DISCLAIMER: The following story is a
fictional account of a pre-teenage boy who is must come to terms with being
HIV-positive. There are a few references to gay sex in this story, and anyone
who is uncomfortable with this should obviously not be reading it. All
characters are fictional and any resemblance to real people is purely
coincidental. The author takes full responsibility for all events described and
these are not in any way meant to reflect the activities or attitudes of real
individuals or establishments. The author retains full copyright of this story,
and of stories based on these characters.
Please note that this is the sixteenth in a series of short stories known collectively as Naptown Tales. The series of stories can be found on my GayAuthors Page and on the Naptown Tales Page at Awesome Dude. Slightly modified versions of some of these stories that are suitable for younger teens can also be found on the Altimexis Page at Codey's World. Please see the Introduction for important background on the series.
man, she's hot," my best friend, Paul said. "She's gotta be an eight."
you kiddin' me?" I asked. "She hardly has any tits,
man. I'd give her a five . . . maybe a six at best."
but she's prolly only a sixth grader," my friend
countered. "Give her another year. . . . They'll grow."
she'd be interested in you anyway," I
Paul got a hurt look on his face, like he might cry or somethin'.
Paul, I didn't mean it that way or nothin'," I said puttin' my arm
around him and squeezin' his shoulder. It really had been a lame thing ta say. "You're a good lookin'
guy an' there's lots of girls who'd like ta get inta your pants."
not true, Sammy," he said to me. "I know you've got your problems, too, but at
least you look normal. Everyone knows
I got Down's syndrome. The only girls who'll look at me are fellow retards."
not a retard, Paul. You're just a little slow, but you do fine where it counts,
and you're the best friend a guy could ever have."
together in the food court, however, my mind couldn't help but wonder back to
the troubled days that led me here. Paul was right about one thing - I did have
my problems, too. My scars were on the inside, and they ran deep . . .
had mixed feelings about going to summer camp. I'd spent half my life in foster
care, an' when Mom wasn't in jail, she was either strung out on crack or hustlin' to make the money to buy that shit, so any chance ta get away from all that was a good thing. The trouble was, this was a church-run camp for other
kids like me, an' that meant at the
least I'd be gettin' a load a crap from folks with a
`holier than thou' attitude, an' I sure as fuck didn't need any a that Bible
I was put in a cabin with a bunch a other twelve-year-olds. Half of 'em were nigg . . . oops . . . I know I shouldn't call 'em that.
Hell, I've been in foster care an' group homes with
black kids all my life. It's just that when you're poor white trailer trash,
you've no one else to look down on, an' I grew up thinkin' like that, you know? But I swear, I'm gonna stop using the `N' word from now on, OK? So like I
said, half the kids in my cabin were `African Americans' . . . that better?
Anyway, the counselor in our cabin was this
big guy, a graduated student or somethin' from the
university, named Gary. For some reason, he kinda creeped me out right
off the bat - I just didn't know why at the time. The junior counselor was just
a kid himself from one of the high schools up in the city. His name was Trevor
Austin an' he seemed real nice, that was until one of the other kids asked him,
"Ain't you that faggot that got that preacher kicked outta town?"
I thought Trevor would pummel the poor kid
into the ground - I know I sure would'a if someone had called me a queer, but instead Trevor very calmly said, "First of all, the
word is gay. We have people of many different backgrounds in here, and it's
just plain not OK to call people names. Words like faggot, nigger, kike, wop,
chink, and so on are just plain unacceptable. No one is going to disrespect me,
or anyone else for that matter. Yes, I'm gay, but that doesn't give you a right
to call me a fag, a faggot or a queer, because those are words that are meant
Whoa, I couldn't believe it. Our junior
counselor was a faggot, or rather, he was gay! He continued talkin',
"Being gay is not who or what I am, but rather it's a small part of me, just as
is my being left-handed or having brown hair. It's one of many things that are
a part of the whole. I'd also like to point out that it's very likely that at
least one of you is also gay, and you
might even be beginning to think about it. If any of you would like to talk to
me about it in private, just drop me a note and I'd be happy to, and for the
rest of you, don't go trying to figure out who among you may be gay . . . it's
none of your business."
Yeah, it turned out that Trevor was really
cool and he really knew how to take charge a things.
He didn't take crap from no one, neither. I respected him for that. All my
life, I thought gays were weak sissies who couldn't defend themselves. Boy was
I wrong! Trevor wasn't a jock, but he wasn't a fairy - that's for sure.
Now Gary was a whole 'nother story. Not
long after camp started, he woke me up around midnight and said somethin' to me
like, "Hey Sammy, how'd you like to go for a smoke?" Well I thought that was pretty
cool! Yeah, I knew we weren't 'sposed to smoke, so havin' my counselor invite
me to go smoke with him was a big deal. It made me feel grown up.
He asked me if I'd smoked before, an' I told him I'd done it a few times with friends back
home. We talked a little 'bout my home life. I felt a little embarrassed about
it, but he said his life growin' up wasn't all that
great neither, but that he still turned out OK an' managed ta go ta college an' all, an' it made me feel better
'bout myself, ya know? I really thought Gary cared 'bout me.
An' then Gary came an' got me a couple nights later for a smoke, an' we talked 'bout girls. He asked
me if I'd started jerkin' off yet, an' I sheepishly
admitted I had. He asked if I sometimes did it with my friends, an' I asked if that wasn't queer. He laughed an' said, "Hell
no!" He said it's always more fun jerkin' off together, but as long as ya-all still think about doin' it
with girls, it's OK.
Well let me tell you, over the next few
nights, we went from jerkin' off in front a each other ta jerkin' each other off, an' 'fore I knew what was happinin'
we were givin' each other blowjobs. He said there was
no difference between a girl doin' it an' a guy doin' it, so why not help each other out? It seemed ta make sense at the time, an' when he sucked me off, it felt great!
But then he wanted ta do other stuff, too. He wanted to kiss. He said it was good practice for doin' it with girls. He wanted to feel me up all over, too.
He even had a mattress set up in a clearing down by the lake. What we did
together really felt good an' I liked all the attention Gary was givin' me, but it was more than creepin'
me out by now.
When he told me he wanted to fuck me, I
flat out refused, an' that's when Gary showed me what
he was really like. He said if I
didn't let him, he'd drown me in the lake an' make it
look like an accident, an' from the look in his eyes, I could tell he meant it,
too. Man, oh God, I'd never felt so much pain. From there it only went downhill
with Gary. He started makin' me have sex with other
boys in the cabin, an' he filmed the whole thing usin' his camcorder.
I didn't like bein'
used like that. I didn't like it one bit, but I put up and shut up, 'cause I
knew Gary wouldn't hesitate to tell my mom I was a prevert,
an' I couldn't have that. Fucked up as she was, she'd throw me out on the
streets, an' I'd just end up back in foster care, or worse. Gary wasn't dumb,
an' he'd always told us guys if
anyone found out, we were ta point the finger at
Trevor, an' . . . well, that's what we all did.
It all went ta shit when one of the other kids, Trey, went all bezonkers an' took his pain an' anger out on some eight-year-old
I felt bad when the police came an' took
Trevor away, but I just couldn't take a chance on my mom finding out what I'd
been doin' with Gary. I just couldn't.
I just shoulda known Trevor's boyfriend, Kurt, wouldn't let it drop. Not only did Kurt try ta catch Gary an' me in the act, but when everything went
wrong, I just had ta `fess up an' side with Kurt. I dunno, maybe I'd had enough, maybe
it was because I knew Kurt was such a good guy.
Yeah, I still get nightmares 'bout the
whole thing - the way Gary pulled a knife against my throat an' threatened ta kill me if the camp director didn't give him the keys to
his Navigator, so he could escape. Kurt volunteered ta take my place as Gary's hostage - told ya he was a
good guy. Everythin' worked out in the end but, man,
that sure was scary!
An' I dream a lot about Gary fuckin' me. I'm long past feelin' pain down there - at least physical - but I still wake up drenched in sweat.
I've been seein'
a shrink for a couple months now. He talks ta me
'bout my dreams an' everythin'.
It doesn't make it any easier . . . least not that I can see, but I sure can't
talk to my mom 'bout none of it, so I guess it's somethin'.
For some reason, he's asked me to bring my mom with me to the next session. Not
sure why, but I'm just a kid . . . I ain't got no say in these things. So
that's how came I found myself in Dr. Jenkins' office one Thursday mornin' with my mom. She was none too pleased, neither. She
looked pretty strung out, an' I was pretty sure she'd either been out late last
night partyin', or she'd had a late night trick, or
maybe a little a both.
In any case, Doc called us inta his office an' we sat down
across from him. We all sat around a low table . . . kinda like what you'd have in a living room rather
than what you'd expect in a doctor's office. Doc said he liked ta be able ta see the kids he
talked to, an' a desk only got in the way. So Doc
started talkin'. . . .
"Ms. Franklin, you have quite a son here.
It's nice to finally have a chance to meet you and chat," he said.
"He's quite a son when he decides ta come home," she said, right off the bat. Typical Mom. I
wasn't 'bout to let that one go.
"I could say the same thing about you,
Mom," I said.
"Don't you go mouthin'
off at me, child."
"Sammy, Ms. Franklin, please. We aren't
here to fight. I have something very important to discuss with the two of you,
and you really need to put your differences behind you for a while," Doc said
as he kinda scolded the both
"What's this about?" Mom asked.
"Well," he started in answer ta her question, "as you know, Sammy was abused at the
summer camp he attended . . ."
"I don't know nothin'
'bout no abuse," my mother interrupted loudly - an' I
cringed. I'd tol' her what I'd dared, but I couldn't
tell her 'bout the sexual things that'd happened ta me. She'd a freaked at that. I knew she couldn't deal with it, an' now I
suspected my worst fears were `bout ta come true.
"Ms. Franklin, you mean to tell me you
didn't know your son was repeatedly raped by one of the counselors?" Doc asked.
"Lord no!" she shouted. "You people sent
him there, an' then this happened to him?"
"Ms. Franklin, several kids were abused besides Sammy. It wasn't anybody's fault.
The counselor stole someone else's identity to get the job. No one could have
possibly known he was a sex offender. He's going to jail, probably for life,
Ms. Franklin, but that still doesn't change what he did. He's a horrible person
- a monster - but he acted alone. Social services and the people at the camp
had nothing to do with it."
"So why are you tellin'
me this?" Mom asked.
"Unfortunately, it turns out that the
counselor who raped your son is HIV-positive."
I didn't hear the rest of what Doc was sayin'. I didn't need to. There was only one reason he would'a said that. If Gary was HIV-positive and he'd fucked
me all those times, then my most
recent blood test must'a come back positive, too. SHIT! I was HIV-positive. I had AIDS!
Well, I would soon enough, and then I'd die. My life was over.
DO YOU MEAN . . . MY SON HAS THE AIDS VIRUS?" my mother shouted at the top of her lungs, pretty much
echoing my own feelings. "My son's no queer!"
"I didn't say he's gay, Ms. Franklin," Doc replied. "I didn't say he has
AIDS, either," he added. "Your son was raped, which certainly wasn't his fault
. . . not in any way, shape or form. He's HIV-positive, but there are
medications . . . excellent medications, that can keep him from getting AIDS .
. . maybe forever."
"More than anything, Ms. Franklin, your son
needs our support. Entering the teenage years is tough, but being an
HIV-positive teen is especially tough. He'll have to take his medications several times a day, and missing even
a few doses can lead to drug resistance. It's hard when you're a teenager
dealing with peer pressure to always remember to take your meds." Turning to
look directly into my eyes, he continued, "Sammy, failing to take your meds on
time can even be fatal."
I swallowed hard as I thought about what
Doc said. Still, a moment ago I was looking at what I thought was a death
sentence, and now Doc was offering me a stay of execution if I stuck with the
program. Hell, I could live with that!
"So what does this have to do with me?" my
mother asked. Typical Mom. "My son wouldn't even be in this situation if he hadn't been a prevert.
Boys don't get raped less they askin' for it. No son
of mine's a faggot. So if Sammy got AIDS, it's your problem, not mine.
"Don't bother sendin'
no one ta pick up Sammy's stuff, neither," Mom
continued. "They ain't much worth savin', anyway, an'
by the time ya get there, it'll all be in the trash."
An' with that, my mom stomped outta the door.
Nothing my mom did was unexpected, least ta me. I'd been down this road before so many times, but I
knew this time, it was the last time I'd ever be with my mom again. She hadn't
been much of a mother, but she was all I had. Neither of us knew who my father
was, an' so long ago her own parents had said ta hell
with her an' I had no idea where they lived, if it was in the same state, which
I somehow doubted. I'd never even met my grandparents.
It was only when Doc pulled me inta a hug that I realized I'd been crying. This time . . .
this time I knew it was permanent . . . no family . . . it hurt.
From here on out, I knew the drill. My case
worker barely even gave me a glance as she dropped me off at the group home,
where I'd be biding my time until she found me my next placement. I'd been in sooo many group
homes before, and this one was no different, 'cept for all the medical stuff. I
guess this one was meant for kids with health problems, 'cause there were boxes
of gloves an' red needle containers in every room. Great . . . they were
already treating me like a freak.
The next day, they took me ta the hospital an' ran all kinds
a tests. They must a taken twenty gallons a blood from me, an' they did CT scans an' a MRI of my brain . . . man, that thing was loud! After I was done, they sent me
back ta the group home with a ton a
pills, an' a whole schedule when I had ta take
them. Least the doc who saw me was real nice. His name was Dr. Jacobs, but he
said I could just call him Rick, an' he said he'd see
me every week at first. I really liked Rick . . . he seemed real smart for a nigg . . . I mean for an African American. Yeah, he really
knew his shit.
Time - a routine just let it creep on by as
I kept goin' ta school, goin' to my counselin' sessions
with Doc an' seein' Rick for my HIV drugs. Rick said
my counts were good, but the drugs did a number on my stomach an' he had ta make a few changes so I could keep my food down.
All in all, life was OK, it was just shitty was all. I didn't have any friends. The kids at the group
home didn't want to talk about the problem an' the kids at school didn't know about it, an' I
thought if I started talkin' to someone at school,
I`d blurt it out. So I just kinda stayed ta myself. I didn't really have anythin' to do at the group home other than watch TV. It
just seemed like my whole life was on hold.
I ended up staying in the group home for
more than a month, an' still I hadn't been placed in a foster home. I couldn't recall it
ever taking so long for a placement before. My caseworker explained it was hard ta find foster parents willin'
to take kids who were HIV-positive. I couldn't understand why - I mean, the
state pays for the drugs an' all, an' it's not like I'm contagious or anythin' - not unless I have sex with their kids, so what's
the big deal? I guess folks are just scared a what they don't know or what they
Then one day 'bout
that time, at the end of my counselin' session with
Doc, he said he had some folks he wanted me ta meet.
He pressed a button on his phone to call his secretary or somethin' an' in walked Trevor Austin an' two people I'd never
seen before. It scared me, but Doc was there an' I
could trust him.
"Hey, Trevor. What are you doin' here?" I asked in fear, thinkin' back ta how I'd lied an'
accused him a bein' the one that'd raped me.
"Long time, no see," Trevor answered. He
was smilin'. "Sammy, if I'd known what you were going
through, I'd have been here a lot sooner."
With that, Trevor grabbed me an' pulled me into a tight hug when all the bad thoughts of
what'd happened at camp filled my head. He held onto me for all it was worth an' we both shed tears. After we were both spent, he slowly
let go of me an' said, "Sammy, I'd like you to meet my parents. They want to be
your new foster parents. I guess that means I'm going to be your brother."
"What?" was all I could say. I couldn't believe
it. Were Trevor's parents really going to foster me? After what I'd done ta their son, pointing the finger at him when it was really Gary that had raped me? I could tell by the way they was dressed that they was rich.
Why would they wanna foster
a poor HIV-positive kid like me?
The lady stooped down and looked me right
in the eyes and said, "Sammy, my husband and I had a talk with Dr. Jenkins, and
we understand you have good reason not to trust adults. I know it's going to
take some time for us to earn your trust, but believe me, we want to do that.
There are no strings attached, and we don't expect anything in return, other
than that you be respectful of us and of our neighbors, that you do your best
in school, and that you don't do anything stupid like burn our house down, or
run away, or do drugs, or break any other laws," she said with a smile. I
couldn't help but smile back. "In other words, we expect you to live by the
same rules we set for Trevor, but other than that, you'll have a lot of freedom
as long as you don't abuse our trust. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"I . . . I think so," I replied.
"Oh, we do expect you to go to church," she said, which brought an immediate frown to my
face. Other than at camp, I'd barely ever seen the inside of a church. "Don't
look so glum," she added. "It'll do you a world of good. It never hurts to
remember that there's a higher purpose in life, and especially with what's happened to you, I would think you'd want to remember that."
She reached out an' ruffled my hair. I couldn't believe she actually ruffled my hair. My mother
never did that. She knelt on her one knee, held her hands on my arms and we
looked at each other, eye to eye. Continuing, she said, "God hasn't abandoned
you, Sammy. I know it may seem that way with the way you've gotten a raw deal
in life, but he has something special planned for you. I just know it. No one's going to make you
believe anything you don't want to . . . I mean, God knows, we have a gay son,
after all, but at least give it a try. That's all we ask, OK?"
"OK, Mrs. Austin," I replied. I mean, what
else could I say?
"Please, Sammy, I can't have you calling me
Mrs. Austin. I know you probably don't want to call me `Mom', either, so why
don't you call me Lindsey, alright?" she said as she stood up.
"I guess," I agreed.
"And you can call me Rob," Trevor's father
said as he put an arm on my shoulder.
"I know you probably don't have much," Lindsey
said, "but not to worry. Why don't you gather what you have, and we'll get you
settled at home, and then Trevor can take you shopping for clothes and school
supplies without us `old folks' telling you what we think is best. You'll be going to Trevor's old middle school and
he certainly knows a lot more about current teen fashions than we do. That sound OK?"
"I guess," I said again. I knew it sounded
pretty lame, but what else could I say? Yeah, their words sounded good, but I
wasn't expectin' all that much ta come outta them. Right then, I felt like I had before when I got a foster home
- a hand-me-down kid that brought money inta their
One thing they were sure right about - I
didn't have many things. My mother didn't let me take anything with me, not
that there was much to take, an' the state only bought
me the stuff I really needed in the group home. I think my HIV drugs took up as
much room in my duffle as my clothes did.
It took us 'bout a half-hour ta get ta Trevor's neighborhood.
It was lots nicer than any I'd ever
lived in before. I watched the houses get nicer an' bigger an' newer as we
drove further north. Although Trevor's house was still prolly 'least twenty years old, it still looked bran' new ta me, an' it was huge.
They took me ta a
room I figured I'd be sharin' with Trevor, but then
he tol' me his room was the one next door! I asked if
he had any brothers or sisters and he didn't.
"Ya mean I have
this whole room ta myself?" I asked.
"Yeah, Sammy," Lindsey answered. "This is
definitely your very own room."
"Man," I said in disbelief, "This room's
bigger than two rooms in the group
"There isn't much in it now," Rob said,
"but we'll get you some posters of your favorite teams and bands so you can fix
it up the way you like it, and we'll get you your own computer, a television
and a stereo, and of course you'll be getting your own cell phone."
"My own cell phone?" I squeaked.
"So you can call us if you need us to come
pick you up when you're with friends," Rob answered. "Now our schools have
scramblers, so you can't text message in class," he added, whatever that meant,
"and we keep a strict lid on your minutes anyway," he said as he gently
squeezed my shoulder, which felt kinda nice. "We feel pretty strongly you should be spending your time with your friends rather than talking to
them on the phone, messaging them or e-mailing them."
"Gee, I don't know 'bout any a that stuff,"
I said. "I've never really had any
Before I knew what was happening, Lindsey
scooped me up into her arms and was hugging me tightly. Neither of us said
anything. I couldn't help myself and I ended up crying again, but she made me
feel so good. No one - not even my own mother - had ever made me feel that way.
Then Rob held his arms and hugged me. He
said, "Sammy, I think you're going to bring a lot of happiness to this family
because we need each other very much."
After a while, Trevor's parents left the
room an' Trevor helped me get settled in while
Trevor's mom got dinner ready.
"Man, I can't believe we got all this space ta ourselves," I said.
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Trevor said.
"I have some friends who live in much bigger houses . . . mansions, really . . . but Kurt's bedroom is like, half the
size. It's kind of embarrassing. That's why I feel so good we're able to do so
much to help out the kids that Gary abused at the camp, and I'm really glad we're fostering you."
"What do you mean you're helping out the
kids Gary abused?" I asked Trevor.
"Actually, it was Kurt's idea," he
answered. "You guys were really traumatized . . . not physically . . . well,
that, too, but emotionally. Kids who are abused often become abusers
themselves. That's what happened when Trey assaulted Willie. Of course, to put
it politely, the state doesn't pay shit toward the cost of the counseling you
guys need to deal with what you've been through." I laughed when he put it that
way. Trevor so rarely swore. "Anyway, my boyfriend wanted to be sure that you
guys got counseling until you were adults, and he got me and another rich
friend of his to get our parents to pay for it."
