Sunday, December 19, 2010
Dad, I’m Gay, HIV and Hepatitis C Positive.
Oh, and Dad, by the way, I have an addition to Crystal Meth and I am in rehab for it (May 2010). That is exactly how I came out to my Dad over the telephone.
It was not until my Father’s girlfriend told me of that night when she was there when my Dad received my phone call that I thought “how dumb it was of me” to disclose all that over the phone.
When my Dad hung up the phone, he broke down. And, for the first time in his life; he cried, thinking that I was going to die.
My family picked up on the “gay thing” early on, but HIV, Hepatitis C and Crystal Methamphetamine. Kevin? I was a good kid that grew up as a shy and quiet child, and who traveled the World from a young age. I was a kid who made his Parents very proud.
If your parents are of my parent’s age’s (baby boomers), then they grew up with a very different image surrounding HIV, they may be more understanding of the substance abuse issue, but the acronym GRID and AIDS still sticks with this generation today.
Until last year, even after all of these years of being gay, and being familiar with HIV – I never heard this term. GRID (Gay Related Immune Disorder) was the first term used back in 1982 to define what we now call today HIV/AIDS. If you think about it, those of us with parents as baby boomers; they were our age when AIDS reared its ugly head.
What a long way we have come since then, but the images, the science, the stigma associated with AIDS back then still sticks with many baby boomers today.
It was a different experience when I told my Brother and his wife (10 years older than I am). They were much more accepting, and understanding.
In hindsight I wish I had that day to do over again with my Father. I would speak to him in person, so that he can see me and see that I do not look sick, and that I am not dying. I would educate him as to my Illnesses, give him reading material, and assure him that I will go on living a healthy and fulfilling life. And that HIV is not the GRID/AIDS he remembered it being.
My generation has become so digitalized and depersonalized as we text our breakups, propose via instant messenger, and divulge such personal and sensitive health information over the phone, rather than in person. The traditional days of yesteryear sitting around a dinner table and conversing have long been gone. I am waiting for APPLE to design the I DINNER TABLE.
Point in this blog entry is; lesson learned. And when I tell my Mom; this time I will do it the proper way. I will be telling her after the Holidays and will keep you all posted on how that goes.
Posted by Kevin Maloney at 5:44 PM