1. Jay says

    An oddly real moment on reality TV. Especially compared to the seemingly fake breakdown Rebecca had during the challenge. I hope that MAC keeps Ongina on as a long-term face for Viva Glam.

  2. non-shocked... says

    A gay man with HIV is startling? Hate to dismiss as trivial…but there are ways to prevent the transmission – why take the risk as he did.

    this was done for an attempt to get ratings and nothing more

  3. ppw says

    I love my little pocket DQ. I loved Ongina from the beginning. And now that she has revealed to the world – including her parents – her condition, my love for her is ten-fold. Keep up the good spirits sweet Ongina!

  4. jimmyboyo says

    The top 3 are going to be

    Bebe, Nina, Ongina

    Bebe and Nina will fight it out for 1st place

    Taking bets now

    Bebe’s screen test last night was the best simply because of the connection to how aids is devastating Africa. Thanks catholic church on that one with your preaching condoms are a mortal sin to Africans as you sweep through the area to make up for your lose of power in other places in the world.

    Jay “this is my nose” plastic nose job fooling nobody is pretty. I would say prettier when not in drag, but is either too shy (his/her explanation) or too boring and has little talent.

  5. jimmyboyo says


    Yeah, but his parents did not know and now they do. So to the entire world who watched.

    On prevention. I am huge on pushing prevention, but once done its done and you should have a bit more sympathy for a fellow human being.

    No one is perfect. We humans are flawed but aspiring. Unless you are from the planet Xenu, you might want to soften your heart a bit.

  6. Jesse says

    Maybe that little drag queen will give RuPaul the courage to do the same? It’s been a lot longer than 2 years for her, from the looks of it.

  7. Bobby says

    Ongina did a brave thing and he is even more beautiful for it.

    Sometimes even when protected, things happen. We shouldn’t judge him. The straight bigots will do that enough for everyone.

    We should really try to put the commune back into the Gay Community.

  8. tooboot says

    I have been HIV Positive since 97 and I do drag, so I can identify with him, but really is this really worthy of a overly dramatic breakdown? Most of my true heroes in this epidemic are out here fighting the fight.
    Honestly, if we want to make inroads with dispelling stigma the last we thing we need is another drag queen or Jack McEnroth coming out of the HIV closet.

  9. ongina says

    Thank you for the amount of support. i understand that there will be people out there like non-shocked but the truth of the matter is i will continue to support the awareness of HIV/AIDS and fight to find a cure and will continue educating people that prevention is key. But I am proud to out myself this way to know that life with HIV can be just as glamorous as life without. I don’t seek your pity nor sympathy, non-shocked, I did it for me and I’m happy that I did. Either way, I wish you are happy and well. Kisses to all.

  10. Mike in the Tundra says

    ” Hate to dismiss as trivial…but there are ways to prevent the transmission – why take the risk as he did.”

    C’mon, aren’t we better than that? Yes, one should protect one’s self, but there are accidents and choices that aren’t always good. He’s a brother, and he deserves a little empathy.

  11. patrick nyc says

    ‘I don’t seek your pity nor sympathy, non-shocked, I did it for me and I’m happy that I did. ‘

    What a crock of shit. Anyone who goes on these ‘reality’ shows is nothing but a publicity whore. As for the HIV, after living through this nightmare for 27 years, you are an insult to those who had no information on how the virus was caught, and to those who faced real discrimination when they came out. Shame on you.

  12. Joe says

    It’s courageous to admit that you were irresponsible and got yourself infected? Somehow I think the word “courage” has been bastardized.

  13. Salome says

    Wow, really Patrick NYC ? Are you that close to death that you are entering your own “fuck the world” death spiral? For your sake I hope you leave this world soon so those who understand the concepts of empathy and compassion can march over your rotted corpse and change this world for the better.

  14. TANK says

    I don’t see why this courageous. I’m not HIV positive that this isn’t just another ridiculous stunt to attract attention (how could it not be?)…what’s so courageous about that? As much compassion as I have for those who get HIV nowadays…I can’t help but think that those who seroconvert aren’t very bright…and as manageable as the illness has become, it will forever remain the ultimate fail that can happen to you if you’re a gay male now with all of the information on prevention. I would never say this to anyone who was poz, of course, which differs from a lot of the people I know who have no trouble overcoming good taste and verbally expressing their opinion that those who seroconvert now are total losers. That’s not doing anyone any favors.

  15. patrick nyc says


    I understand ‘the concepts of empathy and compassion’ I just do not waste them on those who are fakes, which includes ANYONE who appears on ‘REALITY” shows.

    These shows are nothing but excuses to watch people who either fake, or do real melt downs, to those who enjoy car wrecks.

    As for my demise, no I do not have AIDS, I just have been caring for those who do for 27 years, friends and strangers alike. And NONE of them speak like the trash you are defending. I feel more sorry for his need for attention, than for his having HIV.

  16. George says

    Being an HIV positive man and how I got there, is ultimately, no one’s business. However, I got there from drug use after an emotionally abusive relationship when I thought no one cared.

    For people to showcase their vitriol, the way that some people have on this blog is the same reason why people do not come out of the closet and the same reason some people do not talk about their status.

    I lived through the epidemic and lost friends. We never became as hateful as some of the words on this blog have done.

    Some of you should be ashamed of yourself. I learned myself the hard way why some people are drug users, abused and made to feel small. I am certainly not one that “looks” the part but I understand it with compassion. I suggest that we all do the same. The world would be a better place.

  17. JR says

    Wow, some of you boys are just BITTER! And bored. I think the show is good. Some of those girls are really good. Nina Flowers is KICK ASS!

  18. DCOMics says

    Hey Ongina

    Thanks for coming out once again. Finding out that you’re positive is like discovering you’re gay all over again. I’m in my early twenties, I have a masculine personality so nearly every week or month I come out of the gay closet. I was diagnosed with HIV in November. Not one friend or family member knows. Its another closet I’m not ready to step out of.

    Thinking about the hard future that awaits me, the straights who see me as a diseased fag, and the so-called gay “community” who thinks I’m a young dumbass who deserves to die, every now and then I think about just ending it all. But I try keeping in mind all the successful people out there who are handling this disease, fighting it, living their lives, and soaring to heights most other people never reach.

    Attention Whore? You’re a drag queen! That is your job! Your job is to also personify inspiration. Thank you for doing what you were hired for. :)

  19. patrick nyc says


    I do not wish you, Ongina or anyone should die. My posts were about the need for attention and using HIV as a path. While it is his choice, I found it tasteless and offensive, to the myself.

    I have many friends who are HIV and have full blown AIDS who are still here for over 20 years. Do not give up hope. Be strong and reach out to your friends and family.

    My sister is a Doctor who is doing research on those who survive cancer, and most of the findings are similar to my friends with AIDS. Those with a strong support group, survive longer.

    I wish you and Ongina well.

    Patrick NYC

  20. DLD LA says

    DCOMICS summed it up brilliantly..seriously people on this blog are just hateful..makes me sad. And if any of you actually new the purpose of the challenge and what Viva Glam/MAC does for AIDS charities, you might understand why Ongina felt compelled to talk about it. Do some research people and stop with all the hating and judging!

  21. Critifur says

    Not shocking or startling. It is really too bad there is still so much shame, shame causes so many more to become infected. I frequently think that because the statistics say a certain percentage are positive. When I am with a group of friends I know statistically, some of them must be positive, but no one is as far as I know. Cancer survivors are so proud to be alive as survivors. It is really too bad that so many with HIV/AIDS stay silent. Ongina is courageous, bravo to her. I cannot be certain I would be open if I was positive. I hope I never find out! People who feel that someone who is positive is a loser fails at being a human.

    @Jessie: I thought the same thing when this happened on the show last night.

    What was shocking was Rebecca getting to sachay and stay.Though I think it will be Ongina and Nina as the final two.

  22. Reggie says

    It’s crazy how when something truly “real” happens on these shows you can tell immediately. Ongina was incredibly brave to break script and speak honestly about HIV. It was really powerful. Thanks Ru (and thanks Logo I guess) for a great show.

  23. Bobby says

    Judge not is the best rule to follow.

    Also, being kind can go a long way and one’s own experience may be vastly different than someone else’s.

    Please people, if we don’t love each other and support each other, the straight bigots win and we are NOTHING but second class perverts who have no self control or morals.

    Don’t let them win.

    Stop being a fuckin’ bitch. This ain’t the movies and it ain’t funny.

    All those down on the reality shows, well, these people have talent they are showcasing, it’s the producers of the show that want to highlight the drama and look, it has us talking today.

  24. Mike in the Tundra says

    ” I would never say this to anyone who was poz, of course,”

    Of course, you did just that. It doesn’t take a brain trust to figure out that some readers of this blog are poz.

  25. sad says

    It is sad how cruel and lacking in compassion some of you people are. Personally, for me this moment was inspiring and she does have courage. As someone who was recently diagnosed as being HIV positive I can’t imagine telling others as openly as was done on television. For me it was like having an openly gay character on tv for the first time.

    Some of you prove well enough the stigma that those with HIV may have. Your treatment of your fellow man places us in yet another closet. You are harsh. You have no idea the circumstances to which anyone else has become infected. I would expect such treatment from homophobes, but not me fellow gay.

