In the earliest years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, many people were distressed by the appearance of nickel-sized purple lesions on their bodies and faces that were a visible sign of living with Kaposi’s Sarcoma, an AIDS-related opportunistic infection. The lesions involuntarily “outed” them as having the highly stigmatized disease of AIDS. Society’s reaction to patients with these visible symptoms often caused additional psychological distress to people who were already fighting a host of medical challenges in the days with almost no treatment options.
Gay Men’s Culture As a psychotherapist who has specialized in working with gay men for the past 26 years, I know that part of gay men’s culture is an emphasis on a youthful, lean, muscular physique. The sentiment is pervasive, and competitive — sometimes good-naturedly, sometimes aggressively and cruelly. Gay men’s culture has identified the … Read more