It's easy to be an ass on mobile dating apps because you can hide behind a cell phone. It's also easy to get your feelings hurt if you don't quickly come to terms with the fact that guys online can be vicious. Most men online put it all out there and can be so upfront about what they do and don't like. Some even go as far as to flat out say, "no fems," or "no Asians," or "no fatties." Apparently, honesty can show how ugly someone truly is on the inside. But what I find most offensive is the treatment of HIV-positive guys who are online looking for most likely the same thing you are. "I'm clean, UB2." -The most ignorant statement most commonly found online.
I get that we all have preferences and I understand that you may think it's easier to just put it all out there, but the truth is, you are offensive and your tag lines are offensive. I get it, not everyone is up to date on HIV education and not everyone is OK with dating or hooking up with someone who is positive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's the delivery in which you choose to respond. Each time I am in a good conversation with someone on one of these apps and it turns potentially sexual, I gear up for the question I ultimately know is coming. On a side note, I appreciate the fact that most guys are asking about status. But what do most of these guys online want to hear after asking? Are they just asking to ask and get it out of the way, or do they truly want an honest answer?
It's almost become robotic for some to just ask and get the question out of the way. But how do you know if your potential partner is telling the truth or just going along with you to get into bed with you? It would be so easy for someone to just say, "yea, me too." Is that all it takes for you to trust them? Are you that desperate to get undressed that a few simple words you know damn well could be complete bull are enough to persuade you? What is most fascinating to me are the responses from these sex seekers to those who are honest with them.
Disclosing to anyone that you are HIV-positive is not an easy task. It takes courage and at times a thick skin, especially when dating. I know that personally, when chatting with guys online, the moment that question is asked, I cringe and tell myself that it's better to just get it out of the way and move on if he's not OK with it. I'll usually respond quickly and then log off for a few moments to continue my pep talk to myself before returning to the conversation. At times I return and there is no response. It's like my honesty doesn't merit a response or even a "no thanks." But what infuriates me are the guys who just automatically block you. I'm sorry, did I say something so offensive to you that you felt you needed to block me? Is my HIV status that repulsive to you? Or are you just a selfish coward who can't properly end a conversation in a courteous way?
It's hurtful when gay men act the way they do online. I'm proud of myself each time I am upfront, honest and disclose my status. It's not an easy thing to do, but I have come to terms with who I am, and I am not ashamed. I don't even feel the need to defend myself or give excuses for my status. Why should I? But it does cut deep when your own community casts you out and looks down upon you. So quickly they forget their history and so quickly they turn a cheek to their brother who was once in their shoes. It's an unfortunate ignorance that plagues our community and as much as I am hurt, angered and disgusted by the treatment I receive at times from my brothers, I hope that they never are faced with my situation.
For My Fellow HIV'ers
On the positive, pun intended, there is an online and soon to be mobile dating app geared specifically for guys like us. Volttage.com offers the same as all the rest with no disclosure needed.