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Author Topic: "I am outed"  (Read 12840 times)

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Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
"I am outed"
« on: July 29, 2006, 12:07:02 AM »
Well, I figured it would happen, but not this way....

I use this site to stay mentally fit.. I will occasionally go online at work for short periods and read.  Well I didn't close the browser and a fellow associate clicked on the minimized aidsmeds....   Well,  I was not here when this happened and my boss who knows about my status advised the associate that this is Eric's business and that this goes no further.  Well,  I doubt that's going to happen..  I am bit petrified.  I let those who I trust and who understand what it is to be +ve know my status..  All I need now is to be part of a rumor mill.  Why am I frightened??  I just am...  I wish I had my Clonazopam today...  Crap!
 :'(

Offline Eldon

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  • Posts: 2,664
Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 12:29:18 AM »
Hello Eric, it is Eldon. We are all here to help you stay mentally fit. There are a lot of people who go online at work and they DO read for short periods of time, in fact some of them are on the site all day. Now one of your co-workers decided to go over to your desk and be "nosy as hell" to see what you are reading all of the time.

You were not there when this happend and your Boss intercepted him/her and told them that that was your business. Well, I am used to the workplace where runor control has none some time. Are you afraid the "nosy as hell" co-worker is going to start a rumor in the workplace?

If so, act completely normal like nothing is going on and IGNORE the bastard child who was getting into your business. You DO have your boss to cover your steps but he can't control the mouth of your co-worker. If the rumor starts, by all means don't get defensive at all, just handle it accordingly. Go to your Boss.

How did your Boss find out anyway? Just relate to him the outcomes and just take a wait and see attitude, the damage has been done. Hell, when I was working, I used to chat all day when I had the time to. Hope this helps.

Keep us posted and if there is anything you need let us know.

Offline AIDS2HIV

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 12:32:48 AM »
sounds like the perfect oppurtunity to experience some growth from disclosure...

Why run from this? Especially since your boss has proven his stance is right there beside YOU. when you have HIV, you have 2 choices....sink or swim. Trying to float only leads to sinking. Accept your "self" and what others think wont ever matter. You are the one who has to live in your skin Eric, no one else does, make that skin comfortable for YOU and no one else* Good Luck & God Bless
Its the future of Hiv Education, and Resources www.aids2hiv.com      Got Community?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 12:36:22 AM »
Sadly, a person's HIV status can easily become a poorly-kept secret once it's out. That's probably why disclosure of any sort is a dangerous thing. Can't un-ring that bell.

All I could suggest is that you hold your head high and not let anyone think for a moment that you have anything to be ashamed of. You don't.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline lydgate

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 12:43:11 AM »
I'm sorry Eric. Not being able to control who knows your status -- and even before one year has pased -- is just plain sucky. What's your opinion of this associate? Sounds like you don't necessarily trust him/her. Do you know the person well enough to talk to him/her directly, and explain just why you're wary about having your status become public? That you're not ashamed but that being "out" about being poz brings a lot of complications with it, and you want to take things one step at a time? But I guess even if the associate gives you his/her word, there's a good chance that he/she will find the temptation of whispering this bit of news to a few good friends too much to resist.

You might care a lot less in a few days and shrug it off, and let things take their course. Remember, your job is not in danger.

You could also make a general announcement, pre-empting the rumor mill. Take extra clonazepam for a few days.

You might also be surprised, if The News (as I call it) becomes public, how understanding and supportive people can be. The jerks will always be jerks, but they might be a teensy minority.

I remember reading a post from you, maybe six weeks ago, in which you said that in the small town where you live there are no secrets, everyone knows everyone etc. I guess I took that too literally, and assumed that you were "out" about this.

What does William say?

Not that this will be a consolation, but essentially the same thing happened to me. The population of the town in which I live is 60,000; there's one gay bar. I go there occasionally on weekends. Two or three times, going home with a guy, I had The Chat. The immediate response was surprise, then gratitude -- "Wow, thanks for being so honest, man!" I also said that I'd like this information to remain private. "Sure!" Of course, in a few weeks, several gay men knew. One guy came up to me (I know him in a different context) and said, "Sorry to hear that you're HIV positive." I hadn't told him. And he'd told several of his friends, assuming that "everyone" knew. Ouch!  In a way, after a few days, I was grateful: the whole coming out thing had just happened without effort on my part (I'm a lazy bugger); and it did mean that, if I were to go home with someone, I wouldn't have to have The Chat all over again.

Hope you have a good weekend, Moose, despite today's developments.  :-*

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline otherplaces

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 02:55:47 AM »

I would suggest confronting the person.  It is of course up to you.  But this could be empowering.  In my early experience most people are insanely fearful and weird about HIV.  Walking up to the person and saying, 'I understand you divulged some information about my health while looking at my computer.  I think I need to discuss this with you.'  Explain the ramifications of disclosure, as well as the illegalities if it applies in your state or country.  And I'd also tell him that if he's told anybody he has a responsiblility to inform you who he has told.  It will put fear in his heart to be confronted this way.  People are SO uncomfortable talking about H I V!!! He'll want to crawl under a rock.  (I assume male...could be female).

I've had some problems with my friends disclosing my status on their own accord.  I believe I have kicked them into line explaining the various reasons I keep this information close to my chest currently (health insurance).  But I also tell them they can be fined $5,000 dollars for every disclosure w/o my permission (godbless the liberal democrats in IL).  I have a feeling I scare them to death to even confront them with the issue. I think they feel I am weak and beaten now and are shocked to see that is not the case.

Just some thoughts.

brian

Offline Joe K

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2006, 02:59:19 AM »
Hey Eric,

Like it's not enough you have HIV, you have assholes for coworkers who snoop in your office.  While the damage might be done, you may want to take some steps to protect yourself, depending upon the type of company you work for.  To be covered under the Americans (with) Disabilities Act your employer must know of your status and if your boss is the owner, then you are all set.  If not, you may want to talk with Human Resources the first thing Monday morning to get some advice.

I hope that this proves to be no more difficult than a rumor, but you must protect your own self interests.  I would also imagine that your state has some form of law that prevents others from disclosing your status and if so, you should print out said law and leave a copy on "Mr. Snoopy's" desk first thing Monday.

I believe that being outed is not a form of disclosure, rather it is a form of abuse.  If you feel strongly about not being truly outed, then you need to be proactive and if that entails talking to this guy and telling him how, you will make his life A TOTAL LIVING HELL FROM WHICH THERE IS NO ESCAPE if he ever utters a word, then that is what it will take.

This is your life and no one has the right to dictate how you will live it.  As I said, this is not disclosure.

Like I said, I hope none of this applies to you, but forwarned is forarmed.

Offline Life

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2006, 10:29:47 AM »
Thanks for all your perspectives...  I talked with my boss last night and asked him if I should sit down and talk with my co-worker?  He said "NOT necessary..  I know you have only told me and if a rumor gets started, I will know who started it and will be grounds for termination".   On the other hand, I to was thinking maybe just to sit down with this guy and explain to him my situation....  I have not quite decided what to do...  When I went to work today (there) that associate and me were talking about weight lifting and stuff and everything seemed fine.....  I have two vantastic bosses that really look out for my best interests. The boss who intercepted the associate "clicking" knows "the law"  (law inforcement) very well.. 

Jay, I am hiv out to those who I care about.. But at work, I am just out as being gay.   I really did not want to excelerate my status... I was quite comfortable up until yesterday.  BLAST!   

Thanks for the responses... I am going to think about this today before I go back to that job...  Ie.  That associate will be working with me tonight....

Thanks again,  I feel better..  But a bit nervious...

Love

Offline Trish

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2006, 11:30:06 AM »
Hi Eric,

It sounds like you have some really great bosses who are willing to protect you and your rights. That's a HUGE plus... so I wouldn't worry too very much.  The thing that would trouble me is this nosy associate... people like to gossip.  Personally, I would talk to this individual.  I'm not certain what I would say, but I would hold my head high and talk earnestly with him/her.

I really don't have much to offer other than my best wishes for an easy, painless end to this predicament.  Keep us posted.

