Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 21, 2017, 03:55:55 AM

Login with username, password and session length

  • Total Members: 31667
  • Latest: Kaz86
  • Total Posts: 721012
  • Total Topics: 58485
  • Online Today: 297
  • Online Ever: 1421
  • (August 13, 2016, 05:18:44 AM)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 271
Total: 271


Welcome to the POZ Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Happy Halloween  (Read 1034 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Joe K

  • Standard
  • Member
  • Posts: 5,820
  • 31 Years Poz
Happy Halloween
« on: October 06, 2009, 11:40:15 PM »
We have started our annual quest, spending hours combing through various stores for just the right costumes.  I have always enjoyed Halloween, but after meeting Stephen it took on a new significance.  He's a Drag Queen, so he brought a new zeal to dressing up and we have elevated it to an art.  We enjoy morphing into something each year and constantly amaze our friends with our zest for the holiday.  But my enjoyment of Halloween has another darker side.

As I dress each year and labor intensively over my makeup and wig, I almost become giddy, because I am able to transform into someone or something else, at least for that night.  My makeup and costume serve to shield the world from what I have become.  My costume hides my skinny and vein-bulging legs.  It covers my extended belly that I gained from PIs.  And for one night it helps me to forget the physical destruction that HIV and the drugs have wrought.

My greatest enjoyment is having the makeup cover my sunken cheeks and eyes.  I am not, by nature a vain man.  I have been blessed by genetics in that I enjoy good looks, but HIV has taken a horrible toll.  Over the years I have watched my face and body change, with each change being a little more severe than the last.  Where I once possessed beautiful characteristics, I now see both the ravages of time and of my disease.  I suppose it is fortunate that I am not overly vain, because otherwise I fear this destruction would be insurmountable since there is a world of difference in taking pride in one owns appearance and vanity.  Actually I find vanity rather laughable, because one is taking credit for the luck of the genetic lottery.  However, I do want to maintain the looks that I have been so fortunate to acquire.

Except that it has proven not to be.  I suppose it is because of all the friends that I lost and how I watched HIV ravage them, up to the bitter end.  When I lament my loss of beauty, I need but think of others.  Friends who have had to endure shunts, ports and feeding tubes, just to maintain their health.  Or those who lost their teeth or eyesight to this disease, yet carried on valiantly.  I am reminded of those who dressed to hide their KS lesions.  And the countless others who have suffered the loss of physical attributes, but through it all, they each retained both their dignity and humanity and by doing so, their beauty.

For even as I lament my loss, I take solace in the peace that my body changes have provided.  Which is rather odd, when you consider I am part of the gay community that often values vitality and beauty over substance.  Through the years, as I witnessed the change in others and myself, I began to appreciate the adage that “beauty is only skin deep, it is ugly that is to the bone”.  I became capable of looking beyond the body and seeing the heart or soul of a person.  Where I might have worried about looks, I was now concerned with that person’s health.  Where I might have worried about what others thought, I was now only interested in my friend and how they viewed the world.

I once possessed a rather shallow view on the world, which has changed to seeing the real beauty in life.  To enjoy the sparkle in someone’s eyes, regardless of the state of the body, remembering that the eyes remain as windows to the soul.  Learning what is truly important in life and making friends, not based on how they looked, but based on the caliber of their character.  Understanding that beauty in a person is not what you see, but what they are.  I have been fortunate to know some of the most beautiful people to have ever graced this planet.

Each time I become distraught, regarding my looks, I revisit my past and everything comes back into perspective.  I remember what is truly meaningful in life and bask in the incredible life that I enjoy.  I never need to look any farther than Stephen, to realize how fortunate I am.  Yet, when Halloween comes around, I still get giddy, because for just that night, I get to forget some of my loss and play pretend.  What I enjoy most about Halloween is that I get to morph into this year’s fantasy, without losing, what I know is truly important.

Happy Halloween

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,122
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 08:49:24 AM »
I love Halloween. I'm right there with you.


  • Member
  • Posts: 281
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 09:01:09 AM »
WHAT A GREAT POST,I LOVED READING IT!!! i have loved HALLOWEEN evet since i was a child  and  i love getting in costume and going out to the gay strip whether it is in DALLAS,HOUSTON,AUSTIN,NEW ORLEANS,OR JUST BACK HOME IN SAN ANTONIO.I used to feel embarrassed that i looked forward to halloween so much but now i just enjoy it totally!!

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,095
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Happy Halloween
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 05:33:20 PM »

I hope we get a picture of whatever you decide to turn yourself into for Halloween!

And... while I did not know you pre-HIV -- I think that you look pretty good (not too many men that I know could have pulled off that leather kilt you wore in Boston), we are so often are own worst critics!

I'll be away for halloween, so no costumes for me.

Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2015 969/28% <20


Terms of Membership for these forums

© 2017 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.