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Saturday, June 28, 2008

¿SURVIVAL'S GUILT?


How important is it for some men to have a man inside of them without a condom, and to experience receiving OR giving of semen as an intimate and possibly sacred act? Most of us spend hours on the internet looking, cruising the club and attending house parties for the right man for a HOOK UP. All that matters is if he is short OR tall enough, fat OR skinny…ugly OR not. I find it interesting that the one thing that should matter is what his status is; no NOT his economic status…but his health status. Psychologically if we look @ these behaviors; one should take note of two things – conscious and unconscious intentions. My generation of gay men has not been as much affected by grief and losses because of HIV as the older generation has but the pain is just the same. Right? Well for ME it is. There exists this part of me that feels guilt for the fact that I don’t have HIV. Now before you go, THIS BOY IS CRAZY let me explain. Though I am NOT a BUG CHASER, I still feel a sense of connection to those that are fighting this disease on a personal level. When I look @ the number of GAY men who have lost most of their friends and loved ones to HIV, how can I NOT feel their depression, feeling of helplessness, and a bit of survival guilt? I like many other gay men more than likely had sex with a person OR two that is effected by the HIV virus. I even had sex with a man that I thought had the virus and it didn’t frighten me because I felt that on some level I was merely expressing sex from one human to another. It is not as if I played Russian roulette with life OR had committed suicide for sex. Very rarely do things occur in life that has an immediate AND extreme relevance that causes one to really think about his mortality. I think that my making this conscious decision has the potential to become one of the most important things in a person’s life that is dealing with this disease. I have often wondered who is responsible for the sexual energy many gay men forged during the years prior to AIDS. With an outlook firmly rooted in GAY liberation, the GAY man’s sexual revolution has become his downfall. The impact AND mass catastrophe that AIDS has on the GAY man’s psyche is more than any human should have to bear. And I guess that my SURVIVAL’S GUILT exists because of the many failed attempts to halt new HIV infections among WE GAY men. In making this statement, I am know that there are MANY out that would consider what I say to be heresy and I find that VERY sad. How can we NOT review AND interpret the statistics when it comes to HIV? Isn’t it obvious that the SEXUAL revolution was NOT as sweeping as we were led to believe? What took place then is happening now; and the second coming of this plague is going to wipe out almost all of us if we don’t take heed…IT IS ALREADY TOO LATE! I OFTEN WONDER IF GAY MEN BOTH HIV + AND – SHARE THE THOUGHTS THAT I HAVE? Doesn’t it make sense for GAY men on both sides of this disease to face a future that will be filled with suffering AND loss to embrace each other above all else? I think it makes a lot of sense for us to hold onto each other in whatever ways we can. HOW MUCH LONGER ARE WE GOING TO CREATE A SYSTEM OF GAY MALE HIV PREVENTION & MENTAL HEALTH WITHOUT STRONG COMPONENTS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT A COMMUNITY THAT IS IN NEED OF TRAUMA RECOVERY? In the midst of a continuing epidemic, what possibilities exist for the resurrection of gay men's psyches? What resources are available to us and what kinds of programs need to be developed? HIV IS NOT A FANTASY. IT IS REAL. IT IS SERIOUS. YET WE REFUSE TO CHANGE THE WAY WE HAVE SEX, & HEREIN LIES PART OF THE EXPLANATION FOR THE CONTINOUS SPREAD OF HIV. I GET THAT IN A LIBERAL SOCIETY, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO, WITH COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE RAMIFICATIONS OF OUR ACTIONS TO ENGAGE IN RISKY BEHAVIOUR. QUOTING NORA KIZER BELL, HE STATES, BY ITS VERY NATURE DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION THAT IS, EDUCATION THAT OCCURS IN THE CONTEXT OF A LIBERAL DEMOCRACY WILL EVENTUATE IN SOMETHING LESS THAN COMPLETE COMPLIANCE WITH, OR COMPLETE ASSIMILATION TO ITS INSTRUCTIONAL MESSAGE. IN MY OPINION, WHAT HAS BEEN LACKING IN SO MANY OF THE AIDS PREVENTION EFFORTS HAS BEEN THE EXPLORATION OF THE MEANING OF VARIOUS SEXUAL ACTIVITIES AMONG GAY MEN. I FEEL THAT EMPHASIS NEEDS TO BE PLACED ON THE QUALITY OF LIFE, RATHER THAN THE LENGTH OF IT. SO, HOW ABOUT FINDING WAYS FOR THE GAY MAN TO CREATE A LIFE WORTH LIVING? RETHINKING STRATEGIES WILL NO DOUBT CONTRIBUTE TO REGENERATION OF THE MALE SEXUALITY AS WE SEE THE FUTURE DAY BY DAY. I GUESS IF WE WERE TO DO THAT, WE WOULD HAVE TO ACTUALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE GAY MAN IS NOT CAUSE OF HIM CONTRACTING THIS DISEASE, IT GOES WAY BEYOND WHAT HE DOES AS INDIVIDUAL. THIS PROBLEM IS OURS TO BEAR & I HOPE THAT YOU FIND WHAT IS NEEDED TO GET THIS DISEASE UNDER CONTROL…UNTIL THEN I WILL HOLD ONTO MY SURVIVAL’S GUILT & IN TH E MIDST OF THIS ONGOING EPIDEMIC, I HOPE THAT I CAN BALANCE THE PRATICAL ACCEPTANCE THAT HIV/AIDS WILL MOST LIKELY BE WITH US FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.

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