My eyes practically
bugged out when it dawned on me what Trev was sayin'. Not only were Trevor's folks fosterin'
me, but they were footin' the bill for me seein' Doc, an' always had been. I
didn't like feelin' like no charity case, but I
honestly don't know how I'da made it without him. As
the tears started to slide down my cheeks again, I said, "Thanks, Trev. You don't know how much those visits have meant ta me."
Then it came to me - what Rob had said when
he hugged me - Lindsey and Rob weren't doin' this fosterin' thing for the monthly check they'd get from the
government - they wanted - they needed to love me. And now - yeah, I needed
Just then, Lindsey called from downstairs
that dinner was ready. We had some sort of chicken dish an', man, was it good!
It tasted better than anythin' my mom ever made, or
than anythin' any other foster family had served me,
or that I'd ever eaten in a group home before. I had seconds . . . an' thirds.
After dinner, Trevor drove me ta the Fashion Mall at Keystone at the Crossing ta get me some new clothes. I told him it would be OK ta just get me a pair a jeans an' a few T-shirts, but he
insisted in gettin' me all the same things he had. He
said all the kids at my middle school would have nice clothes, an' I should, too, so I'd fit in. By the time we finished, I
had new Nikes an' 501's, an' enough shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters an'
jackets ta outfit the whole basketball team at my old
school. It felt wasteful, but Trevor insisted it was all stuff I'd need, an' I sure wasn't gonna complain! I'd never had new clothes before. We also stopped
at Target an' picked up some notebooks an' pens an' other basic school
On the way, Trev took me right by our schools. His high school an' my middle school are on the
same campus, an' they both looked new compared to the shithole city grammar
school I'd been going to downtown. He explained that the middle school was
originally the high school, but the district outgrew it an' built a new high
school only seven years later, an' doubled the space again ten years after
"Most times we'll go to school together,"
Trevor continued. "I'll drop you off in the morning and pick you up in the
afternoon, at least as long as neither of us has an after-school function or
anything. If you have to stay late, I'll wait for you when I can, and when I
need to stay late, you're welcome to wait for me. Otherwise, there's always the
"Tomorrow, since we have to get you
enrolled, my mom will take you to school, and I'll pick you up at the front
entrance of the school at the end of the day. Is that a deal bro?"
"Yeah . . ." `Bro,' I thought. I smiled at
the comfort of the word. "This your car?" I asked.
"I'd feel better about it if I'd had to
work for it the way most kids do, but my parents bought me this Jetta for my
sixteenth birthday and I'm not complaining one bit! And I'd have never been
able to spend so much time on the GSA if I'd had to work, which I guess makes
it worth it in the long run."
"Oh yeah, the Gay-Straight Alliance. I
really hope my being gay doesn't freak you out or anything, but I'm the
president of the GSA. Actually, most of the members are straight, and the
purpose of the club is to foster tolerance for people of all backgrounds, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"I used to be pretty shy, but then Kurt's
dad used to be the pastor of our church."
me, right?" I asked in shock.
"No shit, Sammy. Kurt DeWitt's dad was our
pastor, and he singled me out to make an example of what the evils of being gay
was like. He claimed that it was because of the GSA that I `turned' gay, and he
started a petition drive to get the GSA disbanded. Well we weren't going to let that happen, and we even got help
from The Star, 'cause one of our
members' father's an editor on the paper, but what really blew the pastor outta the water was when his own son, Kurt,
came out in the newspaper story. The pastor couldn't take the heat . . . he up
and left town."
"Man, what a story," I said. "So that's how
the two a you got together?"
"Pretty much," he answered.
By now we'd reached Trevor's house . . . I
guess it was my house, too . . . at
least for now, an' we started carryin'
my stuff inside.
"How's his mom feel about havin' a queer son?" I
"She's OK with it," he answered. "At least
as OK as my parents are. Kurt's brothers are real jocks, though. One just graduated high school . . . he was the captain
of the football team last year, and the other just became the new captain this year, but they both
love Kurt as much as any brothers can. Actually, they told me they were kinda proud of him."
Trevor's parents wanted to see all my new
clothes before I put them away, and then Lindsey told me I needed to try
everything on ta make sure they all fit, an' then wash 'em before I wore 'em to school. I
know I musta got a `WTF' look on my face, 'cause she
then explained it's 'cause a all the chemicals in the fabric - she wanted ta make sure they was all washed out 'fore they touched my
"If you don't mind a gay guy helping you
out, I'll lend you a hand," Trevor offered. I was more than happy ta take him up on it - I didn't care that Trevor was gay,
but I sure didn't want Lindsey watchin' me try on
shirt after shirt.
When we got upstairs, Trevor helped me open an' unpack everything while I undressed and tried
everything on. Suddenly, an `oh shit' thought crossed
"Trevor, does it bother you that I had sex
with your boyfriend?" I asked, kinda afraid of what he'd say.
"Sammy, you didn't exactly have a choice,
now, did you? Gary made you have sex
with Kurt, just like he made you have sex with himself. It's not like it was you who forced Kurt to have sex with
him, even if you really wanted him to.
"Let me ask you something, Sammy, and you don't have to answer this if you
don't want to, but are you gay?"
Swallowin' hard, I looked down at the floor and
answered, "That's somethin' Doc and I have spent a
lot of time tryin' ta figure out. He's told me he doesn't want me `lablin' myself one way or ta other
until I'm sure, an' I don't hafta make up my mind, maybe even for years. Ya see,
I really liked what Gary an' I did at camp. It hurt at
first, but after, the sex felt great, and now . . . well, I know sex is s'posed ta feel good, whether it's with a boy or a girl, no matter if you're gay or
straight. Doc 'splained that what I really wanted was
affection. I didn't know that. I didn't get any at home, so when Gary
offered sex, I thought he cared."
Looking back up at Trevor, I continued,
"Gary messed me up, Trevor. When I jerk off, I think about hurtin'
people. I know it's sick an' I know it's wrong, but that's what gets me off.
Doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl, neither." I looked back down at the
floor. "That's why what your parents are doin', ya know, payin' for Doc and all
is so important. Without Doc's help, I'd prolly become a rapist or somthin' worse."
Trevor reached under my chin an' lifted my head up an' looked inta my eyes. "You're a good kid, Sammy. Kurt told me what happened at camp. You
could have gone along with what Gary told you to say, all the way, and framed
my boyfriend, just like you framed me, but you didn't. Somewhere in the depths
of your heart, you got the courage to say `enough is enough.' It would have
been easier to go with the flow, but in the end, you did the right thing at
great personal risk to yourself. That took guts."
"Don't know if I'da done it if I'd known Gary'd pull a knife on me," I
"None of us knew what Gary was capable of,"
Trevor said sad-like.
"An' I'll never, ever forget what your
boyfriend did for me, volunteering ta take my place
as Gary's hostage."
"That's one of many reasons why I'm not
letting him go," Trevor smiled. "He's one special guy."
"No argument there," I agreed. "You're
lucky ta've found him. He's one in a million. . . .
"An' if he has any sense," I continued, "he won't let you go either. You're both special."
Trevor an' I ended
up in a tight embrace an' cryin' our eyes out once
again. It wasn't sexual or anythin', but I knew we
truly loved each other. We were now brothers, just as surely as if we'd been
born that way, an' Kurt was every bit my brother, too.
