Relationships, Dating, and Disclosure
One thing I definitely have learned from Jaz, is we cannot control what love looks like or what package it comes in. I have also learned that her positive status doesn’t have to get in the way of us enjoying each other. There is so much I have learned about her journey into womanhood and I have been able to teach her the same about my path into my manhood. Before Jaz, I thought I knew what it was to be trans, but I have learned we all have much different journeys from person to person.
No more did I concentrate on men who only wanted me in the shadows and in the midnight hour. Luckie was teaching me that as a HIV+ trans woman of color I deserve to be love and treated with respect. We have been very successful with PrEP In our lives, it’s helped us maintain Luckie’s HIV- status. I hope by sharing our different love paths to each other, we can inform the community that love has no fear when it’s love leading the way.
My name is Nestor Rogel, I am 27 years old and I was born HIV positive. I live in South Central Los Angeles, and have been advocating for people living with HIV for many years. Being a single heterosexual cis gender man in Los Angeles is difficult. Dating and disclosure have taken on different meanings in my life.
I had eventually hit my bottom, where I had to get into treatment. At that time I had a beautiful healthy son. I completed a drug program, got my own place and was in a new relationship. I decided to get tested because my significant other and I wanted a baby. I found out that I was HIV-positive.
Every child learns and grows at a different pace, I know back in the day kids grew up a lot faster and weren’t coddled as the ones today. I don’t think my daughter quite understands the gravity of the virus and what it comes with, the doctors, the stigma, the friends and family casting you out, mostly because of ignorance, so, when I think she can wrap her head around it is when I’ll discuss it with her.
One of the few things I’ve learned in life is that if you stay positive and constantly ask the universe, eventually you do get what you want, which in this case, is exactly what happened.
My son was a different story. I just felt like it was too soon for me to tell him my status. I was hoping I could teach him about it and then let him know sometime after that.
The same year as my diagnosis was the same year I was accepted into law school. I am now a licensed attorney and as of writing this piece, have been with my partner (who is HIV negative) for the past 6 years. We are also the proud foster parents of our 18-month old daughter.
Now comes the snag, we are having difficulty due to the fact that Donna needs fertility medications to help us have a baby. Our insurance does not cover it; the most we could afford was a visit to a fertility doctor, to buy treatment for about 9 months, plus two follow up visits. So far we’ve had no success.
Needless to say, I’ve had a few ups and down over the course of the past 16 years, but my daughter is the reason why I get out of bed every day. I consistently think about what I can do to improve her life and be there whenever she needs me.
My own fear and ignorance led me to believe that I wouldn’t be able to be able to have children and that I was unworthy of love. By educating myself about HIV, disclosing my status to trusted family members and friends and engaging with my community I learned the value of my own life.
I have been HIV positive since 2007. Two months after I found out I was positive, I had my baby. He is now nine years old and is HIV free.
Finding that special someone can be a complicated enough process without adding HIV into the picture. When I was diagnosed it seemed like an unfathomable possibility to find someone who would accept my status…
When I heard the words “You are HIV Positive,” in June of 2012, time itself seemed to have stopped. It was as if I was seeing my whole life flash before my eyes and I was a simple bystander on the sidelines left with no control of the situation but to watch.
It seems like “everybody and their mama” is doing or has done some type of “top ten” list about this thing or that thing… These are just mine. 🙂 So here goes…10 things you need to know about families affected by HIV.
He says that if it weren’t for Facebook, or for him becoming HIV positive, we never would have met, so maybe HIV was a blessing in his life.
I was in jail, and had decided to get tested. I knew that my girlfriend at that time was living with HIV and we hadn’t been taking precautions.
We quickly rekindled our romance and naturally the subject of his HIV status came up…