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Warnings that HooBoy May Close the Message Center


alanm
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Hey, I love the Message Center, but I read on a posting that

HooBoy is so upset he may close it down. Somone (not necessarily

me) needs to put some perspection into this discussion. The

Message Center is a forum to gossip and have fun about many topics, mostly escorts. But there is a whole wild world out there

called real life. In that world, young African American males are

being infected by HIV at an alarming rate. Noted columnist Andrew

Sullivan, who is HIV positive and a right-wing moralist, has

admitted to having a web site which he uses to attract those who

like himself enjoy bareback sex. Like many others, I've lost many friends to AIDS. I understand that the above subjects are not what this site is all about. We need sites like this, but I

am hardly going be silenced by threats to close the Message Center.

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Guest Esc_Tracker

Er, what does any of this have to do with HooBoy's unhapiness with the message board? You have lost me. You think HooBoy should put up with all these personal attacks, all the negativism, unpleasantness and pettiness on the board because AIDS is out there? Or are you saying that the fact that AIDS is out there has fortified your resolve to the extent that you will still be e-mailing to this address even after the message board is closed down? Or is it your impression that HooBoy doesn't want AIDS discussed (which would be news to me)?

 

Esc-Tracker

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Guest Tampa Yankee

I originally posted this in the Deli thread "The Overated and Underated awards!" where this subject arose but since alanm saw fit to start this thread in the Lounge I thought it fit to post it again in this venue.

 

 

deej,

 

"The "something" which must be done that you mentioned may end up being the closing of this message board. It will be a pity. It will be a loss of a very valuable resource. But I fear it will happen, and soon".

 

That would be a geat loss and very unfortunate for most of us. And the most unfortunate aspect (in one respect) is that it would hand these malcontents the very victory they seek which is at the least the impairment or at the most the demise of this site.

 

An alternative to closing the boards should it ever come to that (hopefully not) is to make the boards subscription only. I know this will be unpopular, it is with me. But if the alternative is no board, then that puts everything in a little different light. It would mean the loss of some regulars thus a reduced attendance and many fewer new people stumbling in also.

 

The positive side is that violating the terms of service (one of which would be Hoo bashing) would be (after one warning) termination of access without a refund. Those few determined to bash would then have to decide how many new screen names and subscription fees they wanted to burn to get their repeated one note message aired and for how long. (It would also reduce the number of mutiple personalities too and the fee would be unnoticed by those who alerady contribute to support the site.)

 

I don't like this idea at all but I like the potential alternative much less.

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Guest bottomboykk

It's a moot point now that Hoo has opened up the message center for tried and true posters, with moderation only for the newbies.

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Give me a break! You know exactly what I'm saying. Getting attacked goes with the territory when you have a website forum.

There are a lot of gay-related issues out there to get upset about, getting attacked on a website means nothing in comparison.

All of us have likely gotten verbally attached often in our lives, but to respond by posting a message calling the Message Center a cellpool is some thing a child would do. So let the other attacks from Hooboy's fans begin.

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Guest Tampa Yankee

alanm

 

> So let the

>other attacks from Hooboy's fans

>begin.

 

So, does this mean that you are not a fan??

 

>There are a lot of gay-related

>issues out there to get

>upset about, getting attacked on

>a website means nothing in

>comparison.

 

In comparison to what?

 

There are a lot of issues out there to differ over, gay and otherwise. But as several others have pointed out on occasion, there is no need to be disagreeable in order to disagree. (I know I have suffered lapses myself but I work at it :-) )

 

What is uncalled for is the attitude that is frequently dished with the argument, and the unkind words that usually accompany it. Hope you don't consider this an attack. :-)

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Thanks to Daddy-in-Training it doesn't look like we're going to go there.

 

(I bow to Daddy!)

 

And, like you, I'd hate the paid membership approach because we wouldn't stumble on valuable newcomers.

 

I suspect this new arrangement will be GREAT for this site and I'm very thankful that Daddy finally kicked enough ass to make it happen.

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>Thanks to Daddy-in-Training it doesn't look

>like we're going to go

>there.

>

>(I bow to Daddy!)

>

>And, like you, I'd hate the

>paid membership approach because we

>wouldn't stumble on valuable newcomers.