I knew I'd feel that way till my dyin' day.
When we finished tryin'
on all my clothes, an' showin' Lindsey how they
looked on me, Trevor showed me how ta read the labels
an' separate the clothes based on washing instructions an' colors. He showed me
where the laundry room was an' how ta operate the washer an' dryer. He kept kiddin' me
'bout how I pronounced `wash', which of course rhymes with Porsche.
By the time the first load was on, I was
plum wore out an' Trev showed me where all the linens an' toiletries an' other stuff was, so I could
get ready for bed. I tried goin' ta sleep, but the bedroom was empty an' the bed was huge, an' I just felt so alone.
After a while, sleep wasn't comin', so I got up an' tiptoed ta Trevor's bedroom an' knocked on the door. After he
invited me in, I 'splained how I felt, an' he asked if I'd like to spend the
night in his room, but he warned me first that he was in the nude. I laughed an' told him I had
boxers on an' didn't care what he did
or didn't wear, an' then I jumped on his bed an' mercilessly tickled his ribs.
I knew he'd get me for that eventually. Right after I crawled under the covers,
I drifted off happy.
The next morning, I was surprised ta find that Trevor and I were completely entangled with
"Oh man, I'm really embarrassed about this,
Sammy," Trevor said when the alarm went off. "Kurt and I haven't even gone
beyond making out, yet," he admitted as his skin turned a bright shade of red .
. . everywhere, "but we do occasionally have sleepovers, and when we do, we
always end up like this. I guess it must be my fault," he sheepishly admitted.
"No worries," I told Trevor. "I won't tell
your boyfriend on you, an', 'sides, you make a great teddy bear."
Lindsey took me ta school, and while she was busy filling out paperwork, I met with my guidance
counselor, Ms. Perkins.
"Well, Sammy," she said, "I've gone over
your transcripts, and I must say, it looks like you have a lot of unused
"Is that just a polite way of sayin' I'm a bad student?" I asked.
"No, not at all," she replied. "It means
you're an underachiever, God I hate that word, . . . it makes you sound
handicapped, which you aren't, but yet, you have good reason to be. You've been
in and out of foster care most of your life, and even when you were with your
mother, you had significant problems at home, I see. Would it trouble you if we
talked about your home life?" she asked.
"Ms. Perkins, ya don't need ta coddle me or anythin',"
I replied. "Truth is, my mother's a crack-head, an' a whore. I'm prolly better off she kicked me out for being queer, 'cept
I'm not a queer, I mean gay. Ya see, Social Services sent me ta a
summer camp where a sexual predator screwed me. Now I'm HIV-positive an' have ta take more pills than
spitballs fly on a lazy summer afternoon. So my life's been crap, but what does that hafta do with school?"
She smiled. "Sammy, the reason it's
important is that you haven't been in a stable school situation or study
environment long enough to learn how to apply yourself. When I look at your
aptitude tests, however, you score well above average. In fact, if we'd had you
in our school system from the time you entered kindergarten, chances are you
would have ended up in our gifted program."
"The main reason you've done poorly," she explained, "is more than likely because of that unstable home situation. Not that it'll be easy to make up for the lack
of a proper study environment in one year, mind you, but based on the
vocabulary you've been using today, even though your pronunciation leaves a lot
to be desired, I think there's a good chance you can catch up if you put your
mind to it.
"What I'd like to do, Sammy, is to put you
into remedial classes this year. Now I know that's going to be tough on you
socially, just when you're trying to fit in, but I'd really hate to see you do
poorly by trying to survive in regular classes. In remedial classes, and
perhaps with some tutoring and maybe with a little summer school, we can get
you caught up to a regular level by the time you finish eighth grade, and if
you're motivated enough, we might even be able to get you into some advanced
placement classes by the time you enter high school."
"Advanced placement?" I asked.
"Sure, so you can get college credit for
some of the work you do in high school. Not to get your hopes up, but with your
test results, you're certainly capable of the work, and have the potential to
start college as a sophomore, if you
"I . . . I never thought I'd go to college," I said dumbfounded.
"Sammy, of course you'll go to college,"
Ms. Perkins answered. "There's no reason for you not to go to college."
"Even with me bein'
HIV-positive?" I asked.
"Lots of kids today are HIV-positive, I'm
afraid," she answered. "Most of them didn't have to be, but that's another story. In any case, kids with HIV go to college all
"Speaking of which, after we get your class
schedule set up and get you your locker assignment, we'll take your meds to the
school nurse so you'll be all set to get your HIV meds on schedule. OK?"
"Sure thing, Ms. Perkins," I answered.
Suddenly, it felt like another piece of happiness.
After working out my schedule an'
everything, Ms. Perkins got real serious and said, "Sammy, I'd like to pair you
up with a buddy . . . someone who knows the school and is in a lot of the same
classes with you, and who will share your locker. We don't have enough lockers
here, so most of the students do have to share. My one concern is that pairing
you up with a boy who's in remedial classes may not be a very good match.
You're a bright kid, whereas most of the other kids in the classes will have some
form of developmental delay, be it cerebral palsy or Down's Syndrome."
"Down's Syndrome?" I asked, "You mean, like
the extra chromosome thing?"
Smiling broadly, Ms. Perkins said, "Sammy,
you continue to amaze me. Yes, Down's kids have an
extra twenty-first chromosome, but for reasons we don't understand, in some
cases the degree of retardation is severe, and in others it's very mild. The
kids I'm talking about are only a little bit slow. Most Down's kids are very
affectionate, and I sense you could use a friend or two, but they don't have a
lot of other friends. My fear is that if I pair you up with a boy with Down's
syndrome, once you catch up with your studies, you'll drop him like a hot
"Ms. Perkins, you don't know me at all.
I've never really had any friends, so when I make some, I don't go throwin' `em away. I been through a lot in life an' what makes a friend is who's gonna be there for me when
I need `em an' not how smart or popular they are. My foster brother, Trevor,
an' his boyfriend, Kurt, are gay, an' if they went where I used ta go ta school, they'd get
called fags an' get beat up all the time. I may not be gay, but I'd be right
there with them gettin' called names an' gettin' beat up, 'cause I love 'em. They're my best friends
in the whole world. Don't tell me I'd drop someone like a hot potato, just
'cause I caught up in school."
"Sammy," she said, "looks like I
underestimated you yet again. I think I have just the buddy for you. His name
is Paul, and he lives on your street, which means you'll be able to spend time
studying with him. He's a really sweet kid, and I know you'll like him."
I met Paul, yeah he was a bit slow, but friendly an' had a warm smile.
It took no time, we understood each other, an' we felt confident that
we'd never mean to hurt each other. Kurt an' Trevor were great - they
didn't mind havin' Paul 'round when we rode back an' forth ta school.
Even Lindsey an' Rob were good with him bein' my friend. It felt like -
well, more happiness.
We were up in my bedroom an' Paul was messin' around on my laptop, as he did so
often after we got home from school.
"Hey Sammy, check this out," Paul said as he turned the laptop so I could see it.
What I saw shocked me to the core. It was a porno of a man and two women, and
it had me hard in seconds.
"Holy fuck, Paul," I practically shouted.
"I told you my father tracks the
Internet sites we visit. He runs a security company, for Christ sake."
"You worry too much, Sammy," Paul replied.
"I can't get past my parents' nanny filters at home, and I'm horny, and this
stuff's hot, and 'sides, Trevor showed me how to tunnel through your dad's
firewall, so he'll never know we're watchin' this."
"Shit, Paul, are you sure about that?" I
"Sure I'm sure," he replied, "and if I
screwed up, it's you that'll be
grounded . . . not me."
"Asshole," I said as I punched my best
friend lightly on the shoulder.
"Hey, watch it. That's my jerk-off arm, and
right now I need that arm for . . . jerkin' off!"
When he actually started to do just that, a
whole flood of unpleasant memories came rushing back to me and I suddenly felt
dizzy. I barely made it back to my bed before the whole room went black.
Slowly, Paul's concerned face came into
focus and I heard him askin' me if I was all right,
but his voice still sounded like it was callin' out
to me from the end of a long tunnel. I started to sit up, but Paul pushed me
back down, pullin' my feet up onto the bed.
"I'm not a baby, Paul," I protested.
"I didn't say you was, Sammy, but you
passed out. You need to rest up a bit, but what happened?" my best friend asked
Did I dare tell him? Could I? Then I
realized, if I was truly his best friend, an' he mine,
I had ta, an' I did. It turned out Paul knew only a
little about the summer camp scandal, an' how Trevor
was wrongly accused a' molestin' a buncha campers. He knew that Kurt captured the real
molester, but was stunned ta' learn that I was one a'
the kids that was molested . . . that I was raped, an' that I was HIV-positive.
"Seein' me jerk
off like that . . . it reminded you of what you had to do for Gary, didn't it?"
"Yeah," I answered my best friend in the
"I won't do that to you again, Sammy. I
just thought we could have fun together. I didn't know it would affect you like
that. I'm really sorry."
"Paul, it's not your fault," I replied,
"an' I think I can prolly mess around with ya if I know what's commin' ahead
of time. I just wasn't ready for it this time. The best thing is for us ta both get girlfriends."
"You'll get no argument there," Paul
In the end, he hugged me tight an' we cried tears of love for each other. "Best friends,"
he whispered in my ear.
In the weeks that followed, Paul's an' my friendship grew stronger an' stronger. We did everythin' together, from studyin'
together, ta cruisin' the
mall together, ta trick-or-treatin' together. Half
the weekends he stayed at my house an' half the
weekends I stayed at his. Truth be told, I'd never had a friend like Paul.
We always went to church together on Sunday
with Trevor's an' Kurt's an' Paul's families. I still
wasn't real religious or anythin', but everyone at
church was nice ta me an' Paul, an' I really liked the service with all the singin'
an' everythin'. It was surprisin'
. . . it felt good ta thank God for what I had,
rather than ta curse him for all the bad breaks I'd
had in life. All I had ta do was look at Paul ta keep my perspective - if anyone shoulda been bitter, it was him, but he was happy, an' I was
happy he was part a my life, too.
Before I knew it, we was comin' up on Thanksgivin' an' would have vacation from school. Trevor's grandparents
were flyin' in from Florida an' his other
grandparents were drivin' down from Chicago, so the
house was gonna be crowded ta be sure. I'd never known my own grandparents, so I was excited, but I was
pretty nervous at the same time. Thanksgivin' was
always hit-or-miss in foster care, so I was really lookin'
forward ta a real Thanksgivin'
dinner with Trevor's family.
Paul an' his
family was gonna spend Thanksgivin' with his Aunt in
Cincinnati. I was sure gonna miss him, but he was
excited about the trip, an' that made me happy for him.
The weekend before Thanksgivin',
all the grandparents arrived an' I had ta move in with Trevor. It was a bit strange at first,
meeting all those strangers who kept sayin' how cute
I was, but they all treated me like family, an' that made me feel real good. I
guess it was the first time they'd seen Kurt an' Trevor together, an' I could
tell they was a little uncomfortable with it. I tol'
'em they was both my brothers, an' I guess they realized if an almost-13-year-old kid could
accept it, they should, too.
Right before the start of the Thanksgivin' school break, the high school was havin' some kinda school assembly that Kurt was participatin' in. The
kids in the middle schools were gettin' out early,
but I still had ta wait for Trevor for my ride.
Rather than just hang around my school until Trevor got out, I decided ta head on over ta the high
school with Paul an' wait over there.
Paul an' I headed
out the back entrance of our school, an' cut through the parkin'
lots across ta the high school. The high school was way bigger than our middle school - I
mean, ours was one of three middle
schools that feed into the high school, an' the high school has four grades,
rather than three, an' the high school has a vocation program fed by five other
high schools in the area, so what I'm saying is that the high school looked massive compared ta my middle school.
We had no idea where we was goin', but as luck would
have it, the first door we tried was open, an' it led
us directly ta the gym, which was where the school
assembly was bein' held. Why it wasn't bein' held in the auditorium, I wasn't sure - maybe the
auditorium wasn't big enough. In any case, there was a platform in the center a the gym floor an' Kurt an' a couple a girls was seated at
a table on the platform. All the students were seated in the bleachers around
the gym, an' they was listenin' ta one a the girls on the platform talk. She sure had
their attention. I'd never seen so many thousands a kids be so quiet.
Paul and I leaned against the wall near the
entrance. I looked around and saw Trevor sittin' kinda front an' center. I listened ta what the girl was sayin'.
"I loved my daddy, but I knew what we were
doing wasn't right. No matter how many times he told me how beautiful I was or
what a mature young woman I'd become, or how much I enjoyed the extra attention
he was giving me, it didn't change the fact that I was his daughter, and he was my father. His advances toward me weren't because he loved me, but because he wanted to
have sex with me. If he really loved me, he would have never put me in that position in the first place."
Whoa, I thought to myself, she'd been a victim of incest.
"Did I like the attention my daddy gave
me?" she continued. "Sure I did. It made me feel special. It made me feel grown
up, but it also made me feel guilty . . . and dirty. `How could he do this to
me if he still loved Mom?' I asked myself. `How could he do this to me, if he
really loved me?'"
After several moments of dead silence, a
woman stood up and addressed the students. "Most of the time, when we think of
rape, we always think of the victim being a woman, or a girl. All too often,
victims are afraid to come forward because of the humiliation they feel . . .
because of the shame. How much more so it must be when the victim is a boy.
"You may recall a story that made the
headlines over the summer . . . a camp counselor who abused several campers at
a church-run camp for disadvantaged youth. Young Kurt DeWitt, a freshman here,
was a volunteer junior councilor at the camp when events began to unfold. He's
here to tell his story."
Kurt didn't stand, but he remained seated
and spoke into the microphone. "I think a lot of you know me or know of me
'cause of the flack I created nearly a year ago when I came out. My father was
the pastor of the Hope Evangelical Covenant Church at the corner of
Eighty-sixth Street and Spring Mill Road . . . some of you probably go to
church there . . . and his having a gay son created quite a stir. But that's
all behind us now . . . my parents are divorced . . . and we have a new pastor
who's a lot more accepting of alternative lifestyles.
