What, did you think this list was going to be all glitter, sex and Gaga? Oh, no, the gay life is way more complex than that, and so are our clichés.
Although it may not have always been the case, gay men are the living legacy of the heartache, anguish and ultimate triumph of the AIDS epidemic. HIV may affect everyone, but it certainly hasn’t affected everyone equally. Although so many have suffered from AIDS worldwide, the gay community in the U.S. and many other developed countries has become somewhat intertwined with the virus.
To deny that HIV isn’t a central theme that ties all gay men together is both an insult to those who have died from AIDS and an invitation for HIV to lampoon your world in one way of another. If we forget our history, it will inevitably repeat itself, and too many lives have already been lost to risk one more. We all have a stake in fighting the stigma associated with HIV, because it was what keeps the people from getting tested and those living with disease from disclosing their status.
Gay men make up only 2 percent of the U.S. population but account for more than half of all HIV infections. If doesn’t matter what your status may be, because we have each had that one moment that could have made all the difference. And we all must be part of the change that allows the gay community to come out from under the stigma of HIV for good.
TYLER CURRY is the senior editor of HIV Equal, a comprehensive online publication dedicated to promoting HIV awareness and combating HIV stigma. To learn more about HIV Equal, visit HIVequal.org or follow Tyler Curry on Facebook or Twitter @iamtylercurry.