I talk about sex. A lot. Much of that is because of my job at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, working with our #BeTheGeneration [to end new transmissions of HIV] campaign. Through the campaign, which I discussed several months ago in this column, we are working hard to end much of the stigma that has surrounded HIV/AIDS since the disease first came to light in the early 1980s. The heart of the campaign is to simply help people get to a place where they can live out, live long, live healthy, and live unafraid.
As a gay man, I’ve spent much of my life hearing people tell me how I should have sex (or why the sex I had is wrong, or why having too much sex made me a “slut”). I don’t want that to be the case anymore — I want people to feel the freedom to have whatever type of legal and consensual sex they want to have — as often as they want to! Unfortunately, when my colleagues and I speak to some people — including many fellow gay men — about things like PrEP (the once-daily pill that is used to prevent HIV), far too often we hear things like, “PrEP is an invitation to be a slut” or “PrEP is the next party drug.”
We’ve shamed ourselves so much about our own sexual desires for so long that we’re afraid to accept something that gives us the freedom to shed all the fears and hang-ups that we have about sex.
Who doesn’t like sex? I know I love sex and am so pleased that all of these tools exist today that allow us to protect ourselves and live unafraid! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more about all the ways you can #BeTheGeneration to help us end HIV in San Diego County and beyond! You can also visit events.thecentersd.org/btg to learn more.