>

>

>I suspect this new arrangement will

>be GREAT for this site

>and I'm very thankful that

>Daddy finally kicked enough ass

>to make it happen.

 

 

AlanM is beginning to sound a bit like Chicken Little...however, he thought the sky was falling and it actually opened up. I don't blame Hooboy for being upset at what has happened. I probably would be too if it were my board, but I think Hooboy enjoys this more than he hates the BS, otherwise he wouldn't have opened the boards back up.

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature may speak falsely or fail to give answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered: Doctor.....WHO?????"

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Guest Bitchboy

Noted columnist Andrew

>

>Sullivan, who is HIV positive and

>a right-wing moralist, has

>admitted to having a web site

>which he uses to attract

>those who

>like himself enjoy bareback sex.

 

First of all, I am far from a right wing moralist, and while I have many issues with Andrew Sullivan, he is no such thing either. He is decidedly conservative in his politics, but is an open gay man who supports such non-right wing moral issues as gay marriages and gays in the military.

 

The point is people should be careful about what they say - some idiot might believe it. Andrew Sullivan has never admitted to having a website devoted to barebacking. That is so irresponsible to say such a thing. He has admittedly said he has screen names in which he has advertised and looked for other HIV positive people who wish to engage in barebacking. That is a far cry from a website as alanm described. While I wouldn't participate in barebacking with anyone - positive or negative - I certainly don't think what Sullivan is looking for sexually has the negative, ominous implications that this poster implies.

 

Again, I am not a fan of Andrew Sullivan. I have met him and heard him speak. He is not an enemy to gay people. In my opinion, he is a bit politically misguided.

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I learned today in the "cellpool" that the message center and the Gaiety ARE ACTUALLY ALREADY CLOSED. The site we are looking at is a Martian attempt to learn the identity of people who are interested in escorting!

The Gaiety dancers are not real. They "materialize" when a human shows up, and can change their form to look twinkish, hunky, or stupid as the customer desires.

You heard it here first!

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For the most part I don't read the threads on which HooBoy gets bashed. One reason is that I frequently don't find them relevant to my interests.

 

Another reason is that I despise bashing of all types. I have never understood the incivility of some people who post here. Every time I log on to M4M, I consider myself to be a guest of HooBoy. It's his house; he paid for it; he pays the utilities; and he's kind enough to keep the door open for anyone who wants to come in. But those who do accept his invitation should keep in mind that they are Hoo's guests.

 

In a civilized society, guests have and accept the responsibility to treat their host with courtesy, kindness, and thanks. HooBoy deserves no less than that. Anybody who questions HooBoy's integrity or honesty should simply stay out of HooBoy's house. They could even open their own house.

 

I couldn't agree more with TY -- as I usually do -- in this regard. There is simply no substitute for courtesy, or civility, or remembering at the very least that, as TY so eloquently put it, a disagreement does not have to be disagreeable.

 

Finally, I second BitchBoy's objections to the potshots at Andrew Sullivan. He is by far the most eloquent spokesman for gay rights of all kinds in the public eye today. Can you name another articulate, highly respected gay apologist who publishes a weekly column in The New Republic? Trashing Andrew Sullivan is nasty and mean-spirited. What he does with his private life is none of our business. As for his politics, unless they changed the U.S. Constitution last night, he still has the right to his views. One may disagree with him -- in fact, I usually do -- but it's then necessary to tackle his ideas, not the man himself.

 

The take-it-or-leave-it, throw-away bloody-mindedness flung about our threads like beads at a Mardi Gras parade is profoundly distasteful. As gay men, we have so much to gain from unity and so little from divisiveness.

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I wouldn't worry too much about 'Closing Soon' notices for this site or even for the message boards. Histrionics are part & parcel of Hooboy's M.O.--and the most recent examples (his extraordinary reaction in the 'Overrated' thread, the brief appearance of the 'cesspool' heading) are merely the latest in a series of childish displays that have marked his webmaster style from the beginning.

 

Those of you who have been coming here that long will remember the many crises that have swirled around him (the Verio disaster, the crashing message boards, the aborted move to NYC, the alleged death-threats) as well as the melodramatic posturings that went with them. In the past two months we've had the Kyle uproar, the BillyBoy scandal, the Billyboy/Stefan Lacoste hairpull, and the 'Matt Replies' mess--all of them bringing down criticism on him, and all of them building to the same old climax: ominous hints that a maligned and embittered Hooboy will simply close down his sandbox and go where he can get the love & appreciation he deserves.

