If anyone has ever heard of a support group for straight positive people anywhere in the Bay Area, could someone please let the California AIDS Hotline know about it, 1-800-FORAIDS. And if you are a volunteer for the hotline [the executive director of
+Positive House was once too] and someone calls and identifies as HIV+ and says, “Please don’t refer me to a women’s group, I’m looking for a straight group,” please don’t refer her to women’s groups anyway. There is much to love and learn from many women, but heterosexuality is not solely a woman’s issue. Not even a sole HIV+ woman’s issue. And please don’t say, “I’m sorry there aren’t more groups for women (there are several), but I just don’t think you’re going to find anything for just straight women,” [rage]; or hand the phone over to a woman without relevance to sexual orientation at all; or refer her to "women-and-children." (Children's services are a very, very, very good thing for children and for positive women who have them and for fathers who care. If a caller hasn't mentioned children, don't refer her to children without at least asking her first if she has any. "Women and children" is not one word--how does "men-and-children" sound? Consider, just for a moment, how it would make you feel over and over again to be refered to children's services if you didn't have children and wanted them very badly? How would that make you feel if you didn't have children, and didn't have them very much on purpose--but would have if you didn't have the responsbilities--no my using the word "responsibilities" is not a quip at women who assume many more responsibilities than I can handle--of dealing with so many other problems that you, by yourself negotioate and want help and positive male company with? It's not true that all positive women neglect their own wellbeing because they've put care for dependents first. That doesn't mean that we aren't part of culture or don't deserve sensitivity.) And if someone calls the hotline and says, "Please don't refer me to a women's group. I'm looking for a straight group," please don't (however well-intentioned, and however worthwhile the service) refer her to Narcotics Anonymous if she’s never had a IVD-addiction, and tell her to go anyway; or assume that it must be some kind of straight prank call and refer her to places that don’t exist. Just say, I’m sorry but there is nothing in the database for California under “straight” or “heterosexual,” and there never has been.