December 2006


My Living History

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. Thankfully AIDS/HIV has not been a personal problem—but it has affected two of my relatives. One of whom died from HIV related illnesses in 1997, the other is alive, living with HIV.

In a strange twist, a few days ago, I decided to engage in one of my occasional web searches for the first guy I slept with—back when I was an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming. Unfortunately due to the vulgarities that come with being a closeted gay in Wyoming, I lost touch with him. He was a Wyoming bred Cowboy type—the kind that a lot of people have fantasies about.

Ok, I am embellishing a bit: the truth is that he was in the closet and not just could he not find his way out, he didn’t want to find his way out. At the time, I was in the closet (no comments from the peanut gallery) slowly starting to stick my head out (even if everybody else already knew).

The “relationship” worked, driven by need rather than anything else. As one might expect it was temporary, working until it didn’t work, and then it was over a few weeks later.

I’ve occasionally tried tracking him down on the Internet—using his name (a quite common name) to see what was up. Truth be told, I used to be grateful that each time I read the Casper Star-Tribune or Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, that I did not find his name on the obituaries page. It was all too easy for me to believe that this guy might commit suicide because he is gay.

So after I found him—or a person likely to be him, I learned that he’d moved far from Wyoming. The profile I read matched his age and a newspaper article with his name mentioned some facts about the guy that ring true to me. The most impressive related find to this was the fact that the guy in question works for a state-wide AIDS prevention organization as an outreach worker—a rather nice return to the starting point of this entry.

I can only hope that he has come to terms with being gay and out.

Oddly enough, there is an email address attached—but I will restrain myself. For now, some things are best left undisturbed.

Note: The basic idea of this entry is true; most facts have been muddied, and if you are the guy, feel free to contact me.

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