Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It Hasn't Gone Away

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It Hasn't Gone Away

Article excerpt

My boyfriend and I had dinner with a good friend of ours recently at a quaint French-American restaurant on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. With its dark wood paneling and built-in wine racks, the restaurant harks back to another time. It's good to know some things do not change.

Unfortunately, some firings we hoped had changed have not.

Over a bottle of merlot and our delicious entrees, we filled each other in on the latest happenings in our lives. During dessert my boyfriend, Clint, mentioned that he wanted us all to go to a movie the next night, but our friend declined, saying, "I have art important appointment."

"Hot date?" I asked with a laugh.

He did not smile.

"I have something I need to tell you both," he said, looking down, fork in hand, pushing the remnants of his dessert around his plate. I could see he was struggling.

"Oh, come on," Clint said, "it can't be that bad." I cringed.

"Yes," our friend said, fixing his eyes on Clint, "it can."

I think I knew then what was coming. There was something familiar about the scene--me holding nay breath, hoping that what a friend was about to say wasn't what I feared.

It took him a moment to muster the nerve, but finally, with a deep breath, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I tested positive."

I just sat there for a moment.

This just doesn't happen anymore, I thought. Not to people my age. We made it through all that years ago. We survived. But even as these thoughts bounced around inside my head, I knew they were not accurate. I'd simply chosen not to see.

Finally, I nodded and looked down at the table. "I'm sorry," I said.

Clint spoke up. "Oh, you'll be fine," he said. "I know lots of folks that are positive and they're doing just fine."

I wanted to kick him under the table. He made it sound so innocuous, like a paper cut or a summer cold. How could he be so cavalier? Didn't he know how devastating AIDS can be? Maybe not--he's 25, after all.

Our friend looked over at him sternly. "Yes," "it is a big deal." he said, "it is a big deal."

I asked him why he'd been tested. "My ex found out he was positive," he said. …

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