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9 comments | Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Antron Reshaud is a poet and author of Bohemian Rebel: Naked and Exposed. Vol 1 and the forthcoming The Rising Vol 2. He has been featured on CNN and in Southern Voice. A native of Gainesville, Florida he now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. This is his story.

Darian: Did you recognize from an early age that you were different?

Antron: I knew that I was different. I didn't know what it meant to be gay...I was four. I didn't know what that word meant, I was just being Antron.

Darian: And who was Antron at the time? Was he effeminate, quiet, shy, or was he outspoken?

Antron: I had a lot of feminine tendencies, I still do to this day. I was really shy, definitely not as outspoken as I am today.

Darian: So when was your first sexual experience?

Antron: Consensual I would say when I was twenty. Non-consensual when I was seventeen. I was raped by two guys in this field in my neighborhood. I remember coming home from the pool and they were teasing me and I just ignored them. I just remember hearing one of the boys say, "you got something to say faggot"? And I could feel their footsteps getting faster and I'm getting faster. And then I feel something sharp hit the back of my head and it started bleeding. They were throwing rocks and beer bottles.

I started running and then I tripped over the flip-flops I was wearing and the first thing I felt was a kick to my stomach. I tried fighting back but they were just too strong. The next thing I know my hands are being bound and I hear the sound of a belt buckle coming undone. He pulls his pants down and then proceeds to pull my swim trunks down and spreads my legs, and just basically inserted his dick in me.

I screamed and every time I would scream they would hit me in my face or kick me. So I was getting hit and getting fucked at the same time. And when they were done one of them spit on me and started laughing. When it was over I just remember holding myself trying to figure out what just happened.

Darian: Did you know the two guys who raped you?

Antron: One of the guys I knew because he lived in my neighborhood, the other guy I didn't know. I remember walking home and I was beat up and previously my mom and I had an argument about my "gayness", and she wanted to make a t-shirt for me to wear to school that said, "I'm a fag please kick my ass" to try an embarrass me.

Darian: In hopes of changing your mind about being gay?

Antron: Yeah. And when I came home all bruised up she said, "see that's what you get for being gay".

Darian: Did you confirm your sexuality for your parents prior to the rape?

Antron: No. I couldn't say the words because there's a lot of island influence in my family and they're very religious. My mother used to threaten to have my uncles come over and whip my ass if I ever came out. I used to ask God how could he love and hate what he created all at the same time.

Darian: So was it hard for you to participate in consensual intercourse after this happened?

Antron: I didn't want to have sex at all and then I met Jordan. My relationship with my mother was on the rocks and she put me out(of the house) so I went to stay with Jordan. He was the first person I told about my rape. I remember this like it was yesterday. I was studying for mid-terms and he stormed into the house and he was like, "I wanna fuck"! I said no! We got into this big argument and he started hitting me and throwing me around the room and then he raped me too. He's actually the person who infected me.

Darian: Did you have any idea he was positive or did he know?

Antron: Actually that's why he was so mad. He'd just found out he was positive. He was infected by this girl he was messing with who was having sex with this guy who was on the DL. So when he found out he was positive he wanted to take it out on someone else so he intentionally infected me. I didn't find out about being positive until a year later.

Darian: So their were no early symptoms?

Antron: No I was completely fine. I didn't get sick. I didn't suffer from night sweats or anything.

Darian: So I'm assuming you eventually went to get tested.

Antron: I actually donated blood and The Red Cross notified me. A healthcare worker came to my house and sat on my couch and gave me my results and I just cried.

Darian: What year was this?

Antron: This was in 2004. I was nineteen years old.

Darian; So who did you go to for support?

Antron: I didn't have a support system. I didn't want to tell anybody. I didn't even want to admit it to myself. HIV had become my scarlet letter.

Darian: So how did you move from a place of denial and fear to a place of acceptance?

Antron: That's a good question. A part of me felt like people needed to know that HIV is nothing to play with. Talking about it was my way of educating myself and others.

Darian: Do you think about death?

