By Reggie Smith
Take me to a place in space, I’m sick and tired of the rat race;
On a rocket ship no time to waste, I just want to gravitate.
It’s out of sight, it’s out of sight…
Just so you know, HIV is not a gay disease, nor is it a gift. Those are two of the biggest lies that people want to believe so that they can continue to have raw sex without having to ask or answer any hard questions. The allure of sex is so strong, that most of us, no matter what we say publicly, will gamble with our lives for the chance to “lose our minds” for a little while. Many men don’t last long during sex and orgasms are brief, while many women are faking orgasms. For many heterosexuals, the risk is high and the reward is tenuous. As an HIV positive heterosexual man I can say from experience that sex is worth the chance, but the cost for raw sex is too high. Unfortunately, because the perception is that HIV is a gay disease, hetero’s act like sad or angry victims when the virus catches them. In reality, most of us are volunteers.
The legal system and people (especially women) react with shock and desire retribution when someone, often a black man, is HIV+, and has raw sex with a bunch of willing women and some of them contract the disease. I find it morally deplorable to intentionally attempt to infect anyone with this disease. I wondered what might make me act that way. I think the fear of life or death, or fear of not being loved could cause that kind of irrational behavior. When I was addicted to drugs, I did things I never thought I would. I was powerless over my addiction and my life had become unmanageable. Even after I got clean, it took time to change my thinking and behavior. I knew HIV was attainable, but I still acted insane and probably contracted HIV from unprotected sex with a woman. I was no victim really, I ultimately volunteered. It’s easy to lie to yourself (and others) in order to get what you want, right? I bet some of you are lying to yourself right now as you are reading.
Heteros are really good at self-deception about sex and HIV. We want to get “buck wild” without fear, question, or condoms, until it’s over. Then potential consequences, shame and guilt flood our minds. We often then find other addictions like food or drugs to drown out our conscious. Some get crazy and say “f#@k it” and look for company in our misery. We promise God we will stop, but we don’t. We make laws to try to punish that behavior and save us from ourselves, but like marijuana use or prostitution, you can make it illegal, but you can’t stop it that way, or lock everybody up that is doing it. We all must take personal responsibility for our actions. That’s true for everyone despite sexual orientation. Hetero’s remain especially delusional because we help perpetuate the lie that HIV is a gay disease by not speaking up for ourselves enough.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “at some point, silence becomes betrayal”. As true as that is for the individual with HIV who repeatedly has sex with others; with or without the intent to infect them, it is equally true for the heterosexual community. We act “stigmatized” and homophobic about being identified as gay, but too many of us have volunteered as warriors (carriers) in the HIV brigade. Many now suffer silently in irrational victim hood. There are no laws that can protect us from our insanity and ourselves. Once you become a pickle, you can never become a cucumber again. Fear of death won’t keep you from dying; nobody’s getting out of here alive. Don’t be jealous of LGBT activism, be responsible to act yourself. Heterosexual people, like myself, need to create an atmosphere more conducive to healing. That means we will have to stop lying to others and ourselves about our HIV status, demand the human right to healthcare for all, decriminalize HIV transmission unless it is tied to rape or another crime, and learn to love more unconditionally. I promise, sex will be better for everybody if we do.