A Girl’s Own Guide to Her Gay Husband & HIV
Hey guuuuuurl, so your Primo Gay Husband and Best Friend (I mean, you’ve got your “work” one, but he’s strictly 9-5) requested some face time. Cocktail catch up is mandatory in your joint calendar, but it seems like he’s got something to tell you over a round of hip flirtinis/bellinis/ whiskey sours with elderflowers. So, you get to wondering…it’s not boyfriend-related. You know how he behaves when he’s been dumped, or cheated on, or cheating, or co-cheating, or fretting about opening up his relationship. This seems heavier. Perhaps he’s calmer, which is scary since after three flirtinis he’s usually louder than a Cher tweet.
Is it family-related? You thought you knew all about his overbearing mother; his loving, but put-upon father; his distant relationship with his brother who lives overseas (whom you’ve only seen on Facebook and secretly think is hot).
Maybe it’s HIV. Impossible. This is 2013, AIDS is what young people in episodes of 90210 had (original series, obviously). Besides, he has safer sex than you do. And you’d know, you talk about that sort of stuff because even though you’re certain he won’t get it, there is still that fear of this “thing” that exists in his world.
Whatever it is, he’s talking around it, so you ask what’s wrong. He goes quiet, steeling himself. Before he manages to finish saying, “Now, I don’t want you to worry, but,” you’re completely worried. In the milliseconds before he admits it, you’re suddenly aware that your instinct was spot on. He stammers through explaining how we went to the doctors recently and, it turns out that he just found out that… He’s HIV-positive. So, what happens next? You might well up a little, mainly for him and the brave face he’s putting on, squeeze his wrist and breathe hard through your nose for a few seconds. Or maybe you both break down in a flood of tears, everyone in the bar side-eyeing the two of screaming to “you bitch God” that “it’s just not fair”…and that’s cool, too. You probably don’t (and definitely shouldn’t) let a cloud of anger cross your face and demand to know “how you could have been so stupid?! Didn’t you know?! Can’t you remember that scene in Degrassi when the AIDS bully gets blood all over the bathroom and freaks out?! Are you as stupid as the AIDS bully?! THERE’S NO ZIT REMEDY FOR THIS!” Maybe a part of you thinks that, but trust me he’s already thought that, too.
In all likelihood, most of you will go for option number one, with some kind touching and water behind the eyes. It is really fucking sad, and scary, and by the look of him, he’s not in the best place. You will have a lot of questions, so feel free to ask them. Hopefully, if he gets sick of answering them he’ll tell you, but watch out and be sensitive. There’ll be a lot of information he’s processing,