April 29, 2009

Here's to Me (and My HIV)

I've got to start giving myself a lot more credit. I've done an awesome job of surviving with my wits about me in world that has gone fucking insane about HIV/AIDS.

On any given day, I can go online and talk to black gay Americans, white gay Americans, brown gay Americans and yellow gay Americans who fear me so much, they spend an awful lot of their time and energy banishing me from their lives, and doing so in the most cruel and insensitive ways.

Today, a black gay man told me I look like I have HIV/AIDS, which makes me less attractive in his eyes. What kind of thoughtless person tells me something like this?

Most gay Americans separate themselves from me with their online language, calling themselves clean and disease-free. They put up signs on the internet, warning me to stay away (because I'm dirty and disease-ridden). They couldn't care less about my feelings. They couldn't care less about safe sex with the HIV-positive. They couldn't care less about HIV/AIDS and those that carry it. They don't even want to know how not to acquire the virus. They just want it to stay away from them, so much so that they've made me an AIDS Monster.

But I'm not an AIDS Monster. I'm a brilliant, brave, bright shining light. I know that viruses are much more than destroyers of dreams and life. I know that I, myself, am much more than a destroyer of dreams and life. Yet I live in a world that fears me, doesn't want to understand me, doesn't want to talk to me, doesn't even want me to exist.

And still, I shall be here, a brilliant, brave, bright shining light. This is my movie and it is not a horror flick. I'm better than that. Here's to me for being so much better than that.

April 27, 2009

How to Stay HIV-Negative

Millions of HIV-negative gay men are fucking around, not using protection, not having safe sex, not really knowing what is and isn't safe sex, all while only hooking up with guys who appear "clean."

Little do they realize: Most people who are HIV-positive acquired HIV because they thought they were having sex with someone who was HIV-negative.

But if you're HIV-negative, AIDS does not have to come knocking on your door. Find out How to Stay HIV-Negative in an HIV-Positive World, now on my author blog.

April 23, 2009

Tongue Untied

I love my HIV-positive tongue! My tongue gives me so much pleasure, so much joy, so much to taste and savor in this vast and flavorful world of ours. My tongue is one of my most favorite appendages. Someday, I hope to have a buddy who says it's one of his most favorite appendages, too. (Yes, the photo above was indeed shot upside down.)

Still more tongue:
Tongues In Cheeks
World's Greatest Tongue
That's My Tongue!

April 19, 2009

HIV-Neg Guys: Must You Hurt My Feelings?

Tonight, I had a lengthy online chat with a man who couldn't understand why the terms "clean" and "disease-free" hurt my feelings and the feelings of many persons with HIV/AIDS.

I tried explaining how those terms were created in response to ignorance about AIDS and safer sex. "If you're disease-free, does that make me disease-ridden?" I asked him. "If someone who is HIV-negative is considered clean, does that make someone who is HIV-positive dirty?"

I told him the medical terms are HIV-negative and HIV-positive. I tried to get him to understand that avoiding poz people isn't the best way to stay HIV-negative, rather the best way is practicing safe sex with everyone, regardless of HIV status. I broke the news to him that poz people can have neg babies now and I love my AIDS-infected life. Still, he seemed focused on AIDS = sorry and his pledge to stay away from non-disease-free poz people.

But here was a man who was willing to have a meaningful discussion about the subject, which meant that somewhere inside him was a man who was thoughtful, as well as thoughtful about HIV/AIDS. Yet by conversation's end, he just didn't seem to get it, or at least wasn't ready to change his mentality about terms like "clean" and "disease-free." He had his standards and vocabulary and that was that.

So I decided to try putting it another way. I asked him:

Would you say "disease-free" in front of Ryan White, were he alive today? Ryan would be in his thirties now, were he not the deceased poster boy for compassion for those with AIDS. Would you say "disease-free" to his face? Would you call yourself "clean" in his presence?

Or would you use words that you knew represented you at your best, words that didn't have as much potential to hurt people's feelings, words like HIV-negative and HIV-positive?

Why should the rest of us be any different?

I never heard back from the neg guy after that. Still I gotta hope he'll be a little more thoughtful going forward. There must be hope.

Read Would You Say That to Ryan White?, now on my author blog.

April 18, 2009

Natchurally Speaking

There's a force in universe so great, it changes people's fate in the blink of an eye. You can't see this force so much. You can't touch too well either. It's not visible for the most part, but it's there. This force. This thing some call Natch.

No one knows what created Natch. Or where Natch comes from. Or its true purpose in the universe. But it's there. Natch is here. It's everywhere. Follow the trail and see if you can answer the unanswerable question: What be this thing called Natch?

April 15, 2009

Picture a Beautiful Black Man Living with AIDS

Growing up, rare was the opportunity to see positive images of black men, so rare were my positive dreams about black men.

That's all changed now. Anytime I need to see a positive image of a black man just like me, I simply log onto my funky little blog. lol

So where are all these funky pics coming from? And what are some of my favorites from 2008? The answers await in Why All the Funky Pics?

April 10, 2009

Funky Requirement

What's a funky jock like me doing on a blog like this? Find out in Why a Bud Search? What kind of buddy am I hoping to find? Read all about him in The Man of My Dreams.

April 1, 2009

When In Doubt, Pet the Dog

Boomer is my lifeline. He's the reason I must get out of bed every morning, no matter all else. He needs to eliminate, he needs to be fed, he needs my attention regardless of all the reasons a human being wants to stay in bed.

Rain or shine. Hot or cold. Heartbroken or happy. Healthy or unhealthy. Boomer depends on me to live. I depend on Boomer to give me a reason to live. Simple as that.

What else do Boomer and I do for one another? Find out in When In Doubt, Pet the Dog, a column or blog feature or periodic memoir thingy on my author blog, Randy Boyd's Blocks:

Daddy Loves You
Author's Best Friend
Boomer Nose Best
Boomer's Got Skills

Thank Dog
A Dog with an Ear for Cell Phone Signals
"When In Doubt, Feed the Dog" Is Good, Too