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Gay Stories: T.C., Living with HIV, Recalls the Early Days of AIDS



Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee just finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written storiesvia IFD.

Nathan writes: Driftwood

We met T.C. at a Reading Event in Denver, at their shiny new LGBT Center. After the event we were having some small talk and while we already had our Video Stories scheduled for the next day, I knew we had to find time to fit in T.C.’s.

He shared a few stories with us and the edited one is what we thought was the most important. We’re hoping to post his others soon, which go into more details about his son, as well as meeting his first boyfriend at a biker bar. He explained with a glimmer in his eye that to this day his heart races when he hears a Harley roar by.


Previously in this series...
A Survivor's Account of an Unbelievable Hell Called Home [tr]
A Mayor's Coming Out [tr]
A Gay City Councilman Moves His Family to Higher Ground [tr]
Deaf, Gay, Bullied, and Fighting Back [tr]
San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty on Bullying [tr]

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  1. Great story. Props for T.C.; you're a strong man and human being.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 3, 2011 11:07:03 AM

  2. He had a kid when he was 13? That is a Southern Virginia story. Good for him to still be around. This is what determination looks like. I liked his comment about the power of the mind. So true.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 3, 2011 11:32:43 AM

  3. He had a kid when he was 13? That is a Southern Virginia story. Good for him to still be around. This is what determination looks like. I liked his comment about the power of the mind. So true.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 3, 2011 11:32:43 AM

  4. Bravo T.C.
    long life-

    Posted by: nick | Feb 3, 2011 11:57:42 AM

  5. I was in jr high, but remember that Rcok Hudson moment too and wondering what I was going to do since gay = death in the 80s.

    TC, God bless you are remarkable.

    Posted by: Geoff | Feb 3, 2011 12:28:28 PM

  6. One foot in front of the other, right TC?

    Bless your heart.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Feb 3, 2011 1:07:05 PM

  7. wow. thank you for sharing that, tc. young guy living with hiv here.

    Posted by: me | Feb 3, 2011 1:19:51 PM

  8. thanks everybody for your thoughts & comments!
    & foot in front of the's the only way to live..& the post from ME...feel free to contact me to talk if you want to.

    Posted by: TC Haskins | Feb 3, 2011 1:48:05 PM

  9. Hey T.C., glad to see you are doing alright. Thanks for sharing your story. XO

    Posted by: homer | Feb 3, 2011 3:56:47 PM

  10. Bravo, TC.

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 3, 2011 4:02:54 PM

  11. Beautiful. Keep on Truckin T.C.
    Living w/HIV and found that to be so very uplifting. God bless you man, you've inspired me! Wishing you continued health and a long happy life.

    Posted by: Alexander | Feb 3, 2011 6:28:15 PM

  12. Is the rest of this interview posted anywhere? If not can you please post the rest of it? I know TC and he is one hell of a guy. I would love to see the interview in it's entirity.

    Posted by: Ken Sutton | Feb 3, 2011 11:36:21 PM

  13. Thanks, TC, for this stark reminder of what it was like. I was in my mid 30s in 1985, and living in SF. I had started to see people die at the end of 1981; I was diagnosed with HIV in 1985 after entering a national health study (which I participate in to this day.) I remember we were desperate for anything as a possible cure. I was buying these lecithin packets through a "buyers club" in SF. They came from India, I think, and you had to keep them refrigerated and squeeze the lecithin into a glass of OJ with a RAW egg yolk and swallow that. I did that for a few years. It tasted like crap. But someone had come up with this as a possible remedy and people were desperate to try anything. I remember the summer of 1983 in particular; it was a living nightmare. You'd see people walking through the Castro on Saturday morning, among them your friends, or faces you knew from the gym or the bars or the baths, and they looked like zombies. Some had just discovered a purple spot on their bodies (likely KS, which was rampant then); others' faces were ashen with the grief of having suddenly lost friends. It was like a wildfire consuming the city. I think about the friends who didn't make it to 1996, when protease inhibitors appeared, and I wonder what my life would be like if I still had those buddies. Many of them had a more positive outlook on things than I did, and supported me through my fear. Despite that, they went from diagnosis to death in 18 months, which was pretty much the course back then. But we were close and I will never forget my SF family. We were a community fighting -- mostly alone -- for our survival back then. We forget that at our peril.

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 4, 2011 7:49:33 PM

  14. Thanks T.C. for your great sharing. I was diagnosed positive in 2002 and confess my feelings were that worst - wouldn't trust anybody, any doctor, any medicines... just thought death as close. Now I think there might be life after HIV, and your true story becomes part of it. Best wishes =o)

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 21, 2011 2:28:00 PM

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