*UPDATED: Transcript of entire Twitter stream below*
On Twitter, we are each others' witnesses, one tweet at a time.
Chris MacDonald-Dennis gave new meaning to that Tuesday night when within two hours -- firing off 100 tweets in succession, totaling some 2,100 words and chronicling the narrative arc of his 40-year-old life -- he came out as HIV-positive on his Twitter stream. It was timed for World AIDS Day. MacDonald-Dennis, who is openly gay and openly HIV-positive, is dean of Intercultural Affairs at Bryn Mawr College, near Philadelphia. In the middle of his Twitter feed, shortly after finding out that he was positive, he wrote:
I went through a range of emotions: anger, sadness, fear. I remember brushing my teeth and my gums bleeding. I burst into...
tears knowing people would be afraid of me
After sharing the pain of growing up in a violent, difficult home and the taunts that went with being "a sissy in a place that did not allow sissies" -- neighborhood bullies sent him to the hospital at age 9 -- MacDonald-Dennis recounted the night he had unprotected sex with Rick, his former boyfriend who ended up infecting him. He tweeted:
I remember when he did not put on a condom. I wanted to say something. But I was afraid that he would leave
That void I described stopped me. I was more afraid he would leave than protecting myself