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Why So Anonymous?

By Ben B.

February 20, 2014

Why So Anonymous?

I've felt the need to be a bit shrouded since my diagnosis.

Being an 80s kid/90s teen means that my value system is dictated by how I was indoctrinated. Namely, that HIV is the very worst thing you could ever get.

And yet: I'm fine. Better than fine, I'm thriving. Energy returning, shopping for gyms, et cetera. The life I knew, the gay culture I knew, the values I was instilled with... those are all dated and therefore pointless. The worldview I HAD is dead.

Every day I'm hit with a new layer to my diagnosis. Just yesterday I learned that if you're Negative, and slip up by having unsafe sex, there's now a "vaccine" for that. This blows my mind, and causes further shuffling of concepts of "HIV," "sexually active," "safe," et cetera.

With all this on my mind, I'm taking 6 months "off" before I de-closet for the second time in my life.

I've spent enough time around Gay Ghetto denizens to know that "HIV Speculation" is increasingly common, regardless of the knowledge that such activities are quasi-illegal. I've heard such colloquialisms as "spatula face" leveled in gossip (please don't ask, I have NO CLUE what this means).

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Currently, I'm sensitive about my weight (others tell me it's in my head, but you know your own body the best, and ergo its biggest critic). However, I'm feeling a vitality starting to return. One that's enjoying natural foods more and is brimming with life force.

So I'm calling roughly the first half of 2014 my "Cocoon."

Most of the time, we don't control the conditions bywhich we exit that first closet. It's a cruel joke of child development that oftentimes, it's our peers who pick up on our sexuality, years and years before we do. How many among us have come out as LGBT only to be told "uDUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" by those around us?

Compounding that, the death sentence that was HIV/AIDS meant your peers knew by your declining physicality -- it didn't need to be mentioned. Since we now have the ability to survive and thrive with HIV, it can be a source of incredulity-based gossip.

I... don't know if my condition is being gossiped about. And I genuinely don't care. Those millions of souls who perished before me have lent me a kind of "spiritual Teflon." Something I observed about those surviving with HIV, long ago:

your take on life becomes more transient; you no longer sweat the small stuff by design.

I will rejoin the Gay Ghetto ranks when I am ready. When I have worked through all of these layers. When I have returned to "normal weight." When I am truly ready to inform others. When I am 100% sure that I can look at MYSELF and not think "dirty/diseased."

Right now? I'm giving myself until the end of May. Then... I come out? As an HIV activist?

I'm not super sure what that role will look like. But I definitely feel this blog is giving me strength to tap into. I feel calmer, more tranquil, more easy-going, et cetera, than I think I ever have (to be fair: I've observed that you CANNOT get emotional on these meds -- you will wipe yourself out).

Anyway. I welcome any/all tips on this "2nd Closet." I surely need them.




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