 

Don't bet on it.

 

Hooboy needs this site as surely as he needs the very air he breathes. He would no more shut it down than he would retire to the silence & celibacy of a Trappist monastery. And, as I've said elsewhere, he wouldn't even risk making it a pay-site, knowing full well that it would then become a wasteland, abandoned even by his most devoted current supporters.

 

Speaking of those supporters, who, pray are all the Hooboy-bashers Tampa Yankee is talking about? While I find the shoe to be a perfect fit (thanks, TY!), I look about in vain for brother-bashers. Equally hard to discern are all these multiple personalties Hooboy & friends keep fretting about. Surely I'm not going to bring this site crashing down all by myself, am I? Moi?

 

The notion that a webmaster (especially one whose persona is, shall we say, a tad flamboyant) should be immune from criticism is nothing short of amazing to me. (But apparently not to others here.) It goes without saying that name-calling & other mindless invective shouldn't be tolerated in any exchange of ideas; but why should adverse opinion, when backed up with reasoned arguments, be disallowed--even when it involves the webmaster himself?

 

Elsewhere Esc_Trker & I have had spirited exchanges on a subject that bears directly on Hooboy's onsite policies. But I'd like to think that the worst result of our posts is the strong likelihood that we've put everyone else to sleep. (We DO go on, you know.) Yet he and I have been able to disagree strongly on quite a few points without any loss of respect for each other's opinion. I think the same may be said of my recent exchanges with Losgatan in his official capacity as H's spokesman. And it seems that the grown-ups around here (Daddy-in-Training must be one) agree that it isn't time yet for Hoo to hand out the paper cups of Kool-Aid to his faithful.

 

In light of all that, I don't see why Hooboy's latest prima donna turn (I never read my reviews/I'll never sing for you ingrates again) should cause any special stir. Nor do I think that there will be any dire consequences to his being criticized by me--or anyone else.

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I actually like Sullivan and enjoy his writing. But, I need to defend my remarks about him. My information about his personal bareback site is based on a long story in this week's New York Magazine. If your point is that I should have done more research

because some of the facts in the story are wrong, that is valid.

But, Musto in the Village Voice also referred to the "Sullivan Scandel." Sullivan was very hard on Clinton during the Lewinsky affair. He has been fairly liberal on some gay issues, but his claim to fame is that Sullivan was the gay conservative editor of The New Republic. I hope I am wrong about Sullivan soliciting

bare back sex for himself, but I don't believe I am.

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Guest Theron

I originally posted this in the Deli in the Over Rated/Under Rated thread when discussion of the message center croped up. It seems related to this thread, so I am posting it again below:

 

Hi Guys :-)

 

The message center closely resembles usenet groups, and the threads in listserv's (e-mail based discussion groups). While I am new to the message center, I do have a great deal of experience with the previously mentioned groups. I've taken the time to read many of the threads and postings in the message center. Any time a large group of people come together, on a usenet group, listserv or message center, to exchange ideas and opinions about sometime that interests them, certain dynamics come into play. Based on my experience, I do not think anything out of the ordinary is happening here. In my opinion, HooBoy has created a forum that is valuable and benefits a large group of people. I would be very surprised to see him "cave in" and shut it down, especially when I realize it is successful, and operates within the same standards and dynamics of other groups of this nature. I do not believe he would do that, although I could be wrong.

 

With regard to "Hoo bashing," it is always painful when someone bashes you. Even more painful if you are working hard to do something positive, as HooBoy is, and then someone comes along and takes a swipe at you. Please try and remember, when HooBoy created this site he took on a huge responsibility. The site has quickly become one of the more visited web sites for people who have interest in escorts on the Internet, today. People, who have real feelings and earn their living escorting, are greatly affected by this site. As an escort, I can tell you, if you are doing your best to provide a valuable service to people and someone comes along and takes a swipe at you by posting a bogus negative review, it hurts. Hooboy's advice to that escort would be to take it with a grain of salt, and respond, and do it with grace. My suggestion concerning HooBoy, and negative comments that are directed towards him in the message center, would be the same. The fact remains, HooBoy, because of the type of service he is providing, and its ability to impact the lives of others, is going to be open to a large degree of both praise and criticism. While I do not know him, personally, my perception is that he is not a fragile man. I think he is equal to handling both the praise and criticism. In fact, since he has elected to take on this project, I feel he has a responsibility to the people, who benefit from it and who are affected by it, to do precisely that.

