Magic Johnson & My Persian Dad

For the sake of this post, I’m going to explain the reason for my long absence ( did you even miss me?!)

At the beginning of this month, I suffered somewhat of a breakdown. Too much pressure, pent up and unreleased, can do that to you. I’m just one of those people that is hardest on herself, and too forgiving of everyone else. #RECIPEFORDISASTER

Soon after, I felt a lot of physical symptoms– Then I had a lump on my neck. Then two. Then six. My lymph nodes were swollen, but I had never experienced that before, so I rushed to the doctor — who told me not to worry, my body was fighting something and, I’d probably get better in a week. Days went by, and I just got worse.

Doctors were talking about ‘Mono’. Then Cancer. Then TB.  then back to Mono. And then…HIV.

Now, given, the Healthcare system in America is jacked, yet you still never want to hear the words ‘HIV’ and ‘AIDS’ and ‘possible’ in the same sentence. It really drove me crazy. Even though I knew it wasn’t the only possibility, the fact that it was on the table as a matter of discussion just made me nuts. I started to rewind the tape on my past, questioning everything and mentally slapping myself for it all.


When I got home, I overheard my parents talking about me in their room. I walked in and my Dad turned to me and said in Persian,

“Saaghi, tell me straight. Has there always been protection?”

First reaction: Huh? Second reaction: Is that my Dad’s way of asking if I practice safe sex? Instinct: Play Stupid.


He kept prodding me, and I couldn’t even look him in the face.  I just looked away, and just mumbled something.

100% of the time?” …..Answer me”….No Not 100% 

This is my Persian Dad who has never acknowledged that I have EVER had sex. He’s been in denial of my current physical relationship with my boyfriend, asking if he sleeps on the couch when I stay over.

Now he’s asking about Condoms?

So I guess, my dad was worried about “HIVee” too. Or maybe he had heard that I had done the test. Either way,cat was out of the bag for the evening. Because soon after, he tried to make me feel better:

“And you know? Vhat’s the vorst thing that could happen? You have HIVee?….

“You know, vhen I came to this country, one day, I walked into a room and saw that everyone was sad. It vas the day that they found out Magic Johnson had HIVee. And look at him now! He has a life!  He is living!”

Did my Dad just compare me to Magic Johnson?

Did my Dad just try to tell me its OK if I have “HIVee”?

I think for a lot of us, we believe the moment that our parents find out about our ‘secret lives’ will be our last day. Or that somehow, they’ll take their love away.

It was my worst nightmare to have my Dad confront me about my sex life.  but It was probably the sweetest, most confusing but honest gesture coming from My Persian Dad–

he usually likes to hibernate in this bubble of denial, but I guess it took a big scare for us to share an honest moment.  And for that I’m grateful.

I mean, I’m also grateful I’m HIV-Negative. But its good to know, that for my