Sunday, 29 March 2015


Dear diary,

It’s been a weird yet wonderful few months. Having said that, if you were present I doubt you would agree, I can finally open up now to a challenge a reader gave to me which was, to discuss what it’s like to be HIV positive and dating and what it’s like to be in love and find love for myself since I’ve been positive.

This request is a hard one because over the years I’ve had some of the worst things done to me, by various boyfriends and partners. So having to write this down actually might be the hardest and longest challenge yet, brace yourself, you’re going to learn what love means to me, and as I write I’m glad you don’t have to see the tears that will surely follow from the memories that I now have to relive, but I promise you, it will be a worthwhile read.

In order to understand what it’s like to date being HIV positive you will have to understand how I think, and so you can see through my eyes.

Like many people I wasn’t a good looking child, I was fat and very camp I didn’t acknowledge the fact that I was a boy until I was 7 years old. I saw the world through the eyes of a woman, I didn’t see the world as a boy, I saw men as partners, as husbands, as companions.

On my second trip to New York City, sitting in a boat in Central park with my cousins on a beautiful sunny day, I noticed men for the first time as sexually desirable creatures. My eyes (and my mind’s eye) began to acknowledge that I was a man who was attracted to other men and the process of accepting my sexuality and my sexual orientation had begun. I now saw men and was aroused by their shape and presence, this began to feel right as I started to identify as a young gay man and I realised it as I was sitting in that boat .To this day, I can conjure up the image of the man running in blue shorts, sweating with protruding abdominals, and as I took a deep breath and looked down at myself, I thought no other gay man would fancy me unless I began to make myself more attractive.

On returning home I started to exercise, I went to the gym, I started swimming, I began to try to make myself attractive for a suitable partner. I wanted to be desirable. Thinking that I had the outlook of a woman and still relating to straight men and women’s relationships with men.

 Education was something I thought would help me in my attempts to find a suitable partner. I was really interested in the, arts, in language, I played the violin, I cooked, I knew my wines, I travelled and even though I was only 15 years old I was grooming myself for a mate.

This all seemed to change  when I moved to England, I did  somehow manage to land myself a gentleman, a fine suitor and a few others after that, but  my concepts of the words love and sex changed, I changed as I got older. I became what to some would describe as a hunter. Sex filled a void in my life that relationships couldn’t. I started to realise there was something becoming apparent to me that I wasn’t aware was being picked up by many other gay men I knew.

 My father once told me “ have fun with as many people as you want, but when you reach 30 settle down, by then you would know who you are and what type of ‘woman’ you want “ And when you make love to a woman don’t just fuck her, make love to her, treat her special. My father loved women, but he has spent 38 years devoted to my mother and they are still together. I adore my parents relationship, it’s built on trust, love respect, honesty and understanding. All qualities that are very important to me to this day. I still believe I look at men through the eyes of a woman, I nurture and I care as my mother once told me. Your father isn’t just my husband; he’s my best friend, my companion, my lover, my business partner.

 So here is the challenge, I’ve never been too shy to flirt with a guy or to make love to a guy. Each man I kiss, I kiss as if he was my own, I never get bored of exploring another individual, I was perfect boyfriend material and a fine suitor back in the day. But when I became HIV positive my pool of security opened out into an ocean and I didn’t feel pure anymore, my waters were polluted, toxic and I felt tainted, no longer loveable.

Because I was always blunt, I found security in opening up to someone directly about my status so that rejection would be swift, and here lies the fundamental point, Gay men don’t like to be rejected!

I, like many of us built up an empire of strength and confidence, but who would actually find me attractive if I  was HIV positive, I felt that that my swimming pool  had just gotten  smaller.  I was so wrong because it actually got bigger, and it of course it all depends on where you live. I moved from Barbados and Panama because I couldn’t find someone who would accept me or my positive status. For all of you who feel that you live in areas where your status is accepted, and don’t have the need to move away, here is my advice. Try it!

I live in Manchester, UK   where openly HIV positive guys are still not the norm, it has a psychological effect on you, you feel abnormal, but when I go to London, I could happily turn on Grindr and mention my status and still end up having coffee with someone .Just to have a coffee with someone who is nothing more than an acquaintance meant far more to me than the act of sex. It was being accepted, like the feeling of belonging, it was like coming out all over again.

