Denton, J.M., Abes, E.S.
The Art of Masked Advocacy: The Care of the Self of Gay College Men Living with HIV (2022) Journal of College Student Development, 63 (4), pp. 383-398.
This arts-based narrative in/queer/y explores the subjectivity of gay college men living with HIV through the stories and art of two participants. Despite their significantly different lives, the two men shared a subjectivity that was also reflected in the lives of other participants. Care of the self reflects Foucault’s search for a way of life that resisted normalizing discourses of identity and served as our conceptual framework. Homophobic AIDS discourse, which manifested as institutional silence about the presence of students living with HIV on college campuses, and homonormative discourses of gay respectability created an environment of contempt. This environment resulted in a care of the self style we call the art of masked advocacy. This art involved advocating for themselves and other students living with HIV while attempting to mitigate contempt. Combating institutional silence and other forms of contempt for gay men living with HIV creates individual and institutional tensions, which we explore. © 2022, Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved.