Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Politics and the HIV Tether


I'm not going through any major depression right now - and I am extremely thankful for that.  I do notice, however, that my overall anxiety level has significantly jumped lately.  I already know the culprit:  the election cycle.  Everytime they come around, all things gay get put in the spotlight and we get demonized all over again.  It seems especially so for me on this go around for several reasons.

One, I can't think of a time when our parties were more polarized in ideology.  It feels to me like the right is more extreme and virulent than ever against not only the ones they see as immoral corrupters of society, but the flat out downtrodden.  The compassion deficit in this country seems greater than its financial one.  There's this whole mentality of "they get what they deserve" going on...and it's really stressing me out.

Another thing - and I hate to have to bring it up, but it's related to the above - is some of the fallout from the whole Chick-Fil-A / Dan Cathy thing.  I sided with the boycott but not with the refusal to allow the companies into certain states (because I think it sets a dangerous precedent), but it felt like an arrow to the heart to hear the things so many of the people I considered close to me had to say about it.  Someone who I considered to be among my closest friends said that the subsequent "kiss in" was "thumbing our nose at god".  It's heartbreaking and also infuriating because I would lay money that not a one of these people could tell you from memory where all the passages about the gays are in the bible - nor would they have any defense if I countered them with other bible passages.  The sickening thing is the smugness they have in their position.  As far as they're concerned, they don't even have to look any of it up.  It's not on them.  It just is, and that's all there is to it.  Add to this the likes of people like Tony Perkins - who is doing his best to paint gays and their supporters as dangerous in light of the attempted shooting at the Family research Council...completely sidestepping all the damage that has been done to us by people like him for years upon years.  I try not to let it get me down, but it still does.

And then there's the whole financial aspect of all this - and therein comes the HIV tether.  I feel the urge to get out - like literally go completely elsewhere from where I am - but I feel too stuck both financially and medically to do so.  I'm on ADAP, and one can't just up and jump to any place he wants.  This feeling is underscored each time I go in for renewal (as I just did).  It is obvious - and even vocalized by some of the more concerned employees there - that the state is tightening every which way it can in an effort to push people off the rolls.  To the powers that be it simply means a dollar saved, but what it really means is a life discarded. 

Add to that after my last lay off, I'm living pretty far from any jobs of any substance at all.  The whole thing's got me feeling really stuck.  It's just a malaise, but something I needed to get off my chest.  I'm just increasingly feeling that I want - need even - to go somewhere else.  Start over in as many ways as I can.


I'm glad you posted this.  The election cycle really does increase my anxiety level very much.  And for those receiving public assistance, the anxiety level must be even higher.  I agree the prevailing attitude among conservatives / Republicans seems to be one of contempt for anyone who is receiving public assistance, that such people are the scourge of our society.  So it's open season to vilify them both for political purposes, and because they really believe it.

How else can you explain things like the push to have welfare recipients go through drug tests?  And how come we're not drug testing anyone else who gets significant assistance from the government?  Texas, like other states, doles out millions of dollars each year to corporations they want to attract to the state -- shouldn't we drug test their CEOs?  Why not?

Ditto with the gays.  At election time, we are thrown around like political footballs.  Tony Perkins playing the victim card is just another twist in this pattern, albeit a more dangerous (and brilliant, for their purposes away).  There will be plenty of people who buy into this.  The poor persecuted Christians.  As you said, it's amazing how Tony conveniently omits any damage his group is doing against gays.

I'm sorry you feel stuck.  I think there are various times in people's lives where they feel the need to start over.  The burdens of having HIV -- and especially having to navigate the maze of government assistance -- make that much more difficult.  I think the goal of many conservatives seems to be to make it so difficult and downright shameful to receive public assistance that people will just drop out.

"Compassion deficit" indeed.



@ TIM,  every 4 yrs. they all seem to come outta the wood work are out from under some rock.

I seen this before, it will all pass, nothing to get anxiety over, and nothing to fret about......

to me it's nothing more than silly political rhetoric and the parties trying to get votes

do what I do, read a good book, and turn off the Media outlets, don't worry you won't miss anything......that ole shit will still be there when you turn it back on  ;)

Hell, the American (or should I say 'Murkin?) election cycle increases my anxiety levels too, and I haven't even lived there for over twenty one years. It's so depressing to see what has been happening to my place of birth. The outright hatred is frightening. I worry that it's "catchy" and it's going to infect the whole world if it isn't stopped.

Tim, I don't know what to tell you. I wish I had a magic wand (or won the lottery to the tune of some 140 odd million pounds - over $200,000,000 - like some couple in Scotland recently did) that could bring all the stuck people like you to live over here where the majority of people still have compassion and people with illnesses are looked after.

Better yet, I wish I had a magic wand that would change things where you and every other shat-upon people live. I cannot comprehend the inhumanity in the world.

When people like Cathy and Perkins ask themselves "what would Jesus do", how can they answer with a straight face? Jesus must be rolling in his grave. Didn't he allegedly advise people to love one another and look after the poor and the sick? I don't get it. I don't get how so-called Christians can spread so much hate. Is it an illness? It must be. I can't think of any other logical explanation.

Everything you say is true and regrettable.  One thing that might help is to volunteer and campaign for Obama, or if not Obama, then a local government leader who you do like.  Also, any get out the vote and voter registration organizations.

I wouldn't know what do to if I was confronted by daily prejudice or insensitivity, especially if it were my so called friends. Maybe there is somehting you can do about the bible bangers who hate gays, and are so lazy about their biblical sourcing.  Think up of about 5 really clever responses to christian gay hatred and commit them to memory. When you get a christian hate bomb thrown at you, you'll already have a protective feeling response, even if it doesn't do much to change their opinion, you'll feel protected by their smug bigotry.
If a friend said something like that, I think I might say "More than 100 years of scientific research proves evolution and I personally feel the world is a beautiful place, miraculous yes, ancient, and not created by god as described books and religions that are only a couple thousand years old.  You're my friend, and I respect that you find comfort and meaning in your religion, but it is teaching you hatred, fear, and ignorance about the world . hot very Christian.  And your mind is smaller because of it."


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