Do you know peopl who are dealing with homosexuality/HIV in private relalationships?

  1. A topic recently came up that just reminded me of some families I know of. I don't know what's going on in this world but it seems like there are a lot of men (probably a misconception but it still seems this way) who suddenly "get in touch with their homosexual side" in their midlife years.

    I know how I feel about this I just wondered about other people. What would you do if you suddenly found out your SO was having (or did have) a gay relaionship?
    What if he became HIV +?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   manna
    I would not be surprised if those who suddenly "get in touch with" their homosexual side may have actually had those feelings all along, and were afraid to act on them because of the stigma associated with homosexuality - both in the past and the present. How many stories do you hear of men who desperately tried to live a straight life, even marrying and having children, while at the same time being in denial of their own desires?

    If my SO decided that he had those sorts of feelings, I would be devastated, but I would send him on his way if he needed something he wasn't getting in our marriage/relationship. While "open" marriage sounds like an interesting idea, I don't think that it would work for me personally (I have a bit of a jealous streak).

    I suspect the prevalence of HIV is not any greater in the homosexual community than in the straight community these days. Anyway know?

    There's yet another stigma - HIV/AIDS is a "gay" disease...
    Last edit by manna on Apr 30, '04
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    First, I think sexual preference/orientation concerns need to be removed when talking about HIV/AIDS. Anyone who watched OPRAH and the segment about husbands and boyfriends "On the Down Low" knows what I mean. People who have homosexual encounters/brief engagements do NOT consider themselves bisexual or gay. I say ----Who cares?

    Remove sexual orientation/preference from the whole equation and just EDUCATE folks about STDs, including HIV/AIDS, I say.
  5. by   manna
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Remove sexual orientation/preference from the whole equation and just EDUCATE folks about STDs, including HIV/AIDS, I say.
    You make a good point. There's certainly nothing wrong with being curious and exploring upon that, but when in a committed and (supposedly) monogamous relationship it should be addressed beforehand.

    I agree, I don't know that sexual orientation really has anything to do with HIV/AIDS related discussion. (like I said, stigma...)
  6. by   Shotzie
    I mentioned the two together in my original post because they are both two very intense, very traumatic issues that are dealt with in some relationships. I daresay that the large majority of people out there do not think that when they are committed in a long term relationship that they will have to deal with the issue of their partner turning to someone of the same sex or becoming HIV+. I think most people think they are "safe" from these issues.

    The discussion on Oprah, (I missed it but it stimulated a lot of discussion at work) demonstrated this issue is devestating and I have known of families that have faced this issue. One wife stayed with her husband who is now HIV+. She says they practice safe sex and they seem to be doing very well, others I have known of have had different experiences. I just wondered if this is a growing trend or is it now just more talked about. What do you know about it?
  7. by   Tweety
    I don't think it's as common as it once was. Here in Florida where there are lot of older people, I've met lots of gays in their 60s who came out in their middle years, because when they were younger it was much more difficult than it is now. Without fail these people said they were gay all along, since childhood and teenage years, but never acted on it or even acknowledged it to themselves.

    But it's not easy for homosexuals in all environments to come out easily when they are young. The pressure from family and society, and their own internalized homophobia causes them to deeply suppress their true nature. So they follow the rules of society and marry and have kids. (Without fail my friends say the greatest joy in their life was the kids.)

    That they come out in middle life means they are sick and tired of living lies, and lying to themselves and others. Unfortunately it causes a lot of heartache and pain for wives and kids. But still it's much more honest to come out in latter life and try to find love and happiness, than to be stuck in a life that isn't right for them.

    This is why I feel it's so important for those us who are gay to be out. To show homosexuals not in touch with themselves that being gay is ok.

    About AIDS, educate, educate, educate. I don't think I've read anywhere that the infection rate for heteosexual partners of adulterous gay men is on the rise.
  8. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    I don't think it's as common as it once was. Here in Florida where there are lot of older people, I've met lots of gays in their 60s who came out in their middle years, because when they were younger it was much more difficult than it is now. Without fail these people said they were gay all along, since childhood and teenage years, but never acted on it or even acknowledged it to themselves.

    But it's not easy for homosexuals in all environments to come out easily when they are young. The pressure from family and society, and their own internalized homophobia causes them to deeply suppress their true nature. So they follow the rules of society and marry and have kids. (Without fail my friends say the greatest joy in their life was the kids.)

    That they come out in middle life means they are sick and tired of living lies, and lying to themselves and others. Unfortunately it causes a lot of heartache and pain for wives and kids. But still it's much more honest to come out in latter life and try to find love and happiness, than to be stuck in a life that isn't right for them.

    This is why I feel it's so important for those us who are gay to be out. To show homosexuals not in touch with themselves that being gay is ok.

