The breathless, lurid speculation for weeks until Charlie Sheen stated in an interview today that he is HIV-positive -- and his revelation that he spent millions of dollars to keep the news quiet, extorted by several individuals -- proves just how far we have to go in talking about HIV and in battling the stigma surrounding it.
After first refusing to confirm or deny it, the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met with the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, where Davis's attorney -- who made the news public after the pope's trip ended -- said Francis told her to "stay strong." We don't yet know all the details of how the meeting came to pass, but the optics of it are bad no matter what. This simple encounter completely undermines all the goodwill the pope created in downplaying "the gay issue" on his U.S. trip. The pope played us for fools, trying to have it both ways. He's an artful politician, telling different audiences what they want to hear on homosexuality.
We claim we want to be treated equally as gay people, but then, in 2015, with much more acceptance in the culture, we still ask for special treatment of gay and bisexual public figures while every aspect of the sex lives of heterosexual public figures is dissected every day. We can't have it both ways any longer.