Uncle Poodle Came Out As HIV-Positive
This post will not be a debate about whether or not Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo is the ultimate symbol of how America has shed its last vestiges of dignity and class. Feel free to go there in the comments. I myself don’t watch Honey Boo-Boo. But because I am a voracious consumer of pop culture, I pretty much know who everyone is and that’s really as far as I can go.
One thing I have noted about the show is their inclusion of Alana Thompson’s (that’s Honey Boo Boo’s real name) uncle Lee Thompson. He’s more popularly known by Alana’s name for him, “Uncle Poodle.” She’s six and refers to gay people as “poodles.” Hey, we’ve been called worse. Alana (or the writer) has a refreshing take on homosexuality (“Ain’t nothing wrong with being a little gay. Everybody’s a little gay.”), and Uncle Poodle’s inclusion as a down-home gay uncle is cool. Yes, America. We wear ball caps, and buy off-brand jeans, and are very comfortable being suburban schlubs (please note that we like “schlubs” here at Manhunt Daily).
In an interview with gay magazine Fenuxe, Thompson opened up about how he was bullied as a teen for being openly gay and how he found out this past March that he was infected with HIV by a former boyfriend. This is unfortunate, but he’s a brave guy for being open about it. Check it out after the break.
- J. Harvey
Dino: Lee, when did you find out about your HIV status?
Lee: I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis. On March 16, 2012, I tested negative. Then, in May of 2012 my test results came back positive. I knew it had been my boyfriend who infected me. I later learned he had been HIV positive and was not taking medication and had not bothered to tell me about it. I was advised that I should press charges and, hesitantly, I did. It was the right thing to do.
Dino: What happened to your ex?
Lee: He is serving a 5-year sentence. I would have been cool with his HIV status if he had been honest. I don’t have an issue with the disease. I would have known how to protect myself.
Dino: What is your message to folks having unsafe sex?
Lee: They are damn fools! They are playing Russian roulette; they are playing with their lives and that of their sexual partners.
Poodle also spoke about how he was bullied when he was younger.
Dino: Did you also come out in school? What were the repercussions?
Lee: I came out in school around 11th or 12th grade. It was definitely not easy for me. On a daily basis I was bullied in one way or another. There was name calling and physical harm all the way to the vandalizing of my car. Being bullied was just a part of my every day.
Dino: What do you advise youngsters to do if they are realizing they may be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
Lee: My advice is to seek out their parents or an adult they trust. I would not advise them to go public or share the information with their schools until they feel safe and comfortable. They will know when the time is right.
Uncle Poodle says that he hopes to get his own show so he can “highlight what it is like being gay in the south.” I’d watch that. That would be serving realness. I really want to see how he actually feels about sister-in-common law Mama June’s forklift foot. That’s really a thing.