You call me ‘promiscuous,’ I call you ‘dishonest,’ a poly person tells the average person who believes that monogamy is the only natural way to love.
You call me ‘denialist,’ I call you ‘believer,’ a dissident person tells the average person who believes that HIV is the only cause of AIDS.
When you call AIDS Dissidents by their own name you exercise leadership in the sexual freedom movement.
Alternative lovestyle communities ignore AIDS Dissidence at their own peril.
From private conversations
It’s the Holiday Season and G’s classes are almost over. “This is when the exciting part of my work begins,” she tells me on the phone. “Why?”
“Well, in this case, for example, I have to fend off all the accusations of ‘denialism’ my latest book earned me. I get to be called ‘radioactive’ by those in my own community, my fluid-bonding tales get mistaken for irresponsible behavior, and the political dissidence I present in relation to health science, immunity, and infection gets mistaken for some kind of generic denial that AIDS ever existed or that it affected our queer communities at all.”
“You got yourself in trouble again, G,” I respond. “I can’t leave you alone for a minute and you manage to stir up some controversial mess around yourself.”
“This time I really didn’t do it on purpose,” she replies. “It was upon me before I knew it and I actually got tempered by last year’s events and handled it quite well.”
“Good for you,” I say. “Are you sure you don’t need any help?”
“I need lots of help, and I’m getting it, many are coming to my rescue. And you can pitch in as well.”
“Tell me what it’s about first.”
“OK. Well, you remember last year when Poly Pride invited me to read in
, at Greensocks Bookstore, from my memoir Eros? I had contacted the store first, then a whole panel of poly writers came together. And, on the spur of the moment, I decided to read from the chapters where I describe my shock when I first heard that the cause of AIDS was still uncertain, that clouds of doubt were gathering on the official hypothesis, and that when the brunt of this impacted me, I could not get any sleep for two nights and felt a bit like a philistine, wondering when I had stopped asking questions?” Bluewich Village
“Yeah, I remember how humiliated you felt when you were told that the organization would publicly distance itself from the content of your reading, and then realized it went well beyond that, publicly decrying you and branding your works as dangerous to civil society and public health.”
“Right, and I also felt very bad, because, in the same way that I was shocked when I first heard about the International AIDS Dissidence Movement, several people in the audience were shocked as well--some were speakers that day, and had lost close relatives to AIDS. And obviously I realized that my choice had ruined their day. I got a vague sense of how long it would take for the community to even begin to metabolize the content of what I read. And I was mostly concerned about taking attention away from the keynote speaker of the day--who was especially hurt--with the effect that the mutual admiration we had for each other’s work all of a sudden evaporated as we became positioned on opposite ends of the controversy.”
“You were especially concerned about her. All right, then what? Is this all?”
“No, no, of course not, there is a lot more to the story. Are you interested? Ready? Tell me if it’a a good time for us to talk.”
“Sure, now you made me curious--go ahead.”
“Well, a whole profusion of email apologies ensued after that day, including mine. The main accuser was never heard from in that context though. I did feel the brunt of public humiliation for a while, until a Poly Leadership Summit was organized and I participated. The whole episode was not touched upon again directly, even though, I felt, it was an undertow of tension below the surface.”
End of Part One, G Tale # 5
End of Part One, G Tale # 5
Disclaimer: This Tale does not constitute medical advice in any way. Readers are invited to consult their own healers and health care providers.
References: For scholarly and scientific references to contents and theories referred to in this dialog, refer to Gaia & the New Politics of Love, whose bibliography lists all sources involved.