Scandal called it “Dog Whistle Politics,” and dark hued beauties hear the whistle loud and clear when suitors spit the line “You’re cute for a dark skin girl.” With a gaze of disappointment at the man offering the line and a raised chin as to assert the next words uttered out from her lips, “I am not pretty for a dark skin girl. I’m simply a beautiful woman,” girls with skin as rich as oil know a slighted compliment when they hear one.
I am not sexy for an HIV Positive person; I am simply a sexy motherfucker. I met him over a year ago and at that time he wanted to beat on my box. However, when I told him I was HIV Positive he backed off. I didn’t really care. I’m ‘unbothered’ by men who do not want to engage me sexually, because of my status. I’ve always felt there is always some reason why someone can reject you; if it’s not my HIV it could have been my small ears, or my calloused heel or my dry scalp. There are a ton of reasons why I’m not ideal so just add my HIV status to the list.
About a year has passed since this man, a self-confessed Atlanta gym rat with boulder sized biceps and bigger thighs complete with a baby face of a sixteen year old although he is 29, lost interest because of my status. I was never angry; I’m sure he’s had sex with positive people who have not disclosed their status or lied, but ignorance is bliss when it comes to HIV and sex at large in Atlanta.
Recently, he’s come back around, but I’m not readily available when he has text me with his mating call and this is the issue. I’ve been subjected to that tired ass tune that niggas give when you are not prepared to fuck upon command, “Why you playing, Bruh?” Girl, go ahead with that bullshit, I’m not sitting around waiting on you to get horny, so I can fulfil your sexual request.
Then this nigga proceeds to say “You told me your status, and I’m still trying to fuck, so why you playing?” Wait, I didn’t know I was supposed to feel grateful as an HIV positive person to have sex with someone that is negative. My self-worth has not diminished, because of my HIV status. I’ve had sex and I’ve had relationships. I’ve had one night stands and I’ve had men tell me they love me. I’ve never, nor will I ever look at a man and think I am lucky because they have accepted my status, because it is not a burden.
My HIV status is not something that people fleeting or long term should treat as a burden. We don’t treat cancer patients and their illness as such or any other disease. However, there is this thought that HIV, because heavily transmitted through sex and drugs, is a dirty disease and those that have contracted it are close to biblical leprosy.
While I’ve had my fair share of self-esteem issues; HIV has never contributed to any of those issues. I won’t lie, I have done things to make sure my body doesn’t physically look like its battling a chronic illness, but a man’s sexual approval was never what I was after.
In hidden or maybe not so much hidden code, this young man was trying to tell me he is a privilege to me because of his status. His words uttered a totem pole essentially placing his negative status on top and my positive status below, and I should be gleeful to be offered dick with someone of his status.
Status once simply meant the socio-economic grade of one holds in society, but for Queer Black Americans (especially in Atlanta) status incorporates the aforementioned and HIV status. Status (as in the medical sense) has created a psychological divide amongst the Black Queer community — literally the Have and Have-Nots. I know a number of positive individuals that are happier to meet other HIV positive men to date. There seems to be an air of disappoint pushed from their lungs when they tell me they’ve met someone and he’s HIV negative and this is even when the negative person has no problem starting a romantic relationship with the positive person.
Many times we like to date those that are equal yoked and serodiscordant relationships (one person HIV positive the other HIV negative) automatically disrupt that contentment in the worst way for some. There is this psychological battle the positive one may have to endure of not being as sexually viable, not being as healthy, not being able to sire offspring as easily. So when a motherfucker tells me, “You told me your status, and I’m still trying to fuck, so why you playing?” I know he looks at me as if he is doing me a favor and I should be grateful. I’m confident that I’m a sexy fucking bunny, not a sexy fucking bunny for an HIV positive person. So thank you, but no thank you on that dick sir.