Thursday, January 6, 2011
Tell me your story
I met with the artistic director of one of the local professional theaters here in Lansing on Wednesday. Our conversation was about creating a play about living with HIV. It's not an easy thing, even 30 years into the epidemic and tons of science about the disease, its transmission and its prevention. As an out positive, I get responses from other gay men ranging from you should be shot, to silence. I also get told "I don't have sex with positives," and yet those same people saying that I know have engaged in sexual relations with people who are positive, but not disclosing.
Disclosing is a moral obligation, in my opinion, but it's not easy and it can often be painful. You have to have a pretty serious ego in order to accept the rejection associated with disclosure.
So, this was all said as a way to introduce my call for stories. I am looking for HIV positive people, or those who are negative and in a relationship with an HIV positive partner to tell me their stories.
How did you disclose your status? How did people react? What was your emotional state as you prepared to tell that special some one you were positive? Do you always disclose? If so, why? If not, why?
What are the barriers you have in disclosing? What makes it easier to disclose?
If you are negative in a relationship with a positive (or have been in a relationship with a positive person) what was different? What made you agree to the relationship? How did you react initially when that person told you? How did you overcome fear?
Oh the list of questions goes on and on. The reality is, I want to tell the stories of romance and HIV in the 21st century, so I need your stories! Submit you story to TellingHIVStories@gmail.com. You will remain anonymous and I will be the only person who reads your story. Thanks so much in advance for your help!