This Southern Faggot's Blog

Oh, it’s the day to care about AIDS.
December 2, 2011, 1:26 am
Filed under: Faggot Rant | Tags: , , , , ,

Recently I took part in the training that is required by the state health department to do the rapid testing and counseling of HIV. I was dreading this class for many weeks because I was worried about who was going to be in the class with me. While I am really glad that I took it, it was an incredibly strange experience.

Our class consisted of 30+ individuals, more than half representing the prison system and NONE of them representing local community based organizations, except myself. Everyone was getting paid to be there except me, which became very obvious later on in the class.

In our introductions everyone talked about why were there. When it was my turn, I told everyone I work with homeless Queer/Trans youth and of course the room became very silent. Throughout our entire 20 hour class (over 3 days), this was the first of only 3 times that anything related to Queer/Trans folks came up. The other two times the instructor casually mentioned bisexual men (specifically) in passing, but that’s it.

Later in the class we were going around the room talking about risk reduction and what we would recommend to someone getting tested for reducing their risk. Of course I talked about about things like fisting and watersports as very low risk activities and the room and holy shit you would have thought that I had just bad mouthed baby jesus. Hands flew up, people started talking at the same time and then I got to teach a room of health professionals about other sexual acts that are incredibly low risk. Watching the face of an employee of the prision system about pissing on someone for fun is a really amazing experience.

At some point the instructor told us about bug chasers and everyone started talking about how distrusting that was and how they would recommend them to someone for mental health help ASAP. I raised my hand and said something being unbiased and no one seemed to think this applied in this situation. I also reminded people that they would be saying the exact same thing about faggots 50 years ago. No one saw the connection.

More shit happened, like a prison guard explaining to me how inmates are property of the state and they state does not consent to them having sex, so all sex in prisons is considered rape. But let’s not talk about the rest of that.

What I want to know is, how the fuck did this happen? And, how do I feel about it?

I mean, of course it would appear (ahem) that more attention is being paid to the issue of HIV/AIDS, which in theory is great. But really, we are living in a time when the Queer/Trans HIV/AIDS advocates get no credit for all of their work and are completely glossed over, like the health department has always given a shit about HIV/AIDS.

I mean, HIV/AIDS always has been and still is a very political issue, you really can’t talk about it without talking about politics, can you? But you would not know this in the way they talked about in this class.

After all the work that Queer/Trans folks did around HIV/AIDS and we still don’t even get much of a mention at all? When did this issue become completely whitewashed?

Once again, Queers & Trans folk get completely forgotten and pushed out of the picture.

Fuck, that fucking class was awful.

1 Comment so far
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This is super interesting.

Comment by Nick

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