Jared is a 31-year-old man who lives in Chicago. This is the last of three installments in his story. Here's part one and part two if you'd like to catch up.
So you know the exact incident in which you contracted HIV.
Yeah. It was at this bathhouse in Portland.
Up till then you'd been getting checked regularly?
Totally. No more than six months between tests since I was 16.
So tell me about the encounter and how you figured it out.
It was August of 2005. I'm 23, and I'd had a few experiences of getting with HIV-positive dudes without a condom, [...]
Jared is a 31-year-old man who lives in Chicago and has had more than 1,000 sexual partners. This is the second of three installments in his story, and it is pretty immediately (and intensely) graphic. Here's Part I and Part III. So, at this point in your story, you’re 15. You’ve had a hyper-sexual childhood, you’ve been having anonymous sexual encounters in public places, and you’ve just dropped out of high school in North Carolina for mental and physical safety/security reasons.
What happens next?
My mom found some gay youth group in Asheville, and I started hanging out at the independent [...]
Just so you know, I'm straight. You're the best person to help me because I need to "come out" to my ultra-conservative, evangelical Christian family. I have not been involved in their religion in many years, but I was raised in it. Since becoming an adult and leaving the church, I have some family members who have become distant or cold, some who actively try to save me, and some who treat me like they always have. My entire extended family belongs to this religion.
Growing up in the church, I knew marriage meant that I would find a nice boy, settle down, and be a good submissive wife. Yuck. [...]
Rookie just did a Q&A with Judy Blume about banned books, friendship, and whether Margaret will ever get that must-be-increased bust ("No!… Margaret's just like me: an A-cup for life!"), and the author—whose unabashedly honest girl-world trailblazing can never be overstated—is just as delightful as ever.
I was drawn to the segment below, which made me think about a conversation I had over the long weekend with a gorgeous woman in her sixties; because I was in Martha's Vineyard, I was already thinking about Judy Blume and the dirty confectionery of Summer Sisters every time I saw teenagers disappearing like beautiful deer into some hydrangea-laced greenery [...]