For the first time, Nathaniel Hall got sex, she signed an HIV contract. She was 16 years old and recently came out as gay. Through his fear, shame and self-restraint, he kept his secret to his family for the next 14 years.
Last year, he "came out" for the second time in his life and regained control after writing a game about his experience. Nathaniel, 32, a 32-year-old athlete from Manchester, hopes his one-man show will talk about the introduction of HIV in popular culture.
Nathaniel explains how he was learning how HIV was positive when he was still a child.
Old Summer & # 39; Summer Romance & # 39;
I knew I was gay around 13 or 14, but in 2003 it was a fairly different time. She was also not an option at school. It was all secret … who was gay to sort out to find out.
And then this guy … I was 16 years old, he was bigger than me – in his early mid-20s. Suddenly this old man gave me a little attention and gave me almost recognition – he was very addictive. So we started watching each other.
That relationship did not last long; It was really just two months away. It all happened in the summer – between school and college – summer romance, as it was. And then we went to our different ways.
When I told them [about the HIV diagnosis], I received messages from his friends – keeping in mind they were older than me – saying that I was just an idiot boy and I was making them worse and worse.
So I really want that it needs testing and treatment, so that it will not pass it, because most of the infections come from people who do not know they have a virus.
But I did not know whether he knew or not. He told me that he has been tested and he has a clean bill of health … at 16 o'clock you do not have the ability to challenge it.
& # 39; It appears that the bus hits you & # 39;
When I was diagnosed I was only 17 years old. I remember that he is very kind to me in the clinic and I do not remember much more than meeting the news. Then go back home and make this decision … I decided to go to my bedroom and stop the door, rather than go and tell what happened.
It seemed to be a hit by bus … because when I try it and remember it, it's almost boring feeling of hard-hitting. I remember crying. What I was told was very different from what you were told today.
It was definitely not the era of the AIDS epidemic … the medicine was around and it was well and improved, but I was told that therapeuticity was almost 37 years. So in reality it was a figure placed on it, which was a very heavy thing to face.
I was consulted by my college and I got support and I had a feeling that by the end of last year, I had a slight break when I was okay.
& # 39; I think shame actually controls me & # 39;
I think shame is a big one … it is actually the only disease where it has a moral judgment attached to it and to a certain extent – there is also self-judgment.
I was gay … but you grew up in a straight world. You hear that you are morally wrong, or what you do is dirty and you should be ashamed of it. So I was really becoming awakened about it.
Then you can hear such warnings – "Oh, you will be punished". So it was like a prophecy, at that moment, at that moment, and it was very powerful – and it was shameful that I was pushing myself.
When I was in school, our same-sex education was a gay galation, it was a video that we saw in which died from Gay gay Aids.
She was completely old and therefore the messages I was receiving – that I was somehow subordinate or was doing what I was doing was wrong or immoral or she did not come from my family – but they came from around me.
They sink over time and then suddenly, I've become such a stereotype. So I think the shame really, really controls me.
& # 39; I did not know who I was & # 39;
I think that was the key moment when I was two days after the party and I was not really able to sleep. I saw myself in the mirror and I did not know that person.
At that time I realized that drugs and alcohol … are not necessary on my life … but I misused them that was not good for me.
It was not a great addiction or anything like that, but I was self-medicined by alcohol. I am trying to get rid of this low level anxiety and stress that has been built for years.
I realized that if I had not done anything about it, then it could proceed in a real and serious problem. Have to change something.
& # 39; Sorry I thought I had to keep it secret & # 39;
I need to tell my family. I've tried many times before but it has never happened and never got out. So I started the journey of drama and started writing and explained the meaning of things by my writing. Then I decided to write a letter to my parents and siblings.
I say that I will give everything to say after noon. I told myself that I do not need to send it, I need to write it and then how I felt about it.
But after writing it, I really felt very quiet so I just put them in the envelopes and posted them before changing my mind.
I did that because I tried it often to say and I was not able to. And I did not even think that I can do it four times in a row, without emotional destruction until its end.
The answer was very overwhelming, for being honest! How does he know that before many people understand, I think how he knows. What could be fearful of this … … everyone sent me text messages and called me and they were absolutely beautiful. They were just sorry that I thought I'd have to keep this secret for a long time.
My mother came the next day and we chatted My big thing was that they would get upset that I did not tell them and that this really big thing was kept from them. But my mom said: "I'm very upset that my son has been struggling with it for so long."
She was in fear. There were some internal homophobia that many gay men, and then this other layer of shame, and fears over it creates fear and that is really powerful. Even if you have a really loving family, you still struggle to tell them.
& # 39; I got up every morning with a knot in my heart & # 39;
It's not all like fixing everything suddenly. But writing and working on the show has led me to some difficult places and it is difficult.
But I felt very relaxed and things and some concerns have arisen that have to be faced. I wake up every morning with a knot in my chest, my heart.
I did not think that it affected me but when I told my family, it got a little different and I thought, "my lord, you are living with this almost uncomfortable anxiety". Every morning I felt in my chest, afraid of fear – and now I can feel it because I talk about it.
But since I went on that journey, after accepting that breakup and for some bad choices I made and to make peace with him, I do not have to be a perfect person I'm trying to try – and he was very free and very liberator.
Personal letters, poems, confessions, and Nathaniel's cramps-ego series are said, Sue, the first time gay and HIV positive is about to grow.
This game is a part of a series of events WaterSide Arts, Sales To mark 30 years after the first World Assistance Day
In conjunction with Greater Manchester Credit Partnership (Passionate about sexual health), creative workshops at weekends, a gallery exhibition, free HIV testing and HIV charity, to raise money for "out of" party.
As Paul Cawney said