When people are labeled 'abnormal' simply because of their
differences, and discriminated against because of those differences, their
entire being can become paralyzed. The voice of the mind is stifled, the voice
of the heart is oppressed, and the voice of action becomes disabled. For many
decades, homosexuals have suffered in this way. Homosexuality was not only
discriminated against, it was made illegal and labeled a mental disorder.
Many gay men
living with HIV have found it difficult to come face to face with their own
resistance to let go of the past, to look upon the life with a fresh mind, and
to acknowledge the wisdom that such a diagnosis can hold. For most of us, our
initial reaction to such a status is shock. We could assume that men who do
this are trying to commit suicide, consciously or unconsciously. We might
demonize such behavior by blaming these men. My own initial reaction was a mix
of deep sadness and concern, harsh and bitter judgment, accompanied by a dark
fascination and an echo of familiarity.
In this day and age, I can’t help but wonder, what could cause men to tempt fate so? No
doubt many explanations can be put forth as probable cause for such seemingly
reckless self-destructive behavior. Yet I find myself stepping back from easy
explanations. Generalizations don't speak to me as truth, they merely touch the
surface. The truth is that each individual has a different story that leads him
to participate in sex. Each story has many layers, and these layers fall
somewhere on a continuum between what is deemed 'abnormal' and 'normal'
behavior. Although it is convenient to maintain a narrow reactive focus, the
fact is that if we truly want to shed light on this subject and to understand,
we must use our insight and our knowledge. "HIV POSITIVE" gay are
members of the human family and it's important to embrace them as such.