Coming out can be one of the more stressful things in our lives to do. Hey mom, dad, I'm one of the alphabet soup people… TQGQLIBA. But some of us have to come out for a second time, but we are regulated to just three letters, HIV.
Last week, Conchita Wurst felt she needed to come out for a second time before someone else went public about her HIV status. I wanted to share the Austrian drag queen's story and why she felt she was forced to reveal her HIV status. She shared it was all because an ex-boyfriend threatened to tell all.
The Google translation of her post in German reads:
The 2014 Eurovision is not a newbie when it comes to being in the spotlight but she also seems like someone that is in control of her destiny. She stated I “will not give anyone the right to frighten me or affect my life.”
We all need to claim power over our own lives and not give it away to anyone or let anyone try to steer us down the wrong path.
Wurst further explained that she hoped her decision to go public helped “lessen the stigmatization of people who have become infected with HIV.”
One of my good friends just recently wanted to talk about coming out as gay to his family and then his coming out as HIV+. He said that the second time he came out to his family was so much more emotional, worse, difficult. Being gay, well, he knew he was not wrong with that, but being HIV+, he felt that he let his family down, that he did something wrong, that he was ashamed. It was a powerful conversation, but it was more so just me listening and thinking how hard it must have been compared to the "I'm GAY" speech. He knows now that he does not have or hold onto any personal shame about being HIV+, but back when he came out, actually for both times, the world was quite different.
And it is people, well-known individuals like Conchita that with her actions, she is removing yet another layer of that stigma some people feel regarding AIDS/HIV.
No matter which three letters G-A-Y or H-I-V, we should not drop our heads. No matter what LBTQQIAA label or category or none of the above, we need to retain our own power.
Thank you Conchita for being a powerful human being and showing us that we are in charge of our lives, we have the power over our own lives, and we have the power over HIV.
Have you had to come out twice? Once for your sexuality and once involving your status?
Which one was more difficult?
We do have straight readers as well. Have you as a straight person had to come out because of your HIV status? What was that experience like?