 

Has anyone stopped to consider, all this speculation about the fate of the list by people who become offended when someone does say something negative concerning HooBoy, may very well be a factor that greatly contributes to the panic of the possible closing of the message center. I've not been here long enough to know, but has HooBoy ever said he is considering closing the message center because he can't take the criticism? Could this just be speculation?

 

I have shared my opinion about why I believe HooBoy will be open to a large degree of praise and criticism. I believe it is just part of what goes along with the responsibility of running the site (it would happen to anyone who took on this responsibility). I have also stated I feel HooBoy is equal to handling it, and has a responsibility to do that. Now, I am going to make a final suggestion: when people make comments directed at HooBoy, perhaps, it would be best to stay out of it and allow him to handle it. If he needs our help I am sure he will ask for it, but one thing is certain: those who like HooBoy and those who do not can equally fan the flames, and cause it all to grow much larger than it is. There are legitimate and illegitimate reasons why someone may praise Hoo for the work he contributes, and why others may have grievances. Maybe it is just time we all accept that reality, rise above it and allow him to handle it.

 

Hugs,

 

Theron

Based Out of Chicago

http://theronb.homestead.com/files/home.html

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Have I mentioned lately that one of my heroes is P.T. Barnum? He was able to bring a lot of color to a lot of drab lives. But, of course, he wasn't perfect, so a lot of people bashed him. He was one of those people who could open up the sky and allow us to fly! He may have had one or two humdrum detractors, who look in my minds eye like the bah-humbug men on the insides of old cigar boxes or on coughdrop containers. But, somehow, if he had taken me for a little, I think that, just like Baron Munchausen, or Harold Hill, or the Rainmaker, if I really looked at it I would have felt that the ride had been worth the bumps.

 

Consider this fireworks! I am so happy.

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Guest Bitchboy

Alanm, you continue to misconstrue the facts - at least the facts from the horse's mouth. You now say you hope you are wrong about Sullivan seeking out barebacking sex for himself, but that's not what you said in the earlier post. You implied that he admitted to having a website promoting barebacking. That is completely untrue. Wherever you got your information should be stated at the time of the post - if you got this from New York Magazine then that is what should have been said - not that Sullivan has admitted to such a thing. This is what people do all the time, and it is so unfair to the wholeness of the people being subjected to the treatment.

 

You say you are a fan of Sullivan's writings, etc. Well, once again, I am no fan of Andrew Sullivan, but I do feel he's an important voice in the gay community and has and will add much to the fight for equality and justice in our community. And while I am not a conservative gay man, I am totally opposed to innuendo and rumor when it comes to such an important subject as freedom for our gay brothers and sisters.

 

For those interested, here is what Andrew Sullivan had to say on the subject of his barebacking - it comes from his website and is in response to what he sees as a campaign to discredit him, one perhaps started by Michaelangelo Signorile.

 

Sexual McCarthyism

An article no-one should have to write.

 

The fact that I am writing this sentence is surreal. The background is pretty simple. A while back, a gossip thread began on a gay chat-site which claimed that two unnamed people had engaged in some sort of "sting operation" to expose details of my sex life. These anonymous posters claimed that I had an alias AOL screen-name which I used to meet men, and that I had once posted a personal ad on a website dedicated to unprotected sex. These rumors were then used by several politically hostile activist-writers, who openly avowed a hatred for me, to target me for alleged hypocrisy. The tenor of the thread, apart from its melodrama, can only be described as malicious. I haven't read much of it for obvious reasons. Individuals vied with one another to write an early obit of me, excoriate me for my political views, despise me for writing anything constructive about president Bush, and expostulate about any conceivable sexual permutation that could be gleaned from the alleged ads. I will quote only one source from this thread to give you a flavor. It's directed by one of the contributors to one of the instigators: "Really bring Sullivan down like only you can. Destroy him in every way, ruin him financially, make him commit suicide or something, this hypocrite has to be brought down."

