Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blog or Not?

Question MarkTo blog or not to blog? That seems to be the question. I never realized how far my humble blog had reached until I personally heard some feedback from people who didn’t know that it was me. Unfortunately it was negative feedback.

They say I have given away to many details in this blog. Hmm. My mind raced trying to recall each and every entry I did. I know I never identified any other clients by name or any really distinguishing characteristics. Remember, I’m still trying to work on the rest of my alphabet friends.

Hell, if there’s any identity I’ve been giving away, it’s my own! If someone who knows me well enough puts all the little puzzle pieces together, he or she would know it was me no doubt!

Apparently, my giving away details on the hospitals and the doctors scares some pozzies. They’re afraid that if someone who reads my blog hears them talking about this doctor and that, and this hospital and that, then they’d automatically get linked to HIV and get outed. Hmm, and I thought I was paranoid.

Even the disclosure of the meaning of the term pusit was mentioned as foul, but that would no longer be solely in my hands, as it had been used and defined in news articles and television documentaries long before I was one.

Hearing all that just startled me, and really got me thinking about this blog. I had never meant for it to be a nuisance to my kind.

I thought this would be my outlet. I thought it would be a means of sharing what I am going through. I thought it would help people understand the importance of knowing your status. I thought it would emphasize the value of playing safe and staying negative. I thought that it would dispel the fears of others like me who live with HIV, but feel they are alone. I thought it would help those that are too afraid to start their own HIV journeys. I thought that it would open up our lives to others, towards more knowledge, support and understanding. I thought that it would show that we are not suffering from HIV, but rather living with it.

Personally, I think there are a lot more important things to deal with, than always having to worry about who hears what, and what that stranger thinks. The discretion of your conversations after all, will always be under your control. It must really be funny to hear all this from a self-confessed paranoid freak as myself.

So anyway, here’s my compromise. I’ve edited all my entries, removing all the doctors’ names, except those at the Social Hygiene Clinic of the Manila Health Department, because they actually WANT people to see them and get tested. The hospital names, I’ll have to keep, because I really think it would be a huge help for pozzies like me to know their options through my experiences. How I wish I had some references to guide me through the early days of my journey. It just so happened I was lucky enough to meet the right people. Others might not be that lucky.

Oh, and about the pusit thing, blame the Inquirer and ABS-CBN.

I can’t take back what I’ve written before, nor erase what people have already read. Albeit I be Will Smith in Men In Black and use my Neuralyzer to zap all those memories away.

It’s been one thing for me to lock myself in my closet, and another thing for the rest of the world to scare me into a corner. But it feels as if someone just like me just hooked the latch… from outside! Suddenly the World Wide Web feels so limiting.

I know, I know, it’s the stigma connected to HIV that those like me are afraid of. But it’s precisely the lack of knowledge due to it being such a huge taboo that fuels that stigma. Hopefully the time will come when we can openly talk about this without the fear of being burned at the stake.

But for now, I humbly submit and bid goodnight. But fear not, my story shall continue... tomorrow.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tough one and one with no "right" answer, only a best answer. And I think you have probably arrived there. It's enough for newbies to know that there is help in general terms without feeding the paranoia (and fairly justified in my opinion) of those getting help.

Remember - just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they areNT out to get you haha.

Anonymous said...

Panapanahon lang ang coming out and some never reach that point. The fact that some HIV positive persons are not ready to come out is a clear statement regarding how far we still have to go when it comes to acceptance despite the over 2 decades of HIV/AIDS related work carried out in the country.

Please continue writing - your courage serves as an example we all need.

sanity said...

What the heck is their problem, you are trying to do some service to humanity at large, who are too ignorant or too dumb founded to care. HIV/AIDS is a serious human tragedy and I'm just too thankful for people like you trying to educate us about it. Personally if I know you in person, I will hug you and cuddle you in arms as a gesture of gratitude. Definitely you have to continue blogging.
od Bless

E said...

...T forwarded that email to me as well and it's so sad...It is so fucking sad because when you revealed those information about SL and RITM, you've helped poz newbies with those information. You also opened alot of minds that there is still hope for people living with hiv and it ain't so bad...That there are people who are willing to help and support people living w/ HIV...Now because of one email you have to edit those vital information that a NEWBIE or someone who thinks is poz would need..Besides, Dra.___ and ate___ are not HIV positives-are they still protected by RA805?


One more thing, SL and RITM is NOT for HIV peeps only however,how the flying fuck could you be discreet with h4?! Even if they changed the name of h4 to BATIBOT wing i don't think you can be discreet about it...nasa tao yun wala sa lugar men...

BLACKPOOL said...

I HAVE MADE A GOOD FOLLOW UP OF YOUR BLOGS AND I DONT SEE ANY PROBLEM WITH IT... DO NOT EVER SUCCUMB TO OTHER PEOPLES MINDS...

WHAT YOU ARE PUTTIN IN HERE ARE INPUTS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE....... YOU SHOW STRENGTH AND I HAVE BEEN READING YOUR BLOG SINCE DAY 01 THAT I GOT HOLD OF IT.....

YOU CONTINUE AND DO NOT THINK OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WILL SAY AFTER ALL AT THE END OF THE DAY IT IS YOUR PERSONA THAT IS BEING PERCIEVED HERE.......

WAG MONG ISIPIN ANG SASABIHIN NILA AT LEAST YOU ARE HELPING OTHERS TO SEE WHAT YOU GO THROUGH AND WHO KNOWS IT ALSO PREPARES ALL OF US IN CASE THE TIME COMES THAT WE GET TESTED AND FIND OUT SOMEDAY....

THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY......AND YOUR JOURNAL..... LET NO ONE DICTATE YOU WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO DO....

AFTER READING THIS GO ON AND MOVE AND POST AS MUCH AS YOU CAN......

BLACKPOOL said...

all i can say is for you to continue writing and do not STOP and get worried about what others will say.... your journal of what is happening to you is an eye opener and a walk through of what life is when one is hiv positive. i suggest that you write what you want to write for as long as you know what youre doing and what youre talking about and for as long as your works are clearly stamped in the minds of your readers go on....... no one should stop you. if i were on your feet i will never ever budge on anyone...

go on with what youre doing. as ive said ive been reading your blogs since day 01 that i learned about it. there are so many blogs made by other pos but yours is so far what i have wanted to read. i am in an advocacy for hiv prevention and protection of hiv positive individuals.

PinoyPoz said...

Thank you guys, your support has been overwhelming...