I never even told my mother I was gay and she didn’t know. While lying there in what I perceived to be my deathbed, I thought that my mother would abandon me. She never did.
I was a graduating senior at Prairie View A&M University in Texas and on my spring break visiting my mother when I was diagnosed with AIDS and end-stage renal failure. When I arrived home, I was greeted very warmly by my mom. Her retirement party was that night. Over the weekend, my health continued to deteriorate. On March 10, 2008, the anniversary of my father’s passing four years prior, my mom insisted on taking me to the emergency room. She drove us to the hospital, where I was born and where my father passed away. I was beyond terrified.
After check-in and having my vitals taken, the nurses began taking several laboratory tests. Within 24 hours, I was checked into the hospital and had an AV fistula implanted into my heart. I was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. The nephrologist assigned to me was shrewd and proclaimed that my kidneys were “gone” and I would never urinate again.
The same general physician I saw previously in the presence of my mother informed me about my AIDS diagnosis, and thereby outed me — twice. I will never forget what that physician said to me.
“Wake up! It’s AIDS. Are you surprised?”
Miraculously, during one of my dialysis treatments over that summer, my kidneys regained their proper function. I was able to return to my undergraduate studies.
In May 2009, I graduated cum laude from Prairie View A&M University with Bachelor of Business Administration in Management degree. I also graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University – Commerce with a Master of Science in Technology Management degree.