Hey, Faggot:

I’m writing to you because I’m lonely. This was a fear of mine ever since I was 13. I was taught that being single was the worst thing a person could be, and therefore I just started giving myself away for anything, whether it was a shirt or dinner, whatever. I never got a car out of any of my lovers, not even furniture. The best I ever got was a cheap gold ring.

I became HIV positive from one of these freaks I called lovers. Really, all they wanted to do was screw a young man over. Why do men like to play god with young men? When two men meet, it’s hot for the first couple of months, then they want to lock up their lovers–treat them like shit. My last jerk even went as far as calling my family and telling them I was all screwed up. He never totally kept me, because I was the one who handed over every penny I ever made to him.

After 15 years of being hurt by pure faggot jerks, I feel that I need to try to have peace of mind. The only problem now is that I’m disabled, with a small income. See, fags screw you up one way or the other. I guess I could become a hustler now and pay back these assholes like they paid me. But I’m not sure if I can believe an eye for an eye is the way to be. The positive side is that I live alone now, and I don’t have to play selfish gay games. However, it would be nice to find a true partner.

I look forward to hearing your response, if you dare. It’s a hard situation to fix. I know this because I have been slowly going crazy thinking that I was getting a family when I joined the gay world. All I got out of the gay world was heartache, burned by gold diggers and a lot of shitty lovers. I have the hope that I can find one man in the gay family that can see past my good looks, my age, or my pocket–’cause honey, I am a pinup to most.

–Lonely Horny Hurt Stud-Boy


So long as you regard yourself as not much more than a pinup to be traded away for dinners, shirts, rings, and hoped-for cars, you’re not going to attract good men. Fact is, together gay men don’t want gold-digging centerfolds for boyfriends; they want human beings–male ones.

I don’t doubt that you were taken advantage of–even abused–by some of the men you dated. The “gay world,” like the straight world, is crawling with users, bastards, and whores. But rather than blame the gay world for your present financial and viral predicaments, you might want to consider whether you had anything to do with where you’ve wound up. Were you honestly looking for love, or were you looking for clothes, dinners, status, money, and cars, operating under the assumption that your beauty entitled you to be “kept”? If you were, cupcake, then you–not the gay world–are solely responsible for the mess you’re in.

You went out into the gay world hoping to exploit and trade on your pinup looks for goods and services, basically seeking to take advantage of others. As is often the case, you wound up being the one taken advantage of. You see, the trouble for young gay men playing your game is that the gay men who have the goods you’re after tend to be older and wiser. And they’ve usually been playing the game a lot longer than you have, which means they’re better at it than you. So you lose.

Try heading into your next relationship with a different MO. People with HIV and AIDS can and do find lovers, have relationships, get hitched, and settle down. Even pinups with AIDS find lovers, especially in these days of drug cocktails, undetectable viral loads, and “healthy” PWAs. Head into your next relationship with no material expectations. Offer what you’ve got to give–not just your body and your cock, but your humanity and your heart as well–and see if your luck doesn’t change. But, lemme tell ya, you’re not going to crawl out of that hole your self-pity has dug for you until you take responsibility for your past actions, your present misery, and your future happiness. Eesh–did I write that?

Anyway, while we’re on the subject, listen up: Too many gay people, like our friend Stud-Boy here, have completely unrealistic expectations of the “gay world.” After a steady diet of treacly gay-solidarity rhetoric churned out by magazines, pride parades, and disco anthems, the realization that in fact we are not family can be devastating. Just as there is no such thing as an all-encompassing happy “straight family,” there is no such thing as a “gay family,” insipid gay-pride rhetoric notwithstanding. Gay people are just as likely to be fucked-up, stone-hearted messes as straight people. Considering the hell so many gay people go through on their way out of the closet, gay people are probably more likely to be fucked-up. Lord knows you’ll find more damaged goods per square foot in your average gay bar than in a straight bar.

After making a series of bad choices, whether out of gay naivete or plain old stupidity, disillusioned young gay men will, like Stud-Boy here, blame the “gay family” rather than take responsibility for their own fucked-up lives. Led by gay-pride propaganda to expect better treatment from the “gay community” (a phrase which ought to be banned) than they received at the hands of the “straight community” prior to coming out, dumped/infected/abused gay men freak, become bitter, and blame the “community” for crap they brought on themselves. In extreme cases, fucked-up gay men fucked over by other fucked-up gay men decide to avenge themselves on the gay world by, as Stud-Boy says he’s considered, choosing to “become a hustler now and pay back these assholes like they paid me,” or, as in the much-publicized case of Andrew Cunanan, murdering other gay men.

Reportedly, Cunanan began his alleged rampage after learning he was HIV positive. Maybe he got HIV because he was, as his mother described him, “a high-class homosexual prostitute,” or maybe he got infected due to choices he made in the sack with nonpaying customers, but rather than take responsibility, Cunanan is “paying back” our big, happy gay family by running around the country offing gay men he’s had relationships with. And now, barring news that he had some personal connection to Gianni Versace, Cunanan is apparently killing prominent gay men for the payback fuck of it.

Deliberately spreading HIV or blowing away world-famous 50-year-old Italian fashion designers may make a sick person feel like he’s giving back a little of what he got, but all he’s really doing is proving that the problem all along wasn’t other gay people, the gay world, the gay family, or the gay community.

It was himself. If Cunanan wants to punish the person responsible for his HIV infection, or for the rest of his generally fucked-up life, he should turn that gun on himself.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.