Gordon Fleming – Mental Health

“You could have three appointments.”

The first thing I did after I was HIV positive was get into counseling right away. I was really upset with Spokane and Washington State at that point. If you were trying to use the community mental health system, if you were HIV positive, you could come in and talk to somebody. You could have three appointments. And then you were done! You had all the help that they were going to give you, in three hours! I was like, “I have a feeling I’m going to be scattered for a little bit longer than three weeks. I’m just guessing.”

I’d gone through drug rehab for pot when I was going through the jail system. I came back high to work release and admitted to it—bright boy. The counselor I saw for drug rehab, she was the counselor I reached out to when I was HIV positive. Then I saw a married couple for about another year. Then, after those two counselors, that’s when I started seeing Helen [Bonser]. I saw Helen up until two years ago. Helen’s involved with PFLAG, so I met her in ’87. We’ve done [PFLAG] conventions, and cried on each other’s shoulders, and spent a lot of time together.


Source: Interview with Laura S. Hodgman, 16 March 2013.