Comments

  1. jason says

    Australia is still in the HIV = gay stage of gay rights development. Totally and utterly sad. If you go there, you will see that most of their community newspapers are filled with articles about AIDS. It’s totally and utterly depressing.

    My advice to anyone gay is this: avoid Australia unless you’re intent on suicide. Yes, it’s that depressing a place.

  2. Ryan says

    You know what’s depressing? Reading every comment by Jason on every Towleroad posts. I’ve never seen you say one constructive or upbeat thing. I consider myself an eternal pessimist and your posts even bum ME out.

    I’d probably enjoy Towleroad a lot more if Andy just disabled the comments section altogether.

  3. jason says

    Ryan,

    I’ve been known to say upbeat things. In any case, if you don’t like my negativity, don’t read it. Nobody is forcing you.

    What’s there not to be negative about. I see a scene awash in so many self-destructive and fake things. I wish it were different.

    You know, I yearn for the day when we assert ourselves in the mainstream instead of hiding away in some dark gay bar reading awful community newspapers full of stories on HIV and AIDS.

  4. says

    A powerful and empowering move, Ji; congratulations on making this courageous, public announcement. You add to the good in the world with this.

  5. drex says

    Jason — If you are sitting in a dark gay bar reading awful community newspapers, you have only yourself to blame.

    I am a happily proud, out, gay man, who is not defined solely by my sexuality. Grow up man. Time to shut the pity party down.

  6. Oz in OK says

    Kudos to Ji, his boyfriend and his supportive family!

    And yes, he *is* quite the hottie.

  7. Henry Holland says

    Congratulations to Carl Hester for his gold medal. I’ve been enjoying watching the Equestrian events online, so it was nice to see him win.

  8. mark says

    Jason,

    HIV or not, no one needs to be depressed.

    You can always work for the good health of others or advocate for a cure.

    When either happens we’ll all feel better and you’ll get some creds.

    Meanwhile someone might be authentically helped by something you do and the world will be just a little bit a better place for you and your beau to live in.

    Best,

    Mark

  9. Jay says

    While Mark’s comments were the most constructive and I applaud him for taking the higher road…

    I have to say the thing that depresses me the most are the queens who lament the “lack of community” who do NOTHING to help/foster/create a community. Jason sees nothing but darkness…that’s a terribly sad place to be in…and I hope he gets the right balance of meds and support necessary to come out of that hole. But Drex is right: You hate the view from the window you are looking out of? Go to another window, dude! Or…better yet…do something to change the view in front of you!

    I work in the medical field in the area of HIV, I see subtle and huge changes in all the communities affected by HIV…all the time. Sometimes those changes can be problematic…but sometimes even the challenging changes eventually lead to advancement and hope. For example: The positive guy in Iowa who was arrested, imprisoned, and put on the sex offender list for having sex with a condom without disclosing his HIV status. Many people will see that as a negative (I’m sure he has his issues with it). But he is not just stepping back and accepting the fate of the world (or the Iowa court)…he is taking action, working with others to mobilize communities to create change that may or may not affect him but hopefully will improve the outcomes for countless others. Glass half-empty folks will see his case and lament. Glass half-full folks will see his case and think of the possibilities for advancement in the area of HIV and the law.

  10. Brandon says

    I think his Anderson Cooper comparison is a bizarre. Cooper didn’t come out as HIV+, he came out as gay. With that logic Wallace could have drawn inspiration to make his HIV status known from any inspirational story. I think he unnecessarily implies that all gay men are HIV+.

  11. greg says

    @Brandon

    I think he was very clear in why he mentioned Cooper. It’s about visibility. Being gay and being positive aren’t exclusive things, but they’re both things you wouldn’t know about a person unless they’re open about it.

  12. Gigi says

    @Ryan

    I have to agree with you. Jason’s comment in reference to this article is a shining example of his pessimistic outlook. After reading an article about Ji’s accomplishments, who happens to be from Australia, Jason says “avoid Australia unless you’re intent on suicide.” Seriously? I’ve been to Australia several times and have never had the negative experience that Jason made reference to. Sweeping generalizations such as these benefit nothing and no one.

  13. Marc says

    I have corresponded with Ji intermittently for over a year and he is a very nice guy. I think it was great of him to do so and im proud to say I know the guy.

  14. Brandon says

    Greg,

    I agree with you about the visibility aspect but again, there are countless other inspirational stories that create visibility that Wallace could have found strength from. I still find his comparison bizarre.

  15. Spencer says

    Bobn,

    Yes, trampoline is an Olympic sport, men amd women. It’s quite something to watch if you get a chance. The height and acrobatics they display is amazing.

