Like those guys who repress their sexuality for the ‘straight’ life of wife, kids and IKEA flat-packs, it can’t be healthy to imprison such a storm.
“Closely-imprisoned forces render and destroy”, is the quote from Charles Dickens I learnt in sixth form. Unfortunately, there are powerful reasons why a guy might keep his diagnosis private.
He fitted an ignorant man’s HIV stereotype: he was a ketamine-sniffing rentboy, living with a sugar daddy in West Hampstead.
When I asked him how he paid the rent, he snorted and replied: “My ass.” He was also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
He’d never once mentioned his status, and I’d assumed he was negative. Huddled together in the corner of a shrieking pub full of whiskey-soaked drag queens, he confided in me a status he’d told no one. He’d read an article I’d written online and had assumed I was positive too.