  26. Bakeley says

    This is only “startling” if you don’t have HIV. Otherwise, calling this “startling” is pretty offensive. HIV is no longer a death sentence. Being shocked by this, or thinking it’s necessarily some kind of horrific handicap of certain doom, is a very outdated way of thinking about this. You sort of encouraged readers to view this condition as a freak show. I expected more out of Towleroad than an editorial gasp.

    If Ongina isn’t playing the pity card, that would be startling. And reading some of the despicable “she deserves it” comments from the heartless fuckwits in the comments–that’s startling, too. Am I the only Towleroad reader who’s living in 2009, not 1989?

  27. chris says

    I know that reality shows showcase the ridiculous, but I think it’s unfair to take the rash generalization and apply it to Ongina’s “breakdown.” Have any of you not become so overwhelmed with emotion that you could not control it? It appears as though that’s what happened…and how could it not? She won a competition that showcased compassion and awareness of a disease that she has and hadn’t made known to her family, and I imagine, many other people. I can’t blame her for breaking down and spilling her guts, and I do think it was brave, especially considering all the negative feedback here–from her own!!

  28. Jonathan says

    Most of the comments on this blog (especially the early ones from Patrick NYC) disgust me.

    With suicide rates among young LGBT people at epidemic proportions, comments as vitriolic and judgmental as most of these have no place on a website where said people come to for an escape from the rest of the world.

    Absolutely appalling.

  29. Joseph says

    Ongina, if you read this I want you to know that I think you are quite heroic. Yes, we all make mistakes, but we cannot change that. What we can do is face the truth and our lives with courage, perseverance and joy. Which is precisely what you are doing. I applaud you and wish you all the success and happiness that comes your way!

  30. Sam says

    Finding out you are positive is like coming out gay all over again? I mean I’m sure the reactions from others must be the same, but saying something like that certainly ignores the glaring truth regarding choice here. That said, I think people on here who refer to those who get infected as “stupid” is pretty intolerant and unnecessary. I am currently negative, but I cannot say that I have not made mistakes and known there was a very real possibility I could have been infected. If you have no, congratulations on being perfect. I won’t judge someone who falters and has the unfortunate luck of paying for it by becoming HIV positive. I do not really understand why Ongina felt it necessary at that moment to announce that she is positive – it seemed…deliberate I suppose, less genuine. I don’t commend her for it because personally I think if you are positive, that is your business. Then again, I don’t think being positive is something shameful. My only concern is that while you can certainly live your life to the fullest as a positive person, there are truly horrific things to deal with when you are. Let’s not glam it up or glorify it. It isnt’ something to be ashamed of, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s something to be proud of either.

  31. galore says

    Hey Ongina, rock on and don’t let those bitter people here get to you. I think the show and you and everyone on the show are awesome!!!

  32. Feral says

    Ongina, you’re my grrl!

    Love you, hope you win, and thanks for being such a great role model for girly-boys everywhere :)

    And to the bile-filled haters (I’m looking at YOU, Non-Shocked and Patrick NYC), kindly sashay AWAY.

  33. JEZ says

    What is up with ALL THE HATE? Don’t we get it enough from the non-gay communities already?

    Enough with the self-loathing.

  34. tooboot says

    Exposing one’s sero-status in the manner that Ongina did, crying and breaking down after “living with HIV for the past 2 years,” does not come off as courageous. How many of her fellow participants are HIV and willing to let their talent and performances do the talking. If he really wants to be an influential spokesperson for this cause he will buck up and stop being a crybaby. This kind of exploitation really pisses me off! I’m just as compassionate as the next person about this fucking disease but people on the subway who disclose serostatus to elicit sympathy are no different than Ongina. There are many of positive gay men out here who get up every day and go to work and get on with it, I suggest Ongina do the same.

  35. DCOMICS says

    Hey Patrick

    I wasn’t talking about you specifically and thanks for your well wishes. I was mostly referring to the building gay census on the gay corner of the internet that if you seroconvert in this day and age, you’re a fool who deserves to be buried 6 feet under. I’ve seen too many average gay/bi me on the net, with their images and and names to prove they are indeed real, play with the ideal of seperating poz people for negs. It scares me. If gay men think this way, what does the rest of the public think? I’m afraid someone in the GOP is going to wonder the same thing and act on it.

  36. DCOMICS says

    Sam said
    “Finding out you are positive is like coming out gay all over again?”

    Let me be more frank. Remember being the only one who knew you were gay and having conflicting feelings thinking everyone else knew and didn’t know at the same time? Thats what being “closeted poz” is like. I found out my test results early in a busy day and went about doing my business shell shocked thinking everyone from my boss, to the cashier, to the woman who opened the door for me to the guy in the next to me all knew.

    Weird day.

