I promised a blog post this weekend as once again I’ve not been able to write one for a while, if I’m not preparing for a new job I’m moving flats, hopefully my life will settle down soon and I’ll be able to get into a routine!
I’ve been thinking about to write about over the weekend but unfortunately the only thing I can think about is an unlucky turn of events from Friday evening. A few weeks ago a fellow HIV positive gay man started a secret group on Facebook for other positive gay men to join, he asked me if I’d like to and I agreed, he said he was looking to host a night in one of the Manchester bars but needed to prove there were enough HIV positive people interested for it to get the go ahead. I thought it might be a nice idea and I don’t really know many HIV positive people in the city so I guessed it was a way of changing that. It soon became clear that this initial idea had been put to one side; people were being added from all over the country and elsewhere outside the UK.
A couple of weeks after joining it was also made clear that heterosexual HIV positive people were being denied access to the group, I wasn’t particularly comfortable with the decision, if the group was solely about finding new mates and organising social events why did it matter if the users were gay, straight, men or women? I didn’t want to leave the group and cause a big drama but did make my feelings clear.
Then on Friday the group’s founder posted a question (which he said his response was ‘no’ to) asking how people would feel about allowing HIV negative gay men to join the group, or those who didn’t know their status. I said it was hypocritical to allow negative gay men to join if you were going to actively ignore requests from straight positive men on the basis the group was for gay and positive men only. I did confirm that I personally believe the group to be a bit of a meat market, and if it was a social space to make new friends why was it necessary for the founder to post messages such as ‘horny, horny, horny’? After that comment I was removed and blocked from the group.
I’m annoyed that someone posted a question asking for a response and everyone’s opinions only to then try and keep quiet those that didn’t agree with their own. As I mentioned recently there are only around 90,000 of us in the UK living with this virus and it really isn’t helpful to the fight against the stigma we all face if we behave in this way. People living with HIV should be able to interact with each other no matter their sex, sexuality, race etc. Throughout history nothing positive has ever come of segregation.