Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gay Community Up in Arms With Wendy After Advice to Caller About HIV

Sheldon DeSouza, communications co-chair for the Black Gay Men Network, which is part of the National AIDS Institute, is leading the fight to have Wendy boycotted, censured and educated on HIV/AIDS issues following, what he claims, was ill-informed advice to a 23-year-old male caller last month who wanted to know how to deal with a male love interest who's HIV positive.

Sheldon was livid and rushed to a phone to call Wendy. Once he was patched through, the two got into a spirited - sometimes heated - debate on the issue of HIV.

His group has since been urging its members - and others - to sound the alarm and contact Wendy, her flagship radio station, WBLS, and advertisers with their disapproval.

Here's the original phone call and discussion with Sheldon and later Michael, who said her comments were "irresponsible."

And now, here's Sheldon taking his disapproval and talks of boycotting to the people.

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Anonymous said...

First of all the caller didn't ask her for advice as to how to navigate through this new relationship with an HIV positive male, which would require health-related information on Wendy's part. The caller simply asked whether to stay or not. I don't think the caller would've contacted Wendy if they were comfortable navigating a mature relationship with someone that's HIV-positive. However, it would take common sense to contact a health professional with this issue and not a radio talk-show personality. HELLO!!

If I put myself in that caller's shoes (I'm 25), I would do the same thing, bail! When an HIV positive person, or anyone that has a transmittable disease, is open and honest with their mate, that gives their mate the choice of whether to continue or not. Everyone has a choice! They have the choice to be honest and the other has the choice to further engage or not.

Anonymous said...

Wendy the college graduate is an idiot take what she says with a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

Wendy would have given this advice to any 23-year old! There is nothing outrageous about it. If that boy really wanted to pursue that he would not be calling Wendy. That the problem with a lot of young people today is that they take on too much too soon (ie Chris Brown & Rihanna). Dont go chasing waterfalls!

Anonymous said...

I think that it is so sad in this day and age with all the information around about HIV/AIDS....people including "Wendy" are so ignorant. She has a right to her own opinion, but it seems that a person in her field would try to be more intelligent, educated and have more compassion!

Anonymous said...

In her field!?!? PA-LEASE!

Anonymous said...

As a black gay man who is actually positive, I would have to agree with Wendy on this one. At 23 I did not know how to navigate a relationship with someone who is positive. It's already hard enough finding a long term relationship with any black gay man, so why add this extra layer to the mix. Having HIV is no joke and should not be taken lightly by any means. At 23, what would happen if your partner gets sick? Would you be around to take care of them? What about helping them emotionally? Would you know how to help them cope? And in 1 months time, he doesn't have to feel obligated to be with anyone no matter their status.

And I am all for full disclosure and giving someone the opportunity to choose.

Anonymous said...

She had compassion for her caller and let them know it was okay to bail on the relationship. Nobody has to stay in a relationship they are not comfortable with just to be PC. The caller was told so he would have a choice. When you give a person a choice, you shouldn't complain if they don't choose you for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I don't agree with you on this AT ALL. It's not an automatic Run Away. I think Sheldon is right. But I think he's WRONG with is representation of what happened. If the truth gets you abandoned, fewer people will disclose their status, Straight or Gay. I know you're a truth teller/seeker, but just like that DL issue, if people were able to come out to a community that still loves and embraces them they wouldn't have to LIE.

I do get your point it's a "personal choice". But that's "bad advice", a bad signal to send. Should ALL of us run away from someone who has a chronic illness? I also feel that Sheldon makes some good points but his "recanting" of what happened on the radio ISN'T ACCURATE. Some of that is his ego. The truth is...you DID listen. You got the conversation started. You opened the forum. You even invited him to call back, not to CLOWN HIM as he said, but to continue the conversation. I know you can be ruthless and greasy but you were NOT during that conversation. In fact, you defended his right to disagree to the texters. Again, I disagree with you A LOT. And I do think some of comments are reckless at times. But on THIS situation, I thought you were respectful. I suggest when you get your talk show, invite Sheldon on to continue the dialog. You are not the only one in our community that feels that way. We NEED to be having this discussion. I'm not gay, but I have a sexually active teenager with a kid. (Clearly there was no safe sex that night for him.) That HIV pos person could have been my son just as easily. I'm saying this is a conversation as you said, that is not specific to GAYS. We need more compassion in our community. For people who are HIV POS, for people who disagree, for choices people make. The fact that you posted this on your site says two things to me--you want the conversation to continue and it should. And you recognize a good controversy when you see it---good for the ratings right before your show airs, right? LOL. How YOU doin'?!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Wendy its my right to make a decision, I am not obligated to anyone but myself..EVERYONE can't handle helping someone with this disease..after dating for 30 days?? I am going to hunker down and have a relationship because now he has revealed his status?? nahhhh, I don't HAVE to stay with anyone..and I would NEVER have sex w/o a condom either.

I stand by your response Wendy, that boy is 23 and he has alot he can do with his life instead of being in an HIV relationship, some people can handle it some can't..

I am a heterosexual female and I just switched it if a man I was dating for 30 days revealed he had HIV, I don't think I can handle that right now. I have met someone that wanted to reveal his status to me, I told him he did not have to tell me I already knew..we did not have sex and were just friends, when he needed a few dollars, we'd hang out at the park..I'd make him healthy shakes to make him feel better..I did not want him to tell me, he was so young and vibrant RIP Horace, I never asked if he was gay or had used drugs intravaneously, It did not matter.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that I agree that the matter could have been handled better but I don't necessarily disagree with Wendy on the note that the young man has a choice. Let's be honest if you put two guys next to each other with equal things you like about them but one has HIV and the other didn't who would you choose? If you are honest it would be the one without HIV. With that said it’s not that the one without HIV is better than the other guy but if you had to choice to have a great guy without HIV where you don't have to take on the HIV/AIDS baggage wouldn’t you like to have that choice? Believe me there will be other baggage to think about with someone without HIV to question yourself about accepting or not. If you have the choice which was the bottom line of the caller was asking Wendy what should he do? She could have said go with your heart the man treats you well and that’s what is important to you then continue to date him but if being with someone that is not HIV positive is more important then you have a choice to discontinue moving ahead into a future relationship. It’s about having a choice to choose what you want to deal with and what you don't. That's my take on the situation.

Anonymous said...

Wendy didn't encourge or empower the young man with "you have a choice". She didn't encourage him to follow his Bliss, First Mind, she told him to head for the hills. Not good advice.
He said the other kat was good to him. Okay so maybe their relationship wouldn't have advanced to include sex, but to turn his back on someone who's been good to him just because he's positive? That's inhumane. Encourage compassion even during advice hour, Wendy. You're going National. I'm down with you "keepin' it real" but their is a difference between saying "this is what I would do" and saying "this is what you should do". Giving advice can still include leading people toward decisions that "might" work best for them. It's not worth protesting Wendy and all the good advice she's given but Wendy come on no person is disposable HIV pos or not.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing wrong with the advice Wendy gave that caller...I listened to it myself and agreed totally...Anyway, people are grown and should have enough sense to know how to live their lives without calling into radio shows.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't take advice from a battered, fake bodied, self-hating, abortion queen if she were the last syndicated talk show host in Manhattan! He knows right from wrong! That child just wanted to hear himself on the radio.

Wendy, was wrong to insinuate he bail, again, she does say, she's not a licensed therapist. Had I given him advice, as a peer, I would have told him to think about the potential risk he will be taking dating someone with HIV.

Condoms break.

Offtopic: Sheldon can get it right? Light eyes... Right? Right?

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