Antron: It's almost like I'm not afraid of death anymore because I've confronted it. Everyday I have a choice to live or die and I choose life.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This really hits home for me. The first time I had gay sex I was 18 years old. I used protection every time I had anal sex but I was so naive at 18 I didn't think I could get HIV from oral sex so I would have unprotected oral sex (something a lot of people do but I now regard as unsafe). I was promiscuous as a freshman in college, mostly becuz I came from a small town, that was very non gay friendly and I had to learn everything while in college. So a lot of bad decisions were made on my part. I was talking to this guy who was my main sexual partner and we once had sex without a condom. I can remember him nutting in me and it just left me really shuck up. I swore off having sex ever since then. I had never been tested for HIV cuz I felt hey I have never did anything SERIOUS except for that one time and he said he was clean and so am I. It took almost 2 years for me to finally get tested. The results took 2 months to come back and I was soo nervous. Fortunately for me I was negative. I dodged a bullet and I know it. This is why its so important that there is advocacy is given to these young guys! And we also need to encourage gay men to explore other forms of pleasure than anal sex which is the easiest way to catch any STD even with a condom on. Thanks for your story Antron!!

March 13, 2009 11:36 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Thank you for your story Antron..I takes a LOT of courage to speak on an experience like that. God Bless You...I pray your future is brighter than your past.

March 13, 2009 3:20 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Thanks for the candidness, Antron! You are my BraveSoul brother and we are connected, so you always have my support. My arms are open for you.

March 13, 2009 7:09 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

bitch this is why i hate you "D" OMG LOL LOL .........
This story i needed to hear lately i have been getting everyone around me too get tested asap..but my heart goes out too you and i trully feel your life is just starting..Antron i work in the industry and eveyday i hear about someone sleepying with someone and things like hiv/aids/stds are nothing too them..like wow i just dont know what too say..

March 13, 2009 9:38 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I have so many emotions about this story. First, a seventeen year old Antron comes home beat up/bruised/raped and his mother says "see, that's what you get for being gay". WHY DIDN'T HIS MOTHER CALL THE POLICE?

Regarding the second rape that resulted in Antron being infected with HIV - why didn't he call the police? A rapist who intentionally infects someone with HIV is potentially guilty of several felonies. Perhaps if Antron's mother had taken the appropriate action regarding the first assault/rape, he would have known what to do when it happened the second time. His mother's gross negligence set him up to think that he "deserved" to be abused because he was gay.

Black neighborhoods are dangerous places for "clockable" black gay boys and men. They are looked at as NOTHING BUT objects for physical and/or sexual degradation by so-called "straight" black men. I know this from personal experience. And black girls and women can be viciously homophobic as well (Antron's own mother threw him under the bus and then ran the bus over him).

I realize that this thread is about black gay men living with HIV/AIDS but I was totally outraged when I read this because this young man is HIV-positive because of something an EVIL person did to him - not because he had unprotected CONSENSUAL sex. A crime was committed against this young man that will probably go unpunished.

I am an older "clockable" black gay man. My advice to young (and not so young) "clockable" black gay men is this - get away from the "hood" as soon as you can. Don't worry about the details, just do it. The hood is dangerous to your health mentally, spiritually, physically, sexually and every other way you can think of.

I could tell you horror stories about young (and not so young) black gay men I've known over the years but that is not the subject of this thread.

March 14, 2009 9:15 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This is so sad...and he is such a beautiful person on the out and inside. I just read some of his poems and Im already a fan. I wish him nothing but the best.

March 14, 2009 11:11 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I'm confused. Did he say that the second time was consensual--and the proceed to describe being raped by his partner?

March 17, 2009 9:48 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Also, I find it very curious that there is a deafening silence on the HIV-through-oral-sex issue:


If this is true then the idea of using a condom and getting tsted is very suspect because it does not include this method of transmission.

I couldn't tell you one person I know who could find an "oral condom" or has even used one--if they have even heard of it.

March 17, 2009 9:52 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

OMG what a tragic story! This just goes to show the service rendered by those who've come before us and come out to their families and forced them to come to terms.

Still I don't know what the answer is because no family is ever prepared in any positive way to deal with a gay child or sibling.

This story is a perfect example of the tragedy that is homophobia, both from those we love and from strangers. I applaud you for opening up with your story, and wish you all the best.

Imagine how many people this happens to that never utter a word about it?

March 19, 2009 4:35 PM


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