"The reason I'm bringing this up is that
there's a common misconception out there that it's OK to rape gay boys. I can't
tell you how many times I've been approached in the boys' room by kids asking
me if I'd suck their dicks. What do they think I am, some kind of slut? That's
demeaning . . . and vulgar. I've heard stories from some of my friends in the
GSA of worse incidents . . . things that truly constitute rape. Just to make it
clear, any unwanted or coerced sexual act is rape. Any unwanted or coerced sexual act is rape. Rape is usually
violent, but it needn't be. Date rape is common. How many people here have used
the excuse, `she said no, but I know she meant yes?' With that as a background,
let me tell you my story.
"Trevor Austin and I were both volunteering
at a camp for disadvantaged youth. We had just become boyfriends, and had
agreed that as much as we wanted to, we weren't going to give the campers
anything to talk about when it came to our relationship. I was assigned to a
cabin of eight-year-olds and Trevor to a cabin of twelve-year-olds. There were
three four-week sessions taking up the whole summer.
"It was in about the middle of the second
session in the early morning when I awoke to the sound of one of my campers
crying. I took him outside the cabin and noticed that his face was badly
bruised, as if he'd been beaten up. On closer inspection, he had bruises all
over his torso as well. I took him to the camp director and, to make a long
story short, not only did he accuse one of the twelve-year-olds of molesting
him, but several of the twelve-year-olds accused Trevor of having molested them
I have no idea when I'd walked into the
center of the gym, but I was now facing Kurt and tears were streaming down my
face. I couldn't help it. "I'm sorry, Kurt," I cried out. "So, so sorry. I
didn't mean to hurt you."
"Sammy, what are you doing here?" Kurt asked, his voice
amplified so the whole gym could hear.
"I came ta wait
for Trevor," I answered, "but then I heard you speakin'.
"Kurt, let me tell my story. I know what really happened at the camp. I know
the whole story, better than you. Let me tell the story. PLEASE. I really want to."
"Gee, Sammy, I'd like to let you, but
you're a middle school student, and besides, you need a signed release from a
parent," Kurt answered.
"Actually," the woman who introduced Kurt
said, "I don't see what Sammy's being in middle school has to do with it, and
since he's in foster care, I can sign his release for him. I think his message
would be a powerful one, in conjunction with yours, Kurt, if you wouldn't mind
letting him co-present with you. The program'll just
run a little longer than we'd planned, since I have no intention of cutting our
time for questions short."
"Fine with me," Kurt agreed. "Sammy, you up
to it?" he asked.
"Yeah, I'm up ta it. I need this," I answered as I
jumped up on the platform. Someone brought me a chair an' everyone scooted over to make room for me ta sit down
next to Kurt.
Kurt resumed the program by sayin', "Sammy is Trevor's foster brother, but when I first
met Sammy, he was one of the twelve-year-olds this past summer at the camp for
Takin' the mic, I took
over an' said, "When Kurt says disadvantaged, what he means is I was what most
of you would prolly call trailer trash. Now I know
for some a you-all, that hits pretty close ta home. I've heard some a' the rich kids call some a' the
poor kids around here `river rats', an' I'm prolly makin' some a' ya squirm right
now." I got a great big grin on my face an' said,
"Good, ya should squirm. I grew up on the near west side
to a mother who's a crack head an' a whore, an' I
spent most a my life in an' outa foster care. I
didn't choose that life any more than the kids ya call river rats chose theirs. That's what the word `disadvantaged' means. My
foster brother's gay. He didn't choose that, neither, but he's a great guy, an' I love him, like a brother.
"Now, it doesn't matter if you're rich or
poor . . . one of the most important things you can have growin'
up is love. Some poor kids have it, an' some rich kids
don't. Growin' up, I never had it, an' that's what really made me
disadvantaged. So when the senior counselor in my cabin was nice ta me, I mistook it for bein'
"It started out simple . . . at first he
came to me late at night an' asked if I'd like to go out an' smoke with him.
Well for a twelve-year-old, there's somethin' wicked
about smokin' ta begin
with. It made me feel special. While we smoked, we talked about girls, an' sex,
an' after a few days, we progressed ta jackin' off together, an' he eventually talked me inta tradin' blowjobs." Lookin' up at the lady who introduced Kurt, I asked, "Can I
say that kinda thing here?"
"Sammy, you can say whatever you feel
comfortable saying here. Just don't give us any graphic descriptions, OK?"
"OK," I said as I smiled back at her, and
then continued. I told the whole story of how our sex progressed from oral to
anal, an' from just me to two or more of us, an' how Gary recorded the whole
thing usin' his camcorder. I had tears in my eyes as
I confessed ta how we all pointed the finger at
Trevor in the end.
Turning to look Kurt in the eyes, I said,
"Kurt, I'm so sorry. We were all scared. When Trey molested Willie, we all did
what Gary tol' us ta do,
'cause we all thought Gary'd kill us if we tol' the truth."
"It's OK, Sammy," Kurt said. "You had been
repeatedly raped, and you were vulnerable. You did what you had to do to survive. Let me pick up the story from
here, and then we'll get back to your story in a minute.
"When I saw my boyfriend being taken away
in handcuffs, I was beside myself. I knew Trevor couldn't have molested a fly, and I correctly surmised that the only
one in that cabin capable of molesting all those kids was Gary, but the
question to me was how to prove it. It turned out that he was using a false identity,
had a police record and had been himself abused as a kid. Had I allowed the
investigators to do their work, like a newspaper man I
spoke to said I should have, all of this would have come out within a matter of
days, but no, I was bound and determined
to exonerate my boyfriend, and so I set out to get that proof.
"For several nights in a row, I sat up all
night, hiding behind bushes, waiting for Gary to emerge from his cabin with a
camper in tow. Finally it happened, and he emerged with Sammy. I followed them
to a clearing by the lake, where he had a mattress already set up, and by the
time I got there, they were both already going at it. I got out my cell phone
intending to take a photo to get my proof, but I forgot that my cell phone uses
a `pre-flash' to help it focus. Before I could even think of what to do, Gary
had caught me, and he forced me to strip.
"Before the night was out, I was forced to
perform oral and anal intercourse with Sammy while Gary recorded the whole
thing using his camcorder. He also recorded several shots using my own cell
phone to use as evidence of my `molestation' of Sammy, to be turned into the
authorities. But things didn't go like he planned, did they, Sammy? Sammy, when
you didn't play along with him, and `fessed up to all
that Gary had been doing, he took you hostage, but what you did took guts!"
"But then you asked ta take my place as his hostage," I said. "That took guts, and I'll always love ya for that bro."
Gettin' a real serious look on his face, Kurt
continued, "But we have some more serious stuff to talk about here, and we'd
best get to it. There's a reason you're no longer living with your mother this
time, Sammy, and it's not because your mother's in jail. It has to do with some
test results you got a few months back that your mother couldn't deal with.
Isn't that right?"
"Yeah," I admitted, "I found out I'm
HIV-positive." There was a collective gasp from the student body.
"Why don't you tell everyone here what that
means?" Kurt suggested.
"Well, obviously, it means Gary was
infected with the virus that causes AIDS, which serves the bastard right.
Unfortunately, he also passed it on ta me. Sometimes
I feel real pissed about bein' the only one outta all
the campers that got it . . ."
