The Tragedy Queen

By | 7th December 2016

Tony an elderly, Quentin Crisp style, gay man who we knew 30 years ago would hold court in his living room every Sunday afternoon. There would be gossip and discussion about men he had met during the week and over the years. A familiar theme in all of this would be the “tragedy queen.”

The tragedy queen was any gay man who always had something to moan about, a “glass half empty” attitude towards life, a story about how tough everything had been and the various disasters that had befallen him. Some of which were probably invented to get attention. Always looking for sympathy and feeling sorry for himself.

Tony had no time for men like this, he would ridicule the attitude and tell them to “piss off”. Despite gradually losing his sight he was a happy person with an optimistic outlook on life and woe betide anyone who would try to bring down the mood…

The term has fallen out of use due to political correctness. But many of the employees of the gay (ill)health organisations, the Prepsters and the potential “customers” for PrEP are actually tragedy queens.

The unprofessionals love letting it all hang out in articles, recalling their own tragedy which has all come about, usually, through absolutely no fault of their own. They adore brainstorming sessions during which they come up with ever-more ludicrous reasons why some men can’t use a condom and need PrEP in their toolshed prevention armoury. And these soundbite excuses are lapped up by those who “can’t” manage to use a condom and “need” PrEP to save them from HIV. Oh the tragedy of being at risk every time you have sex through absolutely no fault of your own. Let me tell you about it Ms TV reporter.

Most of the potential “customers” for PrEP know damn well that a condom will protect them. But they prefer the drama of possibly becoming HIV+ for life. No wonder in some perverse circles it is known as “gift giving.” It is certainly Christmas for the tragedy queen. Oh the stress and fear of condomless sex! Woe is me!

PrEP won’t make much difference. We believe there is a core of gay men who actually like the self destruction and personal disaster. Some feel they deserve it and once something removes part of the potential tragedy that spoils the fun and they need to subvert it or find a replacement.

So it is that some bareback hookup websites now even give members the option to state whether they are hepatitis positive or negative. Yes you can even search for a partner who also has hepatitis! How intimate!

It’s like Pic N Mix. Tick the boxes and find yourself a guy who is either HIV poz or neg and has hepatitis or the ever popular “don’t care”.

Most normal, sane folks would think that once you’ve contracted HIV AND hepatitis then maybe it’s time to have a little break from sex. Perhaps for the rest of your life.

But HIV is old hat for these guys. Imagine being able to “come out” as Hep C positive on the next poz pub crawl. What a talking point and all through no fault of their own. The tragedy of it all.

As PrEP encourages an overall culture of not using a condom we believe it will make no difference to the number of new HIV infections each year or maybe even cause an increase. Along with more of the other sexually transmitted diseases. Also it will speed the arrival of drug resistant STIs and new hard-to-treat strains of HIV. Bringing with them more much needed tragedy and stigma!

We look forward to seeing the stats a year from now.

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