    About AIDS, educate, educate, educate. I don't think I've read anywhere that the infection rate for heteosexual partners of adulterous gay men is on the rise.
    did you see that Oprah show that Deb was talking about? it really was an eye opener and i believe that AIDS was significantly increased amongst black african women; their partners were on the 'down low' with other males. i watched that show with my jaw hung open. God, certain parts of this country are SOOOO rigid and judgemental, like our president??? anyway, the homosexuality wasn't the focus of the show but i got the impression that it was the promiscuity with other men, big difference.
  9. by   Gompers
    I really wish the stigma of HIV and homosexuality would start to fade. If I remember correctly, it's young people, especially females, that are seeing a rise in HIV rates. The infection rate in gay males is average or even below average at this point. Honestly the gay men I know practice safer sex than most of my female friends. I will admit that most of them have had many more partners than my girlfriends, but they always use protection whereas in college most of the girls I knew were very lazy about the whole condom thing. They were either too embarrassed to buy them or to ask the guy to use them, so even though they slept with less men than my gay friends, they had a much higher rate of STDs.

    JMHO!!!!!!!!
  10. by   leslie :-D
    that is a factor but there is still a lot of guys sleeping around (obviously w/other guys) and not telling their partners. it's very very scary because i look at my husband totally paranoid now. these men that are sleeping with other men vehemently deny they're homosexual but will not tell their wives/girlfriends about who they're sleeping with. i wonder if they'd be as close-mouthed if they were sleeping around with other women.
  11. by   TweetiePieRN
    If my husband was cheating on me I would most definitely end the relationship! For him to cheat and then bring home to my bed any disease floating out there is just plain wrong and deceitful!! Life is too short to live with someone who does not respect what you have together as a couple. Without trust our relationship would not mean anything. I would be very devastated though, since I love my hubby sooooo much.

    It honestly would bother me more if he cheated with another man because that would reinforce the fact that I must not really have known my husband at all. Also, how could I compete with another man if that is what he really wants? I would be disgusted and disappointed in my hubby if this situation were to ever occur!
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from earle58
    did you see that Oprah show that Deb was talking about? it really was an eye opener and i believe that AIDS was significantly increased amongst black african women; their partners were on the 'down low' with other males. i watched that show with my jaw hung open. God, certain parts of this country are SOOOO rigid and judgemental, like our president??? anyway, the homosexuality wasn't the focus of the show but i got the impression that it was the promiscuity with other men, big difference.

    No I missed that. African American womyn have a rate of HIV infection that has increased. I'm not sure if it's "significantly" as you say, but in this day an age any increase is a crime. I'm not sure however, it's from cheating husbands bringing it home, or from their husbands and male partners being involved in drugs, or even females who are infected, etc. I run the risk of being accused of racist stereotyping here, so I'll stop since I don't have the facts, but during my last AIDS update (which we in Florida have to get every two years), I don't remember reading about men on the down low being a huge problem). While it makes an interesting Ophra show, I think the African American Community has far more worries than men going on the down low, like 25% of their males being in prison, and poverty, etc. (I despise men going on the down low btw).
  13. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    No I missed that. African American womyn have a rate of HIV infection that has increased. I'm not sure if it's "significantly" as you say, but in this day an age any increase is a crime. I'm not sure however, it's from cheating husbands bringing it home, or from their husbands and male partners being involved in drugs, or even females who are infected, etc. I run the risk of being accused of racist stereotyping here, so I'll stop since I don't have the facts, but during my last AIDS update (which we in Florida have to get every two years), I don't remember reading about men on the down low being a huge problem). While it makes an interesting Ophra show, I think the African American Community has far more worries than men going on the down low, like 25% of their males being in prison, and poverty, etc. (I despise men going on the down low btw).
    i don't remember the statistics but i do remember saying "OMG" when Oprah said it. the guest on the show was an african male who just wrote a book. obviously he was someone who came out and he was the one that was stating that there are SO MANY MEN and we would absolutely have no clue. it was just really scary. and Tweety, after watching this show, i have to disagree with you. i think the african american community should worry just as much as the poverty and crime stats. the implications of how AIDS can spread is mind boggling.
  14. by   Energizer Bunny
    Wow...loaded topic. I have to say that if my husband "suddenly" decided he was gay that it wouldn't bother me quite as much as if he had cheated on me with a woman. See, I'm not a man and can't provide for him if he is gay but if he cheats on me with a woman, then I would wonder what was wrong with me as a woman. I would of course be furious if he brought some disease home from whoever it may be.

    I have to agree with others here on many points, including this one:

    manna said "I agree, I don't know that sexual orientation really has anything to do with HIV/AIDS related discussion. (like I said, stigma...)"

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