"But you weren't the only one, Sammy." Kurt interrupted me. "Three of the
other campers got it, too, and of course the rest of the campers Gary had sex
with won't be totally in the clear until January . . . and that includes me.
Until then, it's possible still more of us could turn out to be positive."
"Oh man, I'm shocked," I said. "I had no
idea. Why didn't somebody tell me?"
"Because the information is confidential,"
the lady who introduced Kurt, answered. "Sammy, would
you continue please?" she asked.
I nodded my head lookin'
down at the floor before I looked up at the kids and started again. "So thanks
to the sick screwed up head of someone who himself was molested as a kid, four
of us are goin' ta have ta live with this virus, perhaps for the rest of our lives,
taking tons of pills every day, always worryin' that
someday the virus could change to one that's resistant ta the drugs. Yeah, maybe someday there'll be a cure, but someday's a long way away when you're not even thirteen."
"If there's one take-home message for
everyone today, it's that you can get
HIV," Kurt added, "and it's not just from gay sex. "Yes, Sammy had repeated
anal intercourse with a man, but what Sammy doesn't know is that Gary's HIV
came from one of the other campers. In other words, there was already a twelve-year-old
at camp with HIV who didn't even know he had HIV.
"So how does a twelve-year-old kid end up
having HIV? Was it incest? Was it IV drugs? Was it a bad blood transfusion? I
don't know. The true reason's confidential, and it's in the hands of Child Protective
Services, but the fact of the matter remains . . . that if an ordinary
twelve-year-old kid could have HIV, any kid in this school could have HIV.
you're safe having oral sex? Think again. There are T lymphocytes in
semen. T lymphocytes are filled with HIV. You give someone a blowjob
and their semen has HIV in it, that HIV can enter your immune system
through your tonsils, your gums or the underside of your tongue. You
don't even have to have a sore throat or an open sore in your mouth.
All it takes is a single exposure and, WHAM, you're HIV-positive.
There's a reason they teach you that stuff about safer sex . . . and
now you know why they make flavored condoms."
At that point, the whole auditorium burst into laughter. I couldn't help it, I laughed my head off, too.
When things quieted down, the lady who was in charge said, "Kurt, that was just a bit over the top," as she chuckled, "but your point is a good one and I'd like to say a few things myself
"Girls, think you can't get HIV from intercourse? Think again. In Africa where AIDS
originated, HIV transmission is mostly heterosexual. In Asia, HIV is mostly a
heterosexual disease. HIV is easily transmitted by any and all forms of sexual contact in
which there is an exchange of body fluids. It is also transmitted by the
sharing of needles during IV drug use.
"You can't do much about being the victim
of sexual abuse or rape when it's hapening, but you can do
something about having unprotected consensual sex, or about IV drug use. And if
you are the victim of abuse or rape,
you need to seek help as soon as you can. Removal from an abusive relationship is
paramount, and additionally, the administration of anti-retroviral drugs immediately
after exposure can prevent transmission. I'll repeat that. If you're forced to
have sex with someone who's HIV positive, rapid administration of anti-HIV
drugs can prevent transmission, so you owe it to yourself to get help right
"We in the guidance office are here to help, and we'll always protect you're confidentuality."
"I know it's a cliché," Kurt added to what the lady said, "but an even better option than safer sex is no
sex. I mean, I'm fifteen, and Trevor's sixteen, and it's not like we
haven't each had sex before, but we've decided to wait. Not having sex
does't mean we don't love each other . . . if anything, it means we
love each other enough to save it until we both feel the time is right.
When we do have sex, it'll be when we both feel we're ready
to commit to a lasting, exclusive relationship . . . maybe not
marriage, but more than going steady.
Trev and I are doing kinda blows the lid off gay stereotypes, does't
it? The bottom line is that sex isn't some kind of race to see who can
lose their virginity first. There are plenty of ways of . . . um . . .
gratifying yourself . . . or of helping to gratify someone you care
about, and as long as you are't exchanging body fluids other than spit,
there's no worry about getting pregnant or getting an STD."
Wow! I was so proud a the way Kurt handled himself that afternoon, but he later told me he was proud a
the way I handled myself, too. It sure was an emotional presentation, with lotsa tears all around. There were many, many questions
from the students in the audience, some of them even directed at me. How do you
like that? It was kinda cool havin'
seventeen an' eighteen-year-old kids askin' me
questions 'bout survivin' rape, an' what it's like bein' a kid with HIV. It made me feel important.
At one point a boy, I'm guessin'
was fifteen, asked the girl who was speakin' when I
first entered, how she got the courage to turn her father in. While he listened
to the girl's short answer, he had tears in his eyes an' burst inta one big sob an' it was clear he was a victim, too. A
nice lady went up ta him and took him outta the gym.
As soon as the lady called an end ta the question period, the kids started leavin'. Right away, Paul came runnin'
up to me and hugged me. "You were awesome!" he said smilin'.
Trevor an' Kurt
were in a hug too, but were quick to look at Paul an' me.
"Sammy, I couldn't have gotten the story
across with such impact if it hadn't been for you," Kurt said with his hand on
"Ya mean it?" I
With a big smile he said, "Positively!"
Lookin' around, I realized I was thinkin' 'bout how in less than two years I'd be goin' ta school here. Never in my life did I used ta think more than a few days ahead, let alone years ahead.
Thinkin' back ta the kid
at the end of the program who asked 'bout gettin' the
courage ta turn in his old man, I knew from
experience he had some pretty tough times ahead, but his life was gonna get better for the first time in years. This might
well be his best Thanksgivin' ever.
Thinkin' 'bout my own situation, I realized that
in spite of all the bad things that had happened ta me in my life, even bein' HIV-positive
, I could prolly say the same thing. Soon I'd
be spendin' Thanksgivin'
with my bro, his parents an' grandparents, an' I had
the best friend I could ever have. It was soberin' ta think my days might be numbered, but for the first time
in my life, I was happy, an' loved.
This story hit me right in the gut.
Back in the `40's, when I was growing up, my brothers and I
were in and out of many foster homes as pre-school kids, unfortunately, never
together. Reason: Our mother was an alcoholic and was probably picked up for
D&D and put in jail for up to 3 months. Our dad had no choice - he
had to work. We were too poor to afford babysitters and too proud to ask a
relative for help, so Children's Aid would be called upon. In those days, it
was before 'group homes' and the modern settings many of them have today. It
was a simple dormitory style sleeping quarters, crappy food served on long wood
tables while we sat on hard benches. I remember there was never enough milk - I guess that was the most
appetizing part of the whole meal. You were never there long enough to make
friends - all your friends were back in your neighborhood. In time, yes, we'd
get shunted off to an accepted 'qualified' foster home. I remember once, maybe
I was 5, I fell down the basement stairs at this one, very old, untidy, foster
home. I banged my head pretty bad, ending up with a big bump on my forehead.
Next thing I knew, same afternoon I'm sure, a lady had me in her car and took
me to another foster home. It was a farm. It was a lot nicer than the one I'd
been at in the city. I remember the people were kind; the lady was real nice
and the man was always making me laugh. It was sad to leave there when Mom and
Dad picked me up, because I knew what would happen again a month or two down
the road - the addiction would reign supreme and promises would be broken.
David of Hope
The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing and Trab in proofreading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Codey's World for hosting them.