B.B says, “I’d like to think that I am knowledgeable enough to survive with no worries.”
Don’t judge a banana by its peel… The ugly banana indicates the stigma for real. That goes back to the question I asked you before. What are they more angry about, if you are HIV positive or if you’re gay? The stigma is kind of the same. That’s the basic rule about don’t judge a banana by its cover. It’s still beautiful on the inside. Until people actually do understand we’re actually human beings just like you are. We suffer the same dislikes, the same disappointments. Unfortunately for us, there are way more disappointments than positive.
Toothbrushes… Everybody else in the house is healthy so we get these really nice expensive Colgate toothbrushes, but your life is demeaning or disposable. What do you get, a paper cup and a jailhouse toothbrush or a hospital toothbrush? That’s the epitome of stigma to me. It’s symbolic.
I got my diagnosis and then I had to go to the dental clinic. The assistant or tech did all of the stuff that they were supposed to do and then the dentist comes in. She looks at my paperwork and she asks me, “Are you HIV positive?” I said yes. She goes immediately, doubles up her gloves, goes and gets one of those shields to put over her face. Exactly. She had on two pairs of gloves and she didn’t even want to stick her finger in my mouth. I’m like, if I have to disclose to all of these people that I go see, they should have the nerve to know what the hell they’re talking. That was the very first stigma that I experienced and that’s why it stays so vivid in my mind.
It’s contained… You see the one can is wide opened and the other one has the cover on it. Why does it have the cover on it? Because they are scared your germs are going to get out. The one on the right is contained. Anything that you may use they’re going to put it in that trash can with that cover on it because they don’t want your germs to get out. Whatever germs or cooties or whatever. On this (left) side it’s like everybody is free to be themselves.
It kind of reminds me of the whites and blacks only water fountains. If that’s not stigma I don’t know what is for real.
Stay in your own lane… The two glass ones are functional. They’re actually candleholders. The little ducky in the middle just doesn’t have anything to do. Nobody wants to be involved with anything that you do. You just stay right there in the middle in your little rubber ducky stage and let the beautiful people do what they want to do. Yeah, stay in your own lane. Exactly. They got ribbons on them but the ducky has the better ribbon as far as I’m concerned.