  16. Craig S says

    Jason, Australia is the country that has one of the world’s largest and most famous LGBT pride events — as well as the country that gave us the single most famous and beloved LGBT-themed movie of the past 20 years, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. Do LGBT people there still face problems? Of course — but that’s still true of every country on earth, including even the ones that are in the vanguard of equality rights.

    It ain’t perfect — no place is — but it’s hardly the worst hellhole on earth for an LGBT person to live in or visit. Even if it’s not the paragon of LGBT acceptance yet, it’s certainly much closer to the top of the list than it is to Uganda.

    As for Ji Wallace, I remember him looking a lot more twinky back when he won his medal, so I’m pleasantly surprised by how woofy hunky hot he’s gotten too. Bravo to him, and I know what I’ll be fantasizing about tonight!

  17. Kath says

    Jason: “Australia is still in the HIV = gay stage of gay rights development”.

    Huh? What a bizarre statement. Australia has one of the highest rates of support for gay rights and gay marriage on the planet.

    We have a huge mardi gras every year which is attended by a cross-section of EVERY community, and have more out n’ proud ‘celebrities’ than you can shake a stick at (comedians, actors, athletes, politicians, football players etc.).

    At every place I’ve worked for the past 10 years, I’ve had at least one gay colleague… and no one could care less. Admittedly this is in the govt/prof/research sector and not on a building site but still!

    We’re also generally not a bunch of right-wing religious weirdos. The Westboro Baptist ‘church’ wouldn’t last 2 seconds here… we’d hound them out with pitchforks.

    And finally, what’s with the “HIV = gay” equation?? If anything, there’s been much more publicity of the risks of the disease to straight people and intravenous drug and steroid users.

    Even at the height of the HIV-hysteria in the ’80s, there wasn’t a blanket assumption of it being a “gay virus” (if anything, it was seen as a “junkie virus” back then).

    But then, most of us aren’t moralising crusaders with a religious agenda… so it tends to get treated as more of a medical/epidemiological issue – at least among people with an IQ above the single digits.

    Of course, every place has its fair share of idiots and bigots, and we’re certainly no different. I wouldn’t want to be a gay kid growing up in Far North Queensland, or a lof of other places. I’m sure lots of Australians have had a horrible experience of bigotry at same stage of their lives…

    But still, I would really like to know upon what basis you make this ‘observation’ of gay people in Australia. ‘Cause it sure sounds like you pulled it out of your arse.

  18. darkmoonman says

    Jason, there are plenty of places in the USA where the equation Gay=AIDS is still the general public mindset. Upon moving to one a few years ago for a job, I was told “Don’t let anyone know you’re HIV+ … they might think you’re Gay!”

  19. Icebloo says

    Jason I am with you on this one. When I went to Australia I too was shocked how backward it was in terms of gay rights. They are many, many years behind and even the current Labor Prime Minister is anti-gay.

    I think the people who are criticizing you on here are the ones who haven’t actually visited Australia.

    In case people haven’t noticed, once a person from Australia gets famous they move out of the country and live in the UK or the US. They very rarely go back to live in Australia. Australians are nice people but their country is BORING. There is NOTHING there.

  20. Xavier says

    Icebloo I disagree with you. Yes, maybe the Prime Minister is anti-gay and have a preasure times, but if you didn’t know there’s still a serie of different laws concerning in equal rights which could be aproved in the next few years, even Tasman authorities made that ultimatum…

    Maybe the country is BORING as you said -Pathetic response for my point of view-, but sorry, I lived in Australia and they have better opportunities. I guess it depends what you want

    Concerning of gay rights, Australia isn’t exactly a hell. Jay, I invite you living in my country -Mexico-. Yes, the capital city is excellent, but you need to check in other places where the gay people is suffering discrimination even hate crimes.

  21. Poopele says

    Gay Australian Olympian Trampolinist Comes Out as HIV-Positive

    That has to be one of the top 10 headlines in the history of the internet.

  22. Tristram says

    I am Australian and I 1 million percent agree about the sad state of the ‘community’ rags here. We are – as a nation – however, not appalling on gay rights. Although the prime minister is anti-gay marriage, she has many opponents. Add to that the fact that the majority of Australians are in support of gay marriage (similar situation to the US) and we have many prominent politicians who are opening supportive of marriage equality.

    As for anyone saying Australia is ‘boring’ with ‘nothing to do’, you’ve clearly never been to Sydney in Summer. Get a guide book.

  23. says

    I work with many HIV poz men and magnetic relationships are now possible much easier than others. Gay HIV poz men should not be intimidated by stigma nor what others think. Key is to learn from mistakes and move on.