 

This sounds somewhat extreme to most ears but it is something I have become used to now for the better part of a decade as I have offended some of the orthodoxies of gay politics. Here is a short blurb from an email sent me recently: "Everyone knows what a hypocrite you are, from your sexual behavior - care to talk about your pronouncements about barebacking, you fucking liar? This also applies to your pronouncements about your supposedly getting HIV from oral sex. You are a fucking joke of the highest order. And I think it's time that some newspaper took you to task for your lies." From a crank? No, this email was sent to me by the editor of Bay Windows, Boston's leading gay paper. Michelangelo Signorile, the author of this week's cover-story on me in a New York gay paper, LGNY, sent me an instant message two weeks ago, telling me that I should think twice before I "attack gay people" again if I wanted my private life to remain private. I think a fair assessment of these tactics would be blackmail and intimidation. I ignored them as I have learned to ignore most such threats over the years. To answer them is to give legitimacy to the very premises of their argument: that the most intensely personal details of someone's private life can and should be used for political purposes. The truth is: no-one's legal, consensual, adult private life should be plundered and exposed for political purposes.

 

I ignored the requests for comment because there was nothing to comment on. The only sources presented were anonymous. In so far as these anonymous sources claimed to have met me in a gym to confirm my identity, I can only say I have no memory of any meeting of that kind with anyone. So I was asked to confirm a story presented anonymously, the only salient details of which I believed to be untrue. Why should I answer? I waited for someone with an actual name to come forward and accuse me of something with evidence. Nothing. Mere anonymous rumors.

 

Why should anyone in public life be forced to respond to such things? What, after all, was McCarthyism? In the history books, it is described as a method of political intimidation where someone is accused of something allegedly shameful, not told who his accusers are, and forced to respond. This seemed to me to be a text-book case, updated for the Internet age: the high-tech lynching of an uppity homo. The only shred of credibility to the story was the columnist who championed it, Michelangelo Signorile, a man who has waged a vicious vendetta against me for the better part of a decade for reasons only he can explain. I felt then and I feel now that any response to this kind of thing legitimates a sexual McCarthyism I find repugnant and evil. This is not just about me. Millions of people, gay and straight and bisexual, use the Internet to chat, meet, hook up, find dates, and on and on. Many of them value its privacy and anonymity ­ qualities that are particularly cherished by gay people often hounded for their sex lives, and threatened with exposure, blackmail or petty gossip on a daily basis. Many of them use the web as a way to explore fantasies and fears as well as find simple company and solace. These gay men now need to know: the Internet is not a safe space. A poisonous segment of the gay activist world is policing it for any deviators from the party line. First, they came for the closeted and outed them. Then they came for openly gay people who had sex lives they deemed hypocritical. Then they came for openly gay people of whom they merely disapproved or disliked, and used that as an excuse to raid their private lives for anything that could be used to embarrass them. The rationale is simple. There is no privacy. You have no right to a personal space. If you do not toe the party-line, or if you simply rub one of the activists up the wrong way, you risk being outed in the most personal manner imaginable.

 

These tactics, however, didn't seem to alarm much of the gay media. A small New York gay paper, LGNY, ran the story under Signorile's by-line, again with anonymous sourcing. I had assumed that no responsible paper would publish something based on this sourcing, citing anonymous personal ads that no longer existed, if they ever did, ads that could have been put up and taken down by literally anyone in a matter of seconds. There was and is no way that the details of this story could have been reliably checked. But the paper, LGNY, published anyway. Yesterday, I arrived back from the holiday weekend to calls from several media outlets and a posting on Jim Romanesko's MediaNews website, one of my favorites, and a site that made many of my professional peers, including my boss, aware of the rumors. This morning, the New York Post has run a lead item, after a perfunctory phone call to ask me if there was any truth to the story. This is what journalism now is. More inaccuracies and salacious misrepresentations have followed. I now sadly have no alternative but to respond to the accusations, which are as misleading as they are malicious.

 

It is true that I had an AOL screenname/profile for meeting other gay men. It is true that I posted an ad some time ago on a site for other gay men devoted to unprotected sex. Both personal ads were anonymous; both were designed to find and possibly meet other gay men who are HIV-positive. The motive for doing so was simple. For a few years now, I have tried to date and have sex only with other men who are HIV-positive. I am scared of infecting HIV-negative men; and I believe that sticking to men who are HIV-positive is one step I can take to avoid contributing to this epidemic. I have never hidden this fact; indeed, as Signorile was forced to concede, I have even written about it in my last book, where I describe the relief of finally having real sex with an old friend who was also HIV-positive. Hypocrisy? When I have written about it in a publicly available book, published five years ago? Has any other openly gay man actually written about their own unprotected sex so explicitly? The hypocrisy charge, as even Signorile concedes, is ludicrous.