There is a fine line behind finding love when you are positive and finding sex. Here is the tricky part. I’ve noticed that most positive guys have a different kind of sex, we are more expressive, we take more risks, but I noticed those risks or ‘kinky’ sex  may be a result of being  suppressed. We stick to our own kind rather than risk rejection with guys who aren’t positive for reasons of security. We are almost drawn into a life style that isn’t what we are used to because that’s where you will meet other guys; please note this is the perspective from where I live. Gay men are known for lots of recreational drug use and I’ve had partners that could only feel confident having sex with me when on substances, and they cheated.  I wasn’t a regular user, but many other guys were, sex was easier.  My boyfriend could fuck them without problems but couldn’t get an erection with me, horrible to think, but I felt  pity for him in the future when I look back now as it must have been horrible to date someone you loved and couldn’t make love to.  But you see I could and still wanted to.
 I didn’t need a drink or a substance to make love to him, I just had to look at him and I was aroused. And that’s the difference. I admire people, I watch people, the hunter inside of me analyses my date, I smile, I watch their reaction, I wait for that kiss, the first touch, the grin they give you when they realise you have something in common, the first kiss that releases ecstasy, that’s  a bigger and better  high than any drug  can replicate, its PASSION!

Sex and Love are different, so is finding your confidence with both. I had to look deep, to realize, confidence and acceptance is the key to you finding someone when you are positive. Being HIV is a personal issue, it affects you personally, so you should look at yourself and how you feel and identify what is important to you. At the end of the day, the guy in front of you doesn’t have to take your medication but you do, he’s not going to get but you most probably are, so you have be confident in your own skin to  make decisions about what you will and won’t  accept when you meet a guy.

If he doesn’t like you for being positive that’s fine, it’s a burden we have to accept, but I have had three partners that were negative, and they loved me so much my status didn’t bother them, and that’s because I wore my scars well.

Own your shit as they say. I cannot explain it all in more profound words, but I will try. When you became positive you don’t just loose a piece of yourself, you gain! You gain something personal. I rediscovered my passion, for life, for those I meet, for those who accepted me. And passion is what I am all about, open your eyes, and notice it, smell your life and FEEL it!

Because baby, if you don’t feel the passion that’s all around you, when you meet a guy he is not going to magically make you feel like everything is ok, but he will when he sees and feels your attraction to him and to who YOU ARE.

My sex life is amazing compared to when I was younger, but I’m still learning to find my full passion again, I did lose it as a result of my past relationship so I feel like I’m a beginner  all over again.

I met a lovely young man recently, and as I watch him talk about his struggles similar to my own, I saw his passion for life! It gave me a kick, and when I kissed him it was an endorphin rush  that I’ve not felt for many years, because I didn’t see someone who was positive I saw someone who loved to live, and reminded me of the young lad I was who loved life despite his HIV statues. That young lad still makes me smile to this day, as he doesn’t know how much he helped remind me that love of life, of being accepted was still possible.

To be hugged and accepted, to be kissed because someone wants to kiss you, to sweat in bed because of the attraction between you is what WE ALL deserve, so I found my one and true title for this article  ‘Passion’. It comes in many forms, but your status should be something you should be passionate about as it will help you find out more about who you really are, and who is right for you.

I would like to leave you with an entry from my diary, of when I met the partner who gave me HIV and who gave me a curse that saved my life and read for yourself how I saw the world.

Could a prayer be answered in the form of exactly the way you have dreamt it?

He stands tall with his eyes covered because he could, shaded by whatever glasses he could find.
His posture is as if he was at attention, relaxed enough to hold some peace.
His movements were slow & effortless, his expressions were that of painted glass, but yet he stood out.
My mind started to relax as my body took control. I sneered at this creature and imagined him as my pray.
My bitter tongue filled with venom as I took my first bite.
And he stood still, untainted by my attack, the sun shone bright and I rested. My soul moved forward, aware now that he posed no threat, we spoke.
Nearer & nearer his scent became my air, and his eyes began to glare out through this dark shades.
Blue, green & red, the colour of his faith, his eyes blinked a message only the hunted would know.
Not yet scared, but accepting my faith our lips pressed, closer and closer together.
And like a vampires bite, my veins opened up, drained but yet replenished but how could this be?
My emptiness and loneliness was eradicated and replaced with comfort and existence, existence of passion, so much so, that there are not enough words to explain the inner peace, happiness that exploded from within.
Each cell was taken over, invaded by this unknown feeling, manipulated to reproduce this wonder that was beginning to grow inside me.

 Could it be? Was he really my dream? Is he me?

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