Britney was there for me when my father and stepmother sent me to rehab for being too gay. Her personal struggles before and after the ensuing years helped me as I readjusted back to school and into college. I didn't care if she shaved her head. I just wanted her to be okay and yes, just wished everyone would leave her alone.
As gay and bisexual men, it can be overwhelming -- and in some cases, downright exhausting -- to keep HIV at the front of our minds and on the tip of our tongues. But talking about it, with a friend, a doctor or a potential partner, can ease our anxieties and potentially change our thinking and our actions for the better.
The politics of respectability in the black community may not only hinder us from acting and engaging in the constructive protest, lobbying and collective action needed to create a more just society, as it has with respect to the Ferguson protests, but it may also prevent us from simply being and living freely.