QuestionMark? #80

July 22, 2016by Mark Rutherford

I have been trying to get a legal status in this country since 1990 and
the only thing I have so far is an adjusting status meaning work permit
and social security. I’m 43 y/o married w/ one child 15 y/o and because
him I went to the doctor for a physical. The tests showed I am HIV+ and
now my world is going up and down. I have no idea what to do because I
do not know is this new may  affect my “status” or the fact of getting
any. That is way I’m writing to you knowing you know a lot of people
maybe someone can have and answer to my question.
any help or advice from you will be really helpful and appreciate.




Hey Hector, My name is Mark Rutherford and I’m a Psychotherapist in town. Have you talked to a lawyer yet? If not, let me know and I will direct you towards one. Upon initial checking, I found that HIV can affect your residency status BUT it is not a lost cause. It just means you have to take some precautions. The Legal Aid Society is in Palm Beach but handles matters throughout south florida. Call them and ask for David Begley 561-655-9660.     Are you seeing a doctor? If not, get to one as quickly as you can. Time is an alley for you in this fight against HIV. Use it to your advantage.


In the meantime, take a deep breath and try to remember the good things in your life. Talk with your son. Is he aware of your status? Lean on your partner, or your wife, or whoever is in your life at the moment. Although you may feel alone please remember you are not. There are people all around who care what happens to you.


Contact me with any questions. Mark Rutherford


Dear Sir, if religion is a threat to you, go right ahead and continue to make a mockery of the state of man.  But human beings were born heterosexual, man for woman, and woman for man.  There is no species in nature that is naturally homosexual.  Mankind, in his/her complex emotional state, makes conscious decisions, unlike animals who only obey a genetic code of conduct.  Confusion about one’s gender can result in homosexuality, but there is no homosexual gene, no third option that allows for one gender to turn on itself to satisfy base desires out of complete lack of self control and loathe for oneself and the other gender too.  Homosexuality is a person’s decision to defile themselves.  No matter how much one tries to justify it, it is simply unnatural.  It is incorrect and extremely emotionally harmful.  I will not contact you again.  But I hope that you are a little open-minded to consider that maybe it is not a good thing for people to copulate with their own gender.

Signed, Willy


Hey Willy, Marky G forwarded me your email. It made me sad to read your words. There are so many things I could say to you. But I guess the most important thing is this….we are indeed the sum of our choices in life. If you wish for a safe uneventful existence then you made the right choices. In many ways, it may not be the wrong choice for you at all. But a part of me fears there is so much more of you beneath the surface that no one has ever really had the chance to see before.


Have you ever thought of talking with your wife about some of your concerns/thoughts? Would she be totally mortified? Maybe she has known all along and would be willing to work on a relationship that benefits you both. It seems to me you have much love between you. Put it to good use. In being honest with her, you open the door to a much richer existence…whether or not you choose to be with men. There are so many nuances a new decision could bring that it is hard, at this point, to even conceptualize them.


I’m not saying go out and tell her. But I would recommend a therapist to help you sort through all your questions so at least you have a firmer grip on what the real issues are and you are not paralyzed by your fear. Use therapy as your “safe place” to work through these issues. I would suggest a gay or lesbian therapist but it doesn’t have to be. My only reason for saying this is they can give you a more well rounded view of the totality of gay life….not just the stereotypes. If you have any questions, please contact me. Take Care, Mark


Dear Mark,

May I suggest a segment on trying to mature as a community? My therapist’s office was packed to the rafters with gay men with “issues”.  Perhaps if the community read the newspaper more and became more involved with things that matter, rather than ‘whether my ass looks droopy in these pants’ everyone would be healthier. The New York Times reported two weeks ago that after all the political lobbying and pressure to legalize same-sex unions, a measley 500 couples had signed up to register in Canada. Where is everyone else? They are at the tea dance wondering if there pants are tight enough.

I may not be living “Romeo & Juliet” but after six months of therapy and hour after hour with an out-gay lawyer friend, who is taking mega doses of Prozac after the breakup with boyfriend No. 17, I have pretty much decided to sit this life quietly out. Thoreau says, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I would rather spending it raising two healthy children in quiet desperation than crying into my vodka cranberry at The Martini Club Tuesday night mixer, sucking my stomach in.



Disenchanted and gay


Dear Disenchanted and gay,

I was thinking you might want to try something along the lines of a support group. The Gay Male Empowerment Project does periodic talks and get togethers for gay men wanting more out of life. It seems as if it may just up your alley. Give it a try. Contact Richard Mayora at or look in the Express for more info.

Also, have you thougth about the Metropolitan Community Church in Lauderdale. It is filled with men who are more than just bar scene guys. The people that attend are looking to connect with someone on a more spiritual level. The Gay Mens Chorus might be another good option for you.


These are just thoughts of course. But your story touched me and I would wish that you at least get a chance to experience the wonderful components of gay life before giving it up for good. The beauty of being gay is that you can be anything and anyone you want to be. If you want to get married, now, in some places, you have that option. If you want to be a circuit boy there are plenty of opportunities. If you want to live in middle America in one of the square states, you can do it without fearing for your life for the most part. If you want to be in politics, just look at your gay brothers and sisters before you. Locally, Jim Stork and Dean Trantalis are wonderful role modes. There are gay ministers, gay rabbis, gay policemen and firefighters, gay mothers and gay fathers. There is so much more. There is a world of more out there for you if you just give it a chance. If loving another man is truly what is in your heart, the greatest tragedy in your life would be that you didn’t listen to that message.


All My Best, Mark Rutherford