All the best,

Trish
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Life

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2006, 12:09:32 PM »
Trish....  To let sleeping dogs lie... I am not one for that.  In my rational mind, I need to go and talk to this guy and have a sit down...  I am actually his supervisor as well...  Otherwise, I think I will just think about this forever..  I am trying to come up with a good way to approach this in a very disarming manor.   I council people all the time, but this is sorta the reverse for me... 

I will hold my head up high and I am very proud of who I am..  I just would rather others feel the same way about me and not feel ashamed, scared or frightened to work with me...   

I have learned alot over this past 24 hours about disclosure and being careful about how I get my support, when I get the support, and who I get the support from.   I for one know,  I would be at my wits end without all of you helping me guide my way through all of these feelings...  Maybe I will put my picture back up now instead of the stupid "Moose" thing....

Love Always and Thanks!

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2006, 12:19:38 PM »
I am actually his supervisor as well... 

WELL THEN!  ;D He WILL know to watch his step with this whole thing, if he's smart!!!!!!!!!!  ;D

I think Joe's advice is excellent

Hoping the best for you sweety (as always)

Luv,
Alex

Offline Life

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2006, 12:38:23 PM »
Thanks Alex... I am not one to make threats on anyone.. My diplomacy skills will be in full swing tonight...  I feel I am going to talk to him and maybe I can build another bond.... Christ, this is like when I came out to my parents not knowing what they would say....   I will let you all know how this works out...  Then, I am going to buy highspeed for the home and just log in there and only there... My 24bd connection really sucks using this site!! lol ;D

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2006, 06:06:38 PM »
Well I did it......

I took my co-worker out to the park and asked him about the conversation he had with my Boss.  Basically, he said that this was Eric's business and that it goes no further.  He said "it hasn't".   I then explained to him that you must have questions about that site you pulled up?  He said initially yes, but later not really.  I then told him about being hiv +ve and what I have been dealing with over the past year.  He then started to tell me about his initial scare himself about being positive and going through immigration and he said he was scared for 4 days.  We hit it off.  I told him that I would appreciate this being between us three and that I have no plans on dying anytime soon.  He laughed and said thanks for letting me know...  So,  this is a first, I have come out to a co-worker..   The code of ethics in my department (Security) are pretty ruthless...  I hope he decides to keep this quiet as he said he would.  If he doesn't, at least I have been honest and open to him about my status...... Another weight lifted....

Good advise you all!!!!  Thanks again.. I can go about my stuff now....  The "Moose" is history! :)

Offline lydgate

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2006, 07:32:53 PM »
 :)  :)  :)  :)  :)
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2006, 12:33:35 AM »
Hello Eric,

Glad things worked out for you !! I think I would still be very cautious about using the puter at work though. Bosses are bosses for a reason, no matter how tight we may be in with them , they have a job to do.

I guess what I am trying to say is , if one employee finds another using the internet for something other then for work purposes, what prevents other employees from doing it also. and then eventually that friendly boss has to step in.

Our computers at work are monitored, they know exactly, where everyone goes to. in fact in our employee handbook, it states that using the computer for anything other then work related issues is grounds for immediate termination. But of course, some company's can be a little more lenient. I would still use caution... For me it is never worth the risk.



Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline otherplaces

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2006, 02:03:52 AM »

Congratulations Eric.  It sounds like you handled this extremely well, and I'm glad you received a positive response.

take care,
brian

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2006, 07:29:52 AM »
Hi Eric

At least you know he knows, and he knows you know he knows. Litigation should be a last resort and it may just make things even more public.

I would like to sue  the NHS ( National Health Service) here in England. My first HIV specialist left a message on my home landline answering machine after my first clinic visit. I gave express instructions to call my cell phone but that's doctors for you. She never said HIV exactly but left her name and said my readings were OK but I need to book another appointment. Unfortunately unbeknownst to her my flatmate also worked for the health service like me. He had seen me fall very ill and lose weight in the previous two years. He would have easliy been able to search her name on the NHS intranet and confirm where she worked.

