Who else is thrilled that Here Comes Honey Boo Boo isn’t the colossal catastrophe that everyone thought it would be? Sure, we’re still talking about a little girl being schlepped around and exploited on reality TV, but hey, there are unfortunately tiers to such awfulness. As far as our resident Honey Boo Boo reporter Eve Vawter is concerned, the show has proved to be pretty sweet with an albeit unhealthful family supporting each other through the proverbial thick and thin. And now we can add HIV awareness and safe sex advocacy to the “positive things to come out of Honey Boo Boo” list.
People magazine reports that Honey Boo Boo’s Uncle Poodle, actually named Lee Thompson, is HIV positive. The uncle came out with his status in Atlanta magazine Feneuxe. The already openly gay uncle recounts how he not only learned he was HIV positive, but how he legally went after the boyfriend who lied to him:
“I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis,” the TLC standout explains of how he learned the news. “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.”
Thompson says he was advised to press charges against his now-ex, which he did, somewhat “hesitantly.” The man is currently serving a five-year sentence in jail for the crime.
Honey Boo Boo’s uncle, who came out to his mother at age 16, maintains that he “would have been cool” with his partner’s status if he had been honest. That way, he could have gone to certain measures to protect his health. In a massive PSA for safe sex, Uncle Poodle calls those who are neglecting safe sex practices “damn fools” who are “playing Russian roulette.”
Uncle Poodle, who was dubbed such by Honey Boo Boo because she calls all gay men “poodles” (?!), says that he had a supportive mother when he came out, but his father “struggled” for four more years. It wasn’t until Uncle Poodle was 20 years old that his father told him that he “accepted him.” The main issue for his family, he says, was reconciling their son’s sexuality with grandchildren prospects.
Like many LGBTQ youth, Uncle Poodle was bullied on “a daily basis” at school. In addition to advising queer children on how to go about finding support, Uncle Poodle also says that he would like to contribute to anti-bullying campaigns and promote safe sex in schools. He’d also like to speak to students about the experience of living with HIV. All of this sexual health, anti-bullying, LGBTQ education possibilities out of some TLC show that plugs a glitzy pig in the trailers.
(photo: Josiah True/ WENN.com)