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Gay Comic Shuts Down HIV Gossip in Startling New Video

Gay Comic Shuts Down HIV Gossip in Startling New Video

<p>Gay Comic Shuts Down HIV Gossip in Startling New Video</p>


Comedian Michael Henry schools a friend on why disclosing someone else's HIV status is totally not cool.

This column was reprinted with permission from Mark S. King and his My Fabulous Disease blog. You can read the original story here.

Writer and comedian Michael Henry has become a sly critic of gay culture and sexual politics, regularly tackling issues such as body image, masculinity, and every aspect of queer desire you might imagine. His sharp wit and social insight have endeared him to nearly 200,000 YouTube subscribers, and if you’re a queer man on social media you’ve very likely giggled at one of his videos on your feed.

The video he released last week, “Status,” begins with the promise of his usual shenanigans, set at a West Hollywood pool party overflowing with hard bodies and catty banter.

And then Michael Henry pulls the rug out from under his audience.

The character Jeremy spies Michael (who plays a version of himself) making out with a guy named Rex, and when Rex steps away Jeremy takes it upon himself to give Michael some important information about the guy Michael has been canoodling with.

“Rex is HIV positive,” Jeremy whispers into Michael’s ear.

The look of revelation on Michael’s face is simply brilliant (don’t let it be said that comics aren’t gifted actors). It is a stunned look of betrayal and disbelief – but not in the way some might expect. Michael is shocked that Jeremy would dare disclose the status of someone else, and poor, judgmental, ignorant Jeremy is about to be schooled on HIV stigma and disclosure.

The evisceration that follows must be seen to be enjoyed in all its glory and righteousness. Michael lays out for Jeremy, and for all of us watching, why disclosing someone’s status to a third party is uncool, outdated, and damaging. Michael explains that he is quite capable of making healthy decisions for himself, thankyouverymuch, and throws in an “undetectable equals untransmittable” message for good measure.

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