I really hate to have to write this particular edition of the off-the-cuff Sunday remarks I make before I get to a roundup of questions of formspring.me. But some stuff this week has made me decide I need to draw a line.
One of the reasons I keep making my journal entries available on a public blog is that I like the interaction with the readers. I enjoy hearing from the guys for whom some of my stories resonate, or who get a measure of strength or even guidance from some of the advice asked of me. Guys write me to tell me their stories, and share information with me that they feel they can't tell anyone else. That's a fucking honor. I love that.
What I don't particular love are the nutballs who come out of the woodwork and make things a misery. I'm used to them personally, with the nasty little comments they make in the middle of the night—none of which make much sense on any logical level, but apparently serve as some kind of outlet for the clinically mentally ill to release some of their anger and frustration, trolling for some kind of reaction.
Where I've got to draw the line, though, is when the trolls start emailing others of my readers and harassing them. I've had it happen twice this month—once around the time I was moving, when someone started targeting commenters who had provided links to profiles with addresses, asking them all kinds of questions—had they met me? Did they know if I was for real? Why were they commenting on my blog if they hadn't met me? I took care of that matter privately.
Then this week, another fellow with the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org started sending some pretty vile emails to one of my readers I'd met. He said that it sickened him how I cheated on my wife and how I was lying about my serostatus, was HIV-positive, and probably had infected my reader. The writer went on to imply that I had infected him. Then he stated, in a way that made no sense whatsoever based on the previous statement, that he really wanted to sleep with me. Then he pumped the reader for personal information about me.
Let's overlook the fact that the guy is making a lot of assumptions about me that say more about his fantasy life than my actual, real life that I chronicle in my blog. Let's just move on to the fact that the vast majority of my readers are going to have more allegiance to me than to some random poison pen. My reader naturally forwarded on the correspondence to me with a what the fuck? attached. I wrote the freak and asked him to desist, at which point he backtracked and attempted to convince me that he hadn't been talking about me, but the behavior of gay men in general.
No, sir. You were pretty specific. You just didn't like to be called out.
So here's a general statement I ask all my readers to consider. If you are a reader of this blog who has an issue with it, or with my behavior, simply don't read me any longer. It really is that easy. Unfollow me. Remove me from your feed and bookmarks. Go somewhere else you find more pleasing. Or if you wish to engage in a dialogue about it, write me. Don't go bugging my readers, whose only crime is reading and writing the occasional comment.
Furthermore, what really upsets me is how obsessed this individual—and other such individuals who've targeted me before—is with my serostatus. The fact that he stigmatizes persons living with HIV really disturbs me more than anything personal he has to say about me (he might as well say I have cooties, for all I care). The mentality of Mr. Dudebud_ is the same as that as the fellow who wrote in a question demanding a vial of my semen to test it for HIV (and I suspect they may well be the same person). The intent to shame someone based on their HIV status betrays small-mindedness and a huge degree of ignorance. It demeans the experiences of people living with HIV and AIDS worldwide. It demeans the experiences of many of my friends, lovers, readers, and family. More than anything else, that makes me angry.
I won't tolerate such small-mindedness in my comments or in emails to me. And I definitely won't sit still when someone goes out of his way to harass my readers with it. I have a new basic rule for interactions here in the future that won't affect more than ninety-nine percent of you, but here it is, stated for all to see: Don't be a dick. Simple as that.
Some of you will probably disagree with my decision to print the guy's email address here. But here's what my late mother used to say: if you don't want your dirty laundry hanging for everyone to see, don't come over and shit on my sheets.
Now, let's get to some questions.
How often are you tested for stds? (no malicious intent)
Regularly. Beyond that is only the business of myself and my immediate sexual partners.
You've talked in the past about concerns over men who don't or can't see how attractive they are. It seems to be a common thread, even in your more recent entries. Do you have any suggestions on how men should go about recovering their self-esteem?
If I had the answer, I'd have overcome my own self-esteem issues!
A lot of my personal frustration with men who don't understand the gifts they have to offer the word arises from the persistent way in which they deflect compliments or attention to their positive attributes. Reflexive it might be, but it's a rude instinct that not only dishonors the compliment, but both the person who gave it, and the gifts that the guy has been given in his life.
Basically I'd like to shake some people and tell them to take the fucking compliment. Acknowledge it. Say thank you for it, politely. Don't try to explain why one doesn't deserve it, or why it's misapplied, or why the giver of the compliment is misinformed or too ignorant to appreciate why the compliment was wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead, try to understand what the person admired to begin with, and accept that perhaps it really does apply.
And yes, I include myself in the list of guys I want to shake, from time to time.
LOL@ Steve Buscemi playing Jim. What did Earl see in Jim? He sounds awful.
It's difficult for an outsider to speculate what makes someone's relationship last. It could have been habit. Earl might have stayed with him out of fear that Jim would blab about his activities. He might have kept Jim on out of obligation, or guilt of what he'd made of him.
Or they might've actually loved each other on some level. If that were indeed the case, I wasn't astute enough really to see it, but I was only a kid at the time.
if i was tied up, naked and left on your doorstep.... what would you do :)
Throw a blanket over you and notify the local authorities, most likely.
The hairier the better?
Not necessarily. I like hairy men. I like smooth men, too. I don't limit my attraction to a guy based solely on a genetic inheritance over which he has no control.
Is there anyone, famous or not, that you would consider switching teams for? If so, who?
The question in which I'm more interested is who, celebrity or not, is considering switching teams for me.
Do you have any piercings? If so, above or below the neck?
I do not. I've considered it below the neck, though. But needles frighten me.
Have you ever regretted anything you ever posted online?
Not photos or anything of that sort. There've been a few times I've gotten upset and regretted posting angry words in various places—but not so much because of what I've said, as for letting myself get that upset to begin with.
I really want to see a pic of your ass. Not spread eagle or anything, just a nice pic. Do you have that sexy little patch of hair on your lower back? -J
No, I don't believe I have that patch of hair. My butt--what there is of it--is nothing special, trust me.
What's that one food you hate so much that its very sight or smell makes you sick?
Cooked liver makes me queasy. I overthink where it's been.