Social Question

JilltheTooth's avatar

Project Runway contestant reveals he's HIV positive on national television. Brave and/or foolish...your thoughts?

Asked by JilltheTooth (19692points) October 2nd, 2010

This thread prompted me to ask. I’m sure (I hope) he told his loved ones before it aired, but now I worry about the backlash for him. Personally, I thought he was very brave and a bit foolish. I hope his courage spurs people into becoming educated on the subject…

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23 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

The way I see it, it’s better than spreading it around unknowingly.

jrpowell's avatar

It raises awareness so that is good. And reality shows are usually filmed months before they air. That gives him plenty of time to call his family so they don’t have to learn about it on TV.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Blackberry : I’m more concerned about the reveal, not about his awareness of being HIV positive.
@johnpowell : I’m sure he probably did, what worries me is possible backlash from people who will recognize him on the street; perhaps models and sample makers that will refuse to work with him, etc. Judging by his performance so far on the show, he may very well win. His status, so publicly proclaimed, may have unforeseen consequences.

AmWiser's avatar

I would think it better that he brought out his own shortcomings rather than someone snooping out this information and broadcasting it to the world. People can be so cruel.

Frenchfry's avatar

Brave…. This like Top Model when she told everyone she will be blind in a few short years. ( I don’t know made me think of that) He might get a sympothy vote. Here and there.

jrpowell's avatar

@JilltheTooth :: I’m pretty sure the fashion industry and people that watch Project Runway are pretty damn cool with homosexuality. It isn’t like he is a NASCAR driver that came out.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@johnpowell : I also worry about the public exposure… there are too many out there that might take violent action against him.

jrpowell's avatar

@JilltheTooth :: I understand the concern. But I think the guy will be safe. Like every other person on a reality TV show they will be forgotten after the show ends. If every openly gay person needs to be afraid there are a bunch of Republican Congressman that should be living in a bunker with bodyguards.

breedmitch's avatar

It’s sweet that you’re worried for him, but this is NY, not Peoria. Mondo will be just fine.
models and sample makers… that’s rich

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t seehy he should hide it. I think his honsty is brave but like yousaid @JilltheTooth, I hope he told his family first.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@breedmitch : The model and sample maker remark wasn’t random. A friend of mine once had that problem. Had to do with working with sharp stuff and the attendant perceived possibility of transference.

muppetish's avatar

I thought he was brave and that it is good to have HIV+ role models present. (Not that being HIV+ is a good thing. But it exists. People living with it exist. Having people to look to both in their life and in the media is comforting.) Foolish doesn’t sound like the right word here… maybe a little naïve? People who have been on reality shows have been attacked for smaller reasons than being HIV+ (Marcel from Top Chef comes to mind… he was physically assaulted at a bar because a stranger thought he was a douche on the show.) Mondo will probably receive both support and backlash for the reveal. I wish him nothing but good will.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It was a hard thing for him to do, it seems and I’m glad he did it but it’s nothing to jump up and down about.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@muppetish : You’re right, foolish was probably the wrong word. _ Naive_ is better. The point of the question was strictly about the HIV status, not about him being gay. I think I must have misled people with the reference to the other thread (it’s just what got me thinking about it) and the topic word “homophobia”. I actually meant HIV-phobia. Hey, it was early when I posted it, not at my intellectual best.

Cupcake's avatar

I didn’t realize that HIV was such a big deal any more. I guess I participate in social and professional circles where people are no longer afraid of contracting HIV from casual contact with an infected person. It’s quite unlikely. And treatments available in the US are amazing.

Do you realize that kids growing up today who didn’t see people sick with HIV in the 80s don’t think HIV is a big deal? It has evolved from a lethal infectious disease to a chronic disease that, when properly treated, people live with for decades. There is a resurgence of non-protected sexual activity of children/teens/young adults as a result.

I don’t foresee backlash. I’m sure he’s aware of what he needs to do to protect himself and others. I don’t think people in NYC or the fashion industry will care.

Seek's avatar

How did I miss this? I love that show!

Who is it?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr : It’s Mondo. The episode aired last night, you can probably find it here. I thought it was interesting.

Seek's avatar

Woah! He’s my favourite this season. I’m really pulling for him.

I’m certain he will have plenty of support in the fashion community if and when he makes it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I more worry about him at home (Denver) where he is part of a seriously Catholic community. And before any Jellies jump down my throat, I know that Denver is a large cosmopolitan city, I used to live there, I’m talking in this case about his personal community.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr : He and April are kind of my faves this season. I’m not too fond of Gretchen, I like Andy and Michael C OK, but yeah, Mondo has the most interesting vision.

muppetish's avatar

@JilltheTooth No worries about voicing your concern about where he grew up. I completely understand. While I am not from Denver, I am from a devout Catholic community (...not part of it, but live there… you know what I mean.) I watched the episode with my mum and she shook her head in disappointment when Mondo mentioned his mother warned him not to tell the rest of the family. It hit too close to home. I know too many people who have been ostracized (to say the least) because their sexuality conflicted with the religious beliefs of their families. But they still came out and I am so proud of them. That’s why I am proud of Mondo, too. It takes a lot of chutzpah to be honest when it could bring you harm.

He’s also my favourite designer. Possibly my favourite designer in the series run and that’s saying a lot (because I was in lurve with Seth Aaron.)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@muppetish ; Thank you for getting it! I like him, I hate to think of the flak he’s likely to get from the HIV pos announcement. Hard enough to live with that, even harder when you’re not likely to be supported by your extended childhood family.

Seek's avatar

@muppetish Me too! I literally cheered and cried the whole time Seth Aaron’s collection was running during Fashion Week. So far, he still trumps Mondo, but I tend to favor the rocker look for myself more than the bright colours that make Mondo so awesome.

I just watched the episode on my On Demand thingie (I never know what day and time the new ones show up… Oi!) He had me all misty-eyed. While I obviously know nothing of his exact plight, I can definitely empathise with the fear of losing family support. I wish him all the best.

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