apps. Fuck, I’m over 60, and I have a disability – though in reality that shouldn’t mean anything! Though we don’t live our lives grounded in reality in the gay community, do we! No sir, we don’t!

As Sam Lugi states ” If you are over 40, don’t look like a model or have a disability, you are pushed aside”, and this is, unfortunately, true! Add to that not being “wealthy” and not having a big cock! I got disillusioned with it a long time ago, and ashamed that over the decades the community has never really grown-up, and moved into the real world.

At one stage on the sex apps – I use Grindr, Gaydar and Scruff – I actually found myself putting myself down, as it seemed a way to discourage those frightened off by disabilities…but in reality made me look like a bit of a victim. Then, as an antedate that I became too aggressive which then scared the shit out of people. Now, I try to be comedic and long-winded. I figure if they are willing to read my whole profile, then contact me, they sre worthwhile. However, that doesn’t discount the 15 or 20 others who view my profile and ignore me…many because they are after perfection, so you know automatically by reading their profiles that you are either too old, or because you have an obvious disability. I used to find the same in the bars, so why would the apps be any different!

I hate being dismissed because I’m an older man. I was young once on the scene, and helped to gain many of the rights that the younger ones now enjoy! In many other communities I would be highly respected for that alone. Considering my age, I’m not all that bad looking. I still have all my hair, I’m fit and healthy and can hold a conversation. Puts me way above many others, who can’t get past “Hi” or “Oh yeah”. I regularly quit chars because they never give you anything to feed off. At least the guys who just want to see photos of my cock, or want me to talk dirty while they wank off are usually honest about it.

The gay community really needs a reality check…though who ir what provides it is going to be interesting to see ! In the interim, don’t sell ourself out to the phony, small-minded body fascists! Maintain your dignity and self-respect? But most of all – love yourself!