Oh. Positive.

When I was thirteen I went to stay for a couple weeks in the summer with my uncle Renaldo and his “roommate”.

They were successful real estate agents by day and fabulous daddy bear drag queens by night.  That summer I learned how beautiful being queer could be and that I wasn’t doomed to a life of pain and loneliness…  And that if I waited patiently I could have a life like theirs… full of parties, art, dress up, gourmet cooking… and sequin ball gowns…

Charity Ball Barbie

Charity Ball Barbie

They dressed me up in their gorgeous beaded dresses, giant wigs and big gaudy jewelry. They taught me how to use the $25 silver Guerlain liquid eye liner I had saved my lunch money for.

They said I was like “their own personal Barbie Doll” (they’re walls were covered with Barbies still in their boxes) and I beamed with pleasure because if I was their Barbie Doll they were my fairy Godmothers…
One night they took me to Maggie Moo’s for ice cream and when I asked for a lick of my uncles boyfriend’s Rocky Road, I could see them exchanging worried glances.

I thought that perhaps I had made some obscene social faux paux and that maybe white people didn’t share licks of their ice cream cones… their discomfort with my innocent request was clearly visible. But then Renaldo told me quietly in the car that Leo was sick.  Oh.

I thought. Perhaps he’d had a cold. I laughed.

“But you know, I never get sick, Renaldo!”

He shook his head somberly and told me then that Leo was positive. Oh.

Real Ice Cream

Real Ice Cream

Even then I knew you couldn’t get HIV from licks of ice cream cones…

Well, that was sixteen years ago and my relationship with HIV has changed… I’m living the big, beautiful queer life that I only dreamed about then.  A life full of sex and parties and art and HIV scares.

I guess not that much has changed in the world.  And even though I get tested every few months the Red Cross is still playing by their antiquated homophobic rules and they don’t want my healthy and oh-so-valuable, MSM and Ho fucking O+ blood.

Oh well… their loss. I guess.

2 thoughts on “Oh. Positive.

  1. Belle says:

    Haha, they dont want my wonderful O- blood either! But thats for other reasons. I have a wonderful gay uncle too, his lover had HIV. I was very young, thinking his lover was his twin! but i loved them both. I like to think my uncle’s lover is watching over him with his own journey with the virus.

    • Mommy Fiercest says:

      That’s sweet Belle. When I was a little girl I always thought that my grandmother really really liked my white uncle, and his twin brother. When I mentioned this to my mother recently she said “Jim didn’t have a brother”. I was like “really? Then who was that guy posing with him in the oil painting grandma had on her wall?”. She had no clue what oil painting I was referring to. So I dug up an old family album and we both cracked up when we realized it was an oil painting of the Kennedy brothers… Uncle Jim was the only white person in my family so I had thought it was him for all those years! It’s funny how we create little explanations for things we don’t understand, especially as children. 🙂

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