He must have done this as two days after telling me to check the ansaphone he staggered in drunk as a skunk and demanded I move out asap. He even wanted me to put my dukes up and have a fight in the living room. I laughed. He made some bullshit excuse about staying up too late with the TV keeping him awake, not doing the dishes often enough and even the sound of the tap disturbing him when I brushed my teeth at night. This was despite him asking me to move in three years prior, after a mutual friend vacated the second room and bought a place nearby, we never argued at all and got on very well.

I could see it in his bloodshot eyes that this was bullshit. What annoyed me even more was that he prided himself on being very politically correct. He marched against the second invasion of Iraq, read the very liberal Guardian paper and was a vegatarian (Like Hitler). When I said I could not just up and leave he threatened to call my NHS boss, who was already bullying me into quitting (Perhaps he had guessed too) and telling him about a spent train fare evasion conviction I got ten years earlier, in order to make me lose my finance job. Blackmail in other words.

So I got a mortgage, without payment protection as I was poz, and eventually bought my own place just across the road. The little fuckhead even ended up moving out two weeks before me as he bought his own place. So I need not have moved out anyway. He could have at least told me he was looking to buy too.

In the end I left my well paid finance job and struggled to make payments. I'm doing OK now but it has been hell in the meantime.

Now I wonder who else he has shared this leaked piece of info to. I wonder about all our mutual friends. Maybe they dismissed it seeing as I'm not gay and all or ever taken IV drugs. But I could have done without it. I have also been strangely rejected for many NHS jobs since. I even started one but was asked to leave after only two days when I did not even have full access to computer systems and therefore had a chance to show my worth. My boss did mention at interview that she personally knew a guy from my old workplace. The one I was at when I fell really ill years earlier. Mere coincidence? I really wonder. A guy at my support group (Now sadly departed) said it would be naive to assume that I'm not 'blacklisted'. The last thing the NHS wants is a poz person looking into HIV/AIDS budgets and querying things.

It just goes to show a persons outwardly percieved politics and their true internal politics can run counter to each other. I guess despite him being very well read and educated he did not want to take a chance on sharing cutlery etc. People are strange.

There is even a rumour that my old flatmate was a latent homosexual and secretly fancied me. He never had girlfriends or made a pass at me but I could see a diagnosis ruining such a crush. I did catch him watching 'Queer as Folk' a few times. Yeah he had issues and I kind of forgive him now. Water under the bridge.

Aldous

« Last Edit: July 30, 2006, 07:39:55 AM by AldousOrwell »

Offline Dachshund

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2006, 07:55:03 AM »
Yeah, I see you watching Aldous so I am going to say this loud and clear. WHY DON'T YOU JUST PISS-OFF. I am sick of you using other people's threads to make your little homophobic jabs. If your old 'flatmate' did fancy you he must have suffered from very low self-esteem. I am reporting you to the moderator's because your agenda is beyond redemption and I am sick of your shit.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2006, 10:31:21 AM »
There are far bigger sharks in this pool than Aldous. He fancies himself a "playa".

He is not.

I say to all the genuine brothers and sisters -- don't let this fellow intimidate you nor take his bait. He shall come to a sticky end. Any thread that he starts is generally ignored. He is reduced to passing nasty remarks in the heartfelt threads of others.

When he replies, resist the urge to respond. Leave him swinging alone. He will, in time, pass into the ether like all the other troublemakers who have attempted to disrupt our family. Above all ignore his efforts to draw you into "debate". It's not debate, it's flame warfare. Therein a ban does lay. No true AIDSMEDS member should be banned because of this <expletive deleted>.

Resist the shit; but love and support those here who are of worth. Which is 99.9% percent of us.

MtD

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2006, 11:07:54 AM »
I see Knee and Jerk the reactionary twins are still stalking me.

It's all true by the way.

The fact that I still shared a flat with the guy shows I'm not homophobic.

I was making an important point about disclosure.

Bye Aldous.

Offline Dachshund

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2006, 11:25:40 AM »
I see Knee and Jerk the reactionary twins are still stalking me.

It's all true by the way.

The fact that I still shared a flat with the guy shows I'm not homophobic.

I was making an important point about disclosure.

Bye Aldous.