    I won’t lie. I am ashamed. I spent weeks having sporatic moments where I’d tell myself what a fucktard fool I was. But I’m trying to get passed it one day at a time so I can live the rest of my life.

  37. Sam says

    Well being ashamed of making a mistake is fine. Being ashamed every day for something that you cannot change is useless. So stop it. You’re not “stupid” for making the mistake that got you where you are. You’re human. For those smart enough to avoid that mistake, fantastic for them. But sympathy and kindness go a long way to being a decent human being and some comments on here make me think people need to check themselves. No one is perfect and sure, we have all the knowledge to avoid bad things…shit happens. Life isn’t just about being perfect or not making mistakes or being safe. It’s about having a little fucking understanding that people make mistakes, falter or make bad judgment calls that they pay for. Piling on by calling them stupid doesn’t really help.

  38. lee says

    OMG Ongina is like one of my Favorites on the show, I hope she wins the compition, this show is soo intertaining, omg that lipsing fight between Jade and Rebecca was so hillarious.

  39. Derrick from Philly says

    BUT anyone and everyone who talks about their HIV status is courageous. You’re warning people to be careful, and you’re encouraging those who are “positive” to be positive about going on with life.

    How the hell did this thread turn so serious? I only like making jokes on the blogs now…no more cussin’ motha’ fuckas out.

  40. Cabs says

    Ongina, you rock! Drag Race is awesome and is helping perpetrate a more positive image of drag culture, all you haters should LAY OFF.

    RuPaul is the most successful drag queen of all time, I can’t wait to see her when she comes here to Seattle!!

  41. sad says

    When you have HIV you don’t just get over it. It never leaves you. You are reminded that you have the disease even if you are not on medication. You worry that today could be the day you get sick or that you have to go on meds and will the meds kill you slowly over time. You wonder what HIV is doing inside your body. You wonder what havoc is being wretched. You read the reports about the deteriorating effect HIV has on metacognition and the brain. What will meds do to my liver? You wonder what would happen if your colleagues find out. Will they be judgemental like the people on this blog? Even though you’re careful you fear ever being in a situation where you might infect someone else. You wonder if the advice you receive from your doctor is the best thing you should do.

    Getting HIV has nothing to do with how smart you think you are or how stupid you are.

    I topped someone once unprotected after the condom broke. Was it stupid. Sure. I guess you’re only smart if you have never had unprotected sex. I am sure you always use a dental damn when you have oral sex too.

  42. Marc says

    And thank you to so many of you for proving once again why we will never gain our rights. Your ability to cower behind an LCD screen like the chickenshits you are, trashing people for their missteps and mistakes shows how self-centered and egotistical you can be. With friends like you, who needs the fanatical Right.

    To kick at someone else in order to elevate yourself shows your own self hatred for what it is.

    Please do us all a favor and feel free to throw yourself in front of the next speeding truck.

    Have a nice day now!

  43. Amy says

    Haters are just people filled with fear and ignorance. Ignorance begins with ignore. Coincidence? I think not.
    You are a beautiful, courageous person and though I don’t know you I am glad to know of you. Whether you were on a reality show or not, the truth of the moment was real and only the people that matter will truly see that. You have shown me that no matter what ill will falls toward a person, standing up and going on to spite it will always make a stronger better person of you.
    *Happy Note*
    You are the CUTEST damn thing I have seen in FOREVER. I just want to put you in my Prada and take you everywhere with me. Although your spirit might take my large hobo Prada :)
    Keep on keepin’ on beautiful and KNOW that you are inspiring people like me and bringing smiles to the world around you. Fight the good fight always, and I will stand beside you.

  44. JimDC says

    DCOMICS: I just want to say I can relate to you 100%. I found out exactly as you, during a busy day at work. I felt that I had a neon sign over my head with the word POZ on it. It was very difficult to deal with at that time and it still can be. But I AM dealing with it and that’s what is important. I would like to say, please stay strong and don’t give into the fears and the thoughts of giving up. You have a lot to offer and don’t think otherwise.

    The hateful, fearful and uneducated comments on here are what are keeping people in the “poz closet”. There is still stigmatization occurring, but it is especially sad to see it so much within the gay community. The comments on here just reinforce the stigma and fear for people trying to come to terms with their positive status. People like Ongina and Jack Macenroth are excellent examples of courage and visibility that will only help to educate and combat the stigma of HIV. Hopefully it will also bring compassion to those who have commented on this blog with such anger and ignorance.

  45. samantha says

    Iam neither a man or gay but I think ongina is a beatiful soul inside as well as outside when she came out and broke down I felt so sad for her but now I think this is no longer a burden she has to carry on alone there is so much love and support for her she just needs to believe it.The rest of you catty folks go find something else to bitch and whine Ongina you go girl!