Know Your Status

Deliciously Disabled’s recent podcast on getting for sdt’s brought back to me the first time I was tested, way back in the early 80’s. Initial hurdle was to get there getting the right times at Hassle Free. Men and women had different days and times of the day. Next hurdle was my sense of deep shame – it didn’t dissipate even though the staff were more indifferent than anything else.15red07The questions about my sexual activity were awkward. Unlike Deliciously Disabled who had to convince the professionals that he even had sex, I was unwilling to admit how little sex I had had. Then there was the admonishing for even that little bit – no, not admonishing, but merely being told about protection. I slut shamed myself.15red08Swabs, blood draws were no problem compared to the waiting. Once there was a confirmation. I had been sullied!! My self shame flared up: I was getting was I deserved for enjoying the sex I experienced. Naming names. Meds, shots in the butt – returns for further testing.15gold09Along came HIV and the testing & waiting was even more fraught with stress and shame. Now it was more than self-shame. It was condemnation by the medical community – how could you not be more careful? Why don’t you stop having sex?

I got over some of that but not completely. That sort of slut shaming remains rampant but is less direct. It’s not as if the right to marry is protection against std. But that’s another blog post.15snow03I get tested regularly, more frequently it seems than I have sex 🙂 Now I’m more stressed by waiting room ettiequte. How many free condom/lube packets are too many? Is cruising the other guys waiting okay? Know your status.

samples

Will

where does my will

my right to choose

start

and the ways I have been

seduced by culturally encoded definitions

take over

do I ever even start to think for myself

when everything

is plunked down in front me

like a meal I didn’t order

but have got to eat

encoded like the bars in a prison cell

when the only crime I committed

is being born

where is choice

in a nation where colour is guilt

where sexuality is approved

where male female are the official roles

self determination is limited by

what is approved of by others

 

cure by label

acceptance by diagnosis

guilt by association

labels that can’t be contested

even when they are self-applied

guilty even when proved innocent

 

I’m told that if I desire men

these are the ones I am to desire

these are the ones not to desire

or

these are the ones out of your league

these are the ones

no one wants to desire

these are the ones

everyone wants

so you should want them too

if you don’t

there is something wrong with you

not with them

you must have low self-esteem

you must be sick in the head

not normal

falling between the cracks of definition

of what queer cultures says you should be

have to be

to have the right to choose

to have the opportunity

to be the chosen one

though my will tells me

there are worse things

than not being among the chosen many

 

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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