Warning: You might want grab a tissue or two before proceeding.
“What Would You Do (WWYD?),” the hit ABC reality show, which places actors in real life situations, unbeknownst to onlookers, recently made its way down to Atlanta to tackle gay conversion therapy and HIV/AIDS stigma in two emotional episodes.
In “Pastor Tries to Pray The Gay Out of Teen,” the parents of an African-American gay teen are visibly distraught by their son’s coming out and has invited their pastor, also an actor, to publicly pray his gay away in the dining room of Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Midtown.
“I didn’t think there was anything wrong with being gay,” said the teen to his parents.
“Oh it is absolutely something wrong with being gay son,” quipped his father. “You’re my son and my son is not gay. That’s why we got the pastor here. The devil cannot have you son.”
“That’s right,” agreed his mother. “I love you but you’re gonna stop being gay today. This is it. It stops right here.”
It’s 2016 and one would think the majority of Americans are aware of how HIV is transmitted. Yes? Well if a second episode of “WWYD?,” also filmed in Atlanta is any indication, then apparently there’s still much work to be done around educating and decreasing HIV stigma among the masses.
“I’d kill myself to be honest. I wouldn’t want to pass that to nobody,” said a restaurant patron who overheard the HIV disclosure.
The reactions from those privy to the public conversation around people living with HIV and disclosure run the gamut. Prepare to be enraged and to simultaneously have your faith in humanity restored.