Can’t Help Themselves

Ya know, some people just can’t help themselves. After my last post about my experience with monkeypox, most of my feedback was very positive. Of course it was, decent human beings being decent human beings, but there are always those few folks who just can’t help themselves. I write this post to support others vs any defense of my own actions.

I got the typical "are you ok" as an opener on several messages before the bombardment of code words implying some sort of shame or guilt. Ironically, two of them were twisting themselves into knots implying they weren’t referring to me specifically. Being a big boy, I flat out told them I got it at the tubs. And the person who exposed me reached out to let me know. Why? Because he was a responsible adult being a good human being. Duh! I was just unable to get the vaccine in time. The follow up level of backtracking was cute, albeit completely unnecessary. I’m a grown man, I won’t be shamed for my actions when I don’t feel I did anything wrong. Your opinion of my life and/or relationship is just that…yours.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never understood the fascination with shaming folks for communicable diseases. It stems from our institutionalized puritanical nonsense way of thinking, I know, but I’m just so shocked to see so many gay men still embrace it. You’d think after surviving AIDs we’d be better than that. But let you mention the rampant drug use in the gay community and/or the cottage industries built around it, and you’ve done gone too far! (Not that I believe drugs should be criminalized.)

I realize there are levels of compartmentalization and cognitive dissonance going on, but it gets old really fast. We are human beings. We like human touch and **gasp‚Äč** sex. We’ve dealt with communicable diseases practically since the beginning our existence and will likely continue to do so until the end of our existence. This puritanical idea of shame is nothing but a waste of time. It serves no purpose other than to establish "those people" in an attempt at disassociation. What has proven to work time and time again is timely intervention thru testing and available treatment. Removing this pathetic idea of stigma increases the likelihood of testing and preventing transmission.