I just want to fucking scream!!! I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, but living in a triplex with poor insulation precludes that. It’s really strange to feel angry, sad, frustrated, and diminished all at the same time.
What brought on this complexity of emotions is something that most of us have faced and continue to face in our daily lives as a poz community. I’m talking about the rejection that follows after disclosure. Now, you might ask “Is it your first time disclosing?,” and the answer is no. “So why the angst over this time, you have been rejected before, haven’t you?” The answer is yes.
The story is really simple, it’s a rainy day and a quiet afternoon here at home. I decide to get online and check out my usual gay chat website. It’s been too quiet in my personal life and I’m wondering who is out there online.
After checking my messages, I navigated to the “display profiles on line” tab. As I stroll the online profiles looking for someone who is to my taste, I come across a profile that I’ve never seen before. He is quite a stunning man with bearded, masculine good looks and a stocky, muscular, furry build. Definitely all within my personal tastes. At a quick glance, his profile is listed as looking for love. Even though, I’m not clearly looking for another relationship, a simple interaction might be interesting, I really have nothing to lose.
Following is the chat exchange that took place ….
me : how's the love search going?
him : not too good. what about you?
me : got burned real badly in my last one....not sure I want one right now, unless someone can convince me otherwise
him : i know the feeling. you are very sexy. not worried for you
me : really? I've been in two consecutive relationships for a total of 17.5 years....the single scene has changed and there is alot of game players out there...that's my experience up to now....and you, how are you finding it
him : it is difficult to meet the right person. Where do you live ?
him: ha ha. i know I saw that in your profile. I meant which area ?
me : Mile End, and you?
him : Verdun... I would have offer you to come to my place for a beer and a chat and maybe some affection
me: that can be interesting...
him : I used to see you at the Stud a while ago.
me : and you never said hello?
him : never. you had always plenty of men around you. I don't think I am your type
me : plenty of men around me? I don't know about that, but you are my type....why else would I concact you?
him : I am not half way as muscular as you. 47 yo, 5'8'' hairy, 190, 6 cut
me : lol...I'm surprised you put the dick size up....but, the stats are good and I love meaty guys. You had my interest with your pics.....
him : why are you surprised that i put my dick size ?
me : because I didn't ask for it, and as long as you have one that works is fine with me....
him : I am hairy .. butt, legs, arms, chest. I am a bit concerning about the fact that you are Top. I am more into oral sex. fucking is something that I keep when I am more intimate with someone. I think you are a very handsome man but I do not think I can satisfy you on that aspect. For me, having sex is way more than fucking or getting fucked . I like to smell, eat, kiss, caress, rim, suck. So if all this is fine for you then come over.... might be also only for a beer and a chat
me : yes, I prefer to top, but fucking isn't essential or demanded...I think what you are offering is pleasing enough...
him : cool wanna come for a beer ?
me : yes...is after supper ok?
him : what time? I always prefer to meet before dniner... you eat early
me : supper is at six...
him : lol okay. we'll see later then.
me : address, or phone number?
him : I should have said.. we will confirm later then. but here is my phone number 514-###-####
me : confirm later? ok.....514-###-####
him: may I ask you if you are HIV + or - ?
me : poz...problem?
him: I am negative
me : and the sex you are purposing is super safe...if it helps, I’m undetectable....
him : but knowing that you are Poz and that you like to top I do not think that I would be a good match for you knowing that getting fucked is not my preference. I would be always too nervous. I am sorry. You are really cute en sexy but I think I will decline. Hope you understand
me : no, I don't ...fucking was off the table, condomless fucking wasn't even mentioned...I would see a problem if you wanted to engage in unsafe sex, but that isn't the case here...I think that simply me being poz is the problem, not the sex, and now I'm being rejected because of my honesty. I didn't have to tell you, but because I'm a descent and honest person I chose to do so. People lie and some people don't get tested because they can continue to say they're neg.. Don't you think If I told you, then I'd make sure nothing harmful would happen you. Honestly, you are safer with me than anyone out there because you know the situation. If your decision is final, it's attitudes like yours that pushed HIV back into the closet and perpetuate the disease. The next guy might not tell you...and you know something, the problem will not simply disappear. Think about this, how long am I going to get kicked in the face before I say enough is enough and start to lie because of these attitudes?
him: I did not want to hurt your feelings . I told you that I am more a oral sex man. being fucked is not what I prefer. You are a top. I would be really nervous to be fucked even with a condom. You are an amazing man. Nobody has fucked me for the last 10 years. Can you imagine ?
me: why are you focusing on fucking? it's off the table, and it's not being demanded or requested!!!! What you are purposing is satisfactory. my cock will never get close to your hole
That was my last entry in that chat exchange.
I waited for about five to ten minutes which seemed like an eternity. I was hoping that I had said enough to persuade him to change his mind and keep the tentative date, but there was no answer. Apparently, in cold contrast to the impact that this rejection had on me, he continued to stay online looking for what he called love.
Like I said, for me, it’s not my first, and I know it will not be my last rejection, but the impact for me hasn’t lessened with time and repetitiveness ether. I have not developed a callous protective exterior that one would think I should have by now. Every rejection hurts as much a the last one. Every time I disclose, it feels like I remove the protective façade that I have created to walk among society.
When I utter those three words “I am poz,” I am fully exposed and completely venerable to the person I stand before in my disclosure. In my heart, I’m hoping that this person will be kind this time, that he will see me as a person, a human being before I disappear behind that all encompassing label of three letters….HIV. I struggle to have him hear me and ease his fears, but I have already lost the battle. No words can reach him because he’s been consumed, he is in the grip of fear of the monster that we and they give too much power to, and it’s name has three letters…HIV.
How long can I endure these rejections I ask myself, and frankly, I don’t know. I know there are the unaffected few in the gay community that would prefer that people like me would just disappear as if that would be the answer to ending this pandemic and thus allowing them to return to unrestricted sexuality. Perhaps, as other considerations, we should just give up the search for sex, intimacy, and love and become sexually celibate or just maybe serosort and stick to our side of the fence in this world with it’s invisible viral divide.
Has anyone considered placing all of us on an island? All viable options for the ignorant many out there.
Why should I have to concede and carry the burden all by myself? I guess in a perfect world the responsibility of dealing with this disease would be shared, but that is not the case in the real world. Do I need to begin to lie in order to get sex, love or intimacy, because I don’t plan any time soon to take a vow of celibacy.
The world has to deal with us, they have no choice. We are not going away, and attitudes need to change, and we can’t be complacent about it. We may not like it, but life has a way of dragging us into this uncomfortable forum of them against us, if not for the simple reason of the search for human warmth.
As I finish this article, the sad part is that there are moments where I have this unfounded hope that this bearded good looking man that I chatted on line this afternoon will change his mind and call me, only to have reason and rationale kick in to tell me that I’m probably already a forgotten memory.
Do I lie the next time about my HIV status? I honestly don’t know. I guess I just have to get up and dust myself off because there is no lower low that I can experience in self esteem and I still have hope….
About the author: "Residing in Montreal, newly single and starting to face the challenges of single life after a decade of being in a relationship. The protective veil of my relationship is no longer there and I have to face the world, but as whom? This is where I am now.... "