It’s been harder and harder to write, to journal out my frustrations but recently I have come to this realization, I don’t feel as though I can trust these hiv organizations or people partnered with them or those who push agenda’s because the more and more you wake up, the more you read the more they tweet you see that it’s lacking. I got on twitter to be more connected to those out there who are more connected to all things hiv. I happened to be completely on board until I came across a tweet about Michael Johnson getting probation, it was amazing I could believe it, he had been through so much 6 years gone and so much had happened in that time.
U = U campaign, there were so many things to be excited about until I saw who’s name was attached to the article it was Steven Thrasher. I don’t like him, and his headlines gave me reason enough to not enjoy anything he wrote pertaining to Michael. He would always start his headline with his online name Tiger Mandingo.
I was pissed that so much clout was being given to a journalist who referred to Michael as Tiger Mandingo and shared a photo of that same name. I never felt like he humanized him not once. So I spoke out and felt as though I got reprimanded by an advocate none the less I really respected. The problem I began to have with that is that this advocate referred to him as an ally. That made me feel stabbed, and attacked because now Steven had white backing and that is hard to fight when it’s been established.
You may feel why does that matter, it does because Michael is the name of the wrestler who got himself in a situation in a state that doesn’t care about people with hiv, despite the best efforts of some good advocates to advance better living and better comprehension for health with PreP, it just wasn’t available in Missouri the laws also were not different or changed in hiv criminalization because the message has changed and the science to go with it.
Yet how people treat people of color has not changed, reports from Poz.com brought out how people of color gay and bisexual alike are behind with the coverage they need and are unable to adhere to treatment because they are poor but I found this out later. I am mad because instead of a journalist who covered Michael’s story addressing him by his name, not Tiger Mandingo, he branded him, to that name. Even up to his release he still called him by that name, and people did not care, they didn’t even have the respect to correct Thrasher. Instead he is being lauded as something amazing because he covered this story, as though black people don’t have enough to deal with when it comes to bad perspectives. It’s eye opening of who will get support and who won’t. I thought something about these organizations about these advocates I shouldn’t have. That they are decent, that they would have had respect and would have been open to seeing that how a person is presented in the media matters, but they just don’t care. I had to see an interview about Steven Thrasher not once was he called out about how he headlined Michael and why he chose to repeatedly call him by that name. So I need to step as far away from anything hiv related as I can, because it hurts so much to see a black man who has less of a chance when hiv is put in the mix of getting a fair shake and all I see are the people who will promote anything in front of them.