Yeah, your truth. Everything you have posted shows different. Your,"oh, poor me I am so persecuted because I am straight," ain't cutting it. You don't have the balls to state your positions on your own. You continue to hi-jack well intentioned threads to whine about how misunderstood you are. You make no points because you have no points.

I speak for myself and warned that I would challenge you at every turn. I will continue to do that...consider me your own personal Southern Poverty Law Center. I tried to be nice, reason with you, extend the olive branch...but all you want is attention. Well, so be it.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2006, 12:21:18 PM »
Aldous,

You think we like doing this? You think this is some silly game for us?

It is not.

For Hal and myself and countless others this place has been a . . . well it's something of such value that we can't put it into words. But don't think that we're going to sit here and let you turn things to shit. We're prepared to go over the edge on this and should we face disciplinary action, well so be it.

For myself, and I suspect for Aunty Doxie (Hal) our honour far exceeds mere membership of a forum. Nevertheless I wager that contributions that we have made to this place far outweigh the small errors of protocol we might commit.

You don't appreciate the depth of community and family that we enjoy in this place, and yes heterosexual HIV positive people are included in that number.

WITHOUT QUALIFICATION.

I note that you're angry at the world, but I and the rest of the AIDSMEDS family didn't give you AIDS. It's not our fault that you've acquired the gift, but it's your responsibility to make the best of the resources that are offered to you.

If you've come into this place to rant at gay men because you think us responsible for the predicament that you now find yourself in the THEN WOE BE UNTO YOU, WICKED SINNER.

We'll gut you like a trout.

But if you'd rather be friends and take part in the family we have here, then I for one am prepared to set aside all nastiness and bitter bygones and call you brother.

Seriously Aldous think about this offer. Matty the Damned does not say things he does not mean. If you want to join us and be of us, then I'll be the first to take your hand and be your real friend. I'm Australian and mateship is taken very seriously where I come from. :-*

I'm going out on a limb here -- take the opportunity.

MtD
(Who is a terrible enemy, but a better friend)

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2006, 12:47:33 PM »
I've posted a less combative and much more friendly thread for Aldous in Living With.

MtD
(Who thinks it's time we resolved this shit in a good way)

Offline Ann

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2006, 02:18:24 PM »

As long as people oblige Aldous with the reaction he is looking for, he will keep posting this kind of stuff.

I certainly hope this is the end of this particular hijack and everyone can get back to the original subject matter of this thread - ERIC and Eric's work problem. 

OK? Thanks.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2006, 09:00:47 AM »
Eric, it's nice to see that good things do happen to good people. I'm so glad things are working out for you. You deserve nothing less. With much respect and Love, Jeff
Positive since 1985

Offline ACinKC

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  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2006, 10:11:42 AM »
Eric.... if you care to share a little more.... HOW'D it go?
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: "I am outed"
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2006, 11:27:33 PM »
Hay AC.... Well It was a long day thinking how I would approach the person who stumbled upon my open account.   I felt since he saw that, and If he saw that he could dig as deep as he wanted to and find all my threads since I travel by my name.  I originally always wanted to be out no matter what... "I dont keep secrets".   So thats why I go by my name, my picture etc.  So, I decided lets say he read all about me....   I have no secrets from him.  I told him about my diagnosis a year ago and it went very well...  Over the past two days now, I have worked with that associate and we have been working fine together....  I am sure one day, people will know I am HIV postive in my work place.  Aspen is just to small a town to keep any secrets.   And there lies that secret thing.  I want to be comfortable enought and hold my head up high and say "yes I am gay, and yes I am HIV" in the work place.   I have a unique position however... I have worked for one company for 18 years and the other for 5 years..  I have been well respected and everyone knows my relationship with William as he is highly respected in our community as well.   

I have a feeling my next step is to talk with HR a bit more and allow them to be more apart of my life... Given the fact I perform my duties very well, I just am in a interesting position.  But for right now,  I am done "coming out" for awhile....  Just want to breath a bit...

I am very happy this went this way.. I am very happy I have two very supportive bosses who know what me and Will are up against.  They are so much in my corner, I can sleep at night..   

I hope this fills you in abit AC..

Love

 


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