First, I want to say that in some respects I am an Andrew Sullivan fan. At his best, he is an articulate spokesperson and a brilliant writer. On more than one occasion, he has obliterated gay rights opponents on television, helping to advance our cause. As an openly gay man living with HIV, Sullivan has also accomplished the remarkable feat of starting a wildly popular Blog with a sizable conservative following. For this, he deserves nothing but respect and admiration.
Unfortunately, his hypocrisy and irresponsibility often run as deep as his enviable talent. Sullivan has crossed the line, once more, with his breathtakingly reckless column in the Advocate Magazine where he glamorized HIV and made it seem about as burdensome as a hangover.
"I have never felt better. HIV transformed my life, made me a better and braver writer, prompted me to write the first big book pushing marriage rights, got me to take better care of my health, improved my sex life, and deepened my spirituality," writes Sullivan, in his typically persuasive prose.
Wow, what an advertisement for the bug! Where can I get that HIV? Sullivan makes it sound more like a panacea than a pathogen. The disease suddenly comes across as highly desirable, if not intoxicating - like a blissful combination of Viagra, Spanish Fly, Prozac and Ecstasy all rolled up into one. TO READ MORE CLICK HERE
Andrew is such a jerk. I can't beleive that he has said such crap. Let him go to the right and see how much they love him.
I think Sullivan is the best thing that has happened to our community. He is a man of reason and he is just telling the truth, as usual. Compare him to the liberal icon Larry "Crazy" Kramer. I know who I would rather have representing me.
Yeah, that crazy Larry Kramer, trying to actually save gay lives. What a bozo.
So, Judd, are you in line for your life improvement treatment too?
posted by Anonymous, at
6/23/2005 3:30 PM
I am not a fan of Andrew Sullivan's work, for the most part.
I have long been a huge fan of Michelangelo Signorile.
However, Signorile's "screed" against Sullivan makes me more than a little uncomfortable. It is reminiscent in tone of the right wing's "what'll we tell the children" campaigns to prevent any talk of sex at all.
As a gay man with AIDS who has been living with HIV for over 20 years-- sometimes well, sometimes not-- it has been my experience that most men in the gay community want nothing to do with men who are infected. There's a real divide between gay positive men and gay negative men (and those in denial). Signorile's message, while noble (protecting the young people), is also damaging to relationships between positive and negative men. His attack-- despite the fact that he was attacking Sullivan-- feels personal (and I have nothing in common with Sullivan except HIV).
I can't speak for Sullivan, but sex (after 10+ years of antiretroviral therapy) is the last thing on my mind. I do, however, miss the feeling of community I used to experience with my gay brothers before I became "expendable."
And I'm sorry-- if most of the time I'm not scary enough for your prevention campaigns. This is why I hesitate to do AIDS education any more-- they always seem to want me to tell my "HORROR" stories about living with this TERRIBLE, DEVASTATING DISEASE. Hate to be a disappointment, but I'm focused on trying to find the positive in my life-- not be a walking AIDS prevention advertisement to scare the young. What I might end up saying is, "I feel old before my time-- and tired." Is that scary enough?
It is possible that Andrew Sullivan doesn't have an agenda here-- he's merely trying to live his life with grace and acceptance (and publishing articles in The Advocate that would perhaps be more appropriate for a personal diary)?
As for bare-backing-- as long as it's with other positive people-- it's no one else's business!
To Andrew: stop writing these silly articles! Your experience with HIV-- if true-- is atypical!
To Michelangelo: lighten up! If you think Andrew seems to be sending a dangerous message, then construct your argument and present it without personal attack. Your current style gives the impression that you are attacking all of us (although I am certain that's not your intention).
posted by syd, at
6/23/2005 8:23 PM
Of course his sex life has improved! He barebacks with other POZ men and doesn't worry about condoms breaking anymore.
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