If you’ve seen television or the internet even for just a moment over the last year, you’re probably aware of the child beauty queen Alana Thompson – better known by her self-proclaimed nickname Honey Boo Boo Child – and her very proudly redneck family.

One member of the clan is Alana's gay uncle, Lee Thompson, whom she calls Uncle Poodle. It's hard enough being gay in rural Georgia, but now Thompson has made an even harder public admission: He's HIV positive.

According to his interview with the Atlanta-based Fenuxe magazine, Thompson came out to his family at 16 and maintained an active social life.

“I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis,” he said. In March of last year, he was still testing negative -- but when he was tested again in May, all that changed.

"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 revealed. "I was advised that I should press charges and, hesitantly, I did. It was the right thing to do."

His ex is now serving a five-year prison sentence for knowingly infecting Lee with HIV. "I would have been cool with his HIV status if he had been honest," Thompson said. "I don't have an issue with the disease. I would have known how to protect myself."

He's also hoping to turn his experience into something positive for others -- he’s already worked on anti-bullying campaigns with GLAAD, and someday he hopes to have his own TV show.

“I want to highlight what it is like being gay in the south," said Lee, who in the past has had both his jaw and ribs broken by gay bashers. "I think I have a good story to tell."

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