 

Why would I pick personal ads rather than just meeting someone in a regular fashion? Because, oddly enough, it's hard for me to meet men easily. My mini-celebrity often gets in the way of getting to know someone naturally ­ and personal ads avoid the whole problem of preconceived notions of who I am and what I'm like. It's also hard to know whether someone is HIV-positive when you want to date him. To be honest, I got tired of waiting for a second date to ask the question about HIV status, only to go back to square one. I found that putting on my AOL profile that I was HIV-positive was a way to get past all that. Even Signorile concedes that I was as open about my HIV status in these ads as I could be. The reason I posted an ad on the second website was because an HIV-positive friend of mine told me he'd met some cool HIV-positive guys from there. I figured what the heck and filled out the form and posted the ad. (In the process, it seems that I have accidentally outed myself as bisexual. I must have checked the wrong box by mistake.) In retrospect, I should have realized that the lurid nature of the site could be used against me and fueled any number of crazy scenarios in some people's minds. (Signorile has even openly speculated I have been involved in bisexual orgies!) I was naïve and foolish in this respect, but since the ad was completely anonymous, I thought I was secure from mischief. I'm not a paranoid person. I was also under the mistaken impression that privacy still existed.

 

This is the extent of my alleged sinfulness, the sole reason for the publication of intimate details of my private life. The question I am required to answer is: is this reckless? The answer is an unambiguous no. I don't think it's reckless to entertain Internet fantasies using an anonymous ad. It's a lot safer than non-Internet sex and millions of people do it all the time. I also don't think it's reckless if you are HIV-positive to seek other HIV-positive men to date or have sex with ­ and to be open about your status while you do so. I don't think there are many people in America who are more open about having HIV than I am. I didn't have to disclose my infection publicly five years ago. I did it to help myself and others. To make absolutely sure there was no misunderstanding, as Signorile concedes, I was quite clear in the ads that I was HIV-positive seeking other HIV-positive men. If every man with HIV followed these rules, we'd have far less HIV infection. For this, I am deemed reckless. The only thing reckless about this entire affair is the "journalism."

 

What about "reinfection"? Signorile argues that it is possible for someone to be "reinfected" with HIV, generating new strains that could possibly worsen or possibly ameliorate your health. I am aware of this theory and the slim reed of research it is based upon. I have discussed the issue with my doctors, and my current boyfriend and my last boyfriend, both of whom are HIV-positive. Again, there is space for disagreement about this question, but to me, the evidence seems weak and hypothetical. But whatever the genuine, scientific issue here, the question of whether to abandon condoms in sex between two self-disclosed HIV-positive people is a decision for those two people alone in private. It is no-one else's business. No-one's. I have no intention of discussing my sexual life in this respect, but I would strongly defend the right of adult people with HIV to make their own decisions on this basis. I certainly see no reason why an outsider has any right to attempt to expose such private matters in order to try to subject another person to ridicule and shame. It is a tactic worthy of J Edgar Hoover. It is deeply, deeply homophobic. It is abhorrent in a free society with any pretense to a zone of privacy for people, or any respect and compassion for people living and dealing with HIV.

 

But in the most important respect, this story is not about me. I know I'm not a hypocrite. Anyone who has bothered to read my writing with any care knows that as well. I know I'm not a moralizer. Anyone who has ever frequented this website will know that much. But even if I were a hypocrite and moralizer, that still wouldn't justify this kind of journalism. I am not an elected official. I have broken no laws. I have told no lies. I have voluntarily exposed my private life in often painful measure in my writing to advance what I hope is greater understanding of homosexuality, and HIV. I am not an angel, but I have never pretended to be one. What possible justification is there for removing the last shred of privacy I have? To be sure, I have opinions with which many people disagree and which I express with as much pungency as I can. But if that is the standard for violating the most intimate details of someone's sexual life, then who is now safe? Where will they stop? What standards are left? This "story" was fomented clearly by malice. It was spread anonymously. It was propagated by someone who made no pretense about his political loathing of me, and who has devoted a large part of his career to attacking me. It had and has no named sources and did not even rest in the end on some alleged hypocrisy. Yet within a couple of weeks of anonymous Internet gossip, it is in the mainstream press and I am required to respond. Something is rotten here. Privacy, simply put, is under siege.

