1) Because I was possessed by a demon.

And because I was pregnant for 22 months with its child.

That’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

2) Last week, a young friend of mine started PrEP.

He's 24 and heard about it online, has good health insurance, so has it covered. He told me the news as we were catching up after a recent sex party we were at together.

His news shocked me. And not because he started PrEP.

The shocking part was that none of his peers believed him when he told them about taking the pills to prevent HIV.

They thought he was lying.

And that’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

5. My young friend’s friends think he’s HIV-positive. All because he now has HIV meds in his possession.

Before you start your tsk-tsk-tsking, remember that a bottle of Truvada kept in a medicine cabinet attracts HIV stigma like a lightning rod.

Both Truvada and a lightning rod protect, but only Truvada has 2 really toxic side effects that make AIDS Healthcare Foundation hit the streets with pitchforks and press releases:

1) It can cause an African woman to be beaten in front of her neighbors if found in her possession.

2) It almost always leads to judgments and rejections for the rest of your living days.

And that’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

6) We gotta work through this crap.

We are gay men rejecting gay men living with HIV.

And we do it thinking we just dodged a bullet, proud to have drummed away the damaged goods. We believe it keeps us safe.

We ALL do it. Or have done it. We do it every day. Every hour.
Every gay guy knows this crap we throw at poz guys.

This is the sour truth that makes most gay guys afraid to test.
They know firsthand the crap we throw at poz guys, the judgments and rejections for the rest of your living days.

And—suddenly--they realize they might become one of ‘THEM.’

Now this crap has become a wall between us and the most powerful prevention tool we have to this day discovered.

That’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

8) HIV is the most stigmatized disease I know.

Gay men are the most stigmatized people I know.

There’s some sick poetry in this correlation between the two. It makes me hear Kurt Cobain singing:


These days, it’s my theme song. My mantra.

In seven words, Nirvana captures a mindset and makes of it an epitaph to lay to rest the results of 30+ years of HIV prevention in the minds of gay men.

That’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

10. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is the soundtrack to my sex life, and not because I live in Seattle.

I meet guys at sex parties who freak out around any talk of HIV and assume if you bring it up that you have HIV.

I meet guys online who choose sex partners through a terse tango we all quickly learn whose dance steps have accompanying lyrics which can be sung to the melody of “Hernando’s Hideaway:”

“You clean?”
”Yeah. You?”
“Yeah. Wanna fuck?”

I meet guys in bathhouses who slam meth and believe that olive oil used as lubricant will kill HIV.

I meet these guys, and I hear in my head that guitar riff that launched Kurt into the stars with barely the chance to leave behind his letter to Boddah.

I meet guys, and sometimes that riff becomes a chainsaw.

And that’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

12) Here’s a little secret for you.

Seattle often refers to herself as Progressive.

It’s the adjective she’s been in An Open Relationship with for decades.

You always see them hanging together in those declarative sentences that make our Starbucks warm havens for Microsoft employees.

However, you should know that it’s not really An Open Relationship.

Drop by for a drink after work at any of Seattle’s gay bars, and I’ll introduce you to some Queens who can tell you stories about Seattle, if you’ll buy them all a drink.

Get them a little tipsy, and they can tell you tales of how she’s been stepping out on Progressive with other adjectives, including --but not limited to-- Complacent, Conservative, and Racist.

And, believe me, these Queens should know.

And that’s why I made ‘THE KEY.’

13) My Candle in the Wind has done blown out.

That’s why I made ‘The Key.’


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