 

One last thing. If these activists believe that they can intimidate me from writing and thinking freely, they are mistaken. I know they do not represent most gay people or even most gay activists. But their malice is real and their intolerance is as great ­ perhaps greater ­ than anything on the far right. I wish I didn't have to respond to them at such length, but in the end I had little choice. If I didn't, any member of a minority who dares to think for himself or herself will be fair game in the future.

 

This is the last I will say or write on this subject, so save your media calls and emails. I think I have addressed all the salient appropriate questions about public issues of privacy and sex. I see no reason to say anything more. If you are a reporter and want a quote from me about the details of my sex life, feel free to use the following: "It is none of your business."

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I really appreciate BitchBoy's lengthy response about Sullivan.

It's a welcome change from the average postings like, "Will I

become friends with my favorite escort?" However the best comment was "perhaps HooBoy will close down Andrew Sullivan's website." And you can always count on Rick Munroe for just the right witty comment to break the tension. But back to Sullivan... I've now done the background reading that I should have done before posting the original message. Since Sullivan and

Signoreli are mortal enemies, I would tend to dismiss some of what he says out of bias. But, Sullivan is a polarizing figure,

a status that he likely enjoys. Whether or not anyone can prove that Sullivan had, or is having, unprotected sex with unknowing

partners only time will tell. But, virtually every one agrees that Sullivan was unwise and insensitive to publish the article "When Plagues Ends" in the NY Times Magazine. The plague

hasn't ended for millions of minorities, but perhaps it has in

Sullivan's circle. By posting that ad on the website, Sullivan

left himself open for ctitical comments. BitchBoy seems willing to take his statement at face value and move on. If Sullivan were

not the party involved, one could speculate that Sullivan himself would jump into the argument pro or con.

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Guest Bitchboy

>BitchBoy seems willing to take

>his statement at face value

>and move on.

 

Not at all, alanm, and I'm sorry you see it that way. What I objected to was the statement that Sullivan had admitted to something he did not admit to. Don't you just hate it when someone makes a blanket statement about you that is not true?

 

As you say, if Sullivan is having unprotected sex with unwitting partners, that would be extremely disturbing as well as criminal. But if that is the case, until we know it, to state it as a fact is also extremely disturbing.

 

The last thing I ever expected was to turn out to be an apologist for Andrew Sullivan, a man I mostly disagree with. But because I do disagree with him, I pay attention to what he says. Like you, I think the plague article in the New York Times Magazine in 1996 was a mistake. I have no doubt that Sullivan believed it at the time, but we know that know plague has ended and he seems content to let his words stand. That is something that angers me greatly.

 

I would say I identify with the far left wing politically; however, I do despise how this faction, as well as the Christian far right, deride and demonize those they disagree with. We still don't listen to one another, and this is a shame.

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OK, Will let's discuss Andrew Sullivan's article in the New York

Times Magazine entitled "When Plagues End." As you recall, Andrew

Sullivan's main theme was that the HIV plague had been changed significantly by medical advances (the cocktail). Many people

pointed out that Sullivan's view represented the life experience

of a middle-class white male with good health insurance. I agree, Sullivan's article failed to consider the large number

of minorities without the benefits of the middle class. I was

careless in describing the facts in the Sullivan bareback sex

story. You were right to correct me on that. Sullivan and Michelangelo Signorile are professional writers who make their

livings by sometimes stirring up controversy. That's fine, but Sullivan, in particular, has been known to change his opinion and eloquently change sides without mentioning the change. In other words, neither Sullivan nor Signorile are particular heros to me. Finally, I fail to understand your comments about curtesy at all costs to HooBoy. Of course, he deserves credit for setting up this site, much credit. But, did you think that cesspool posting by HooBoy was a sign of his curtesy? It's been my experience that the less the moderator of a site injects himself or herself into the discussion the better the site works. Yes, curtesy is an end we should all strive for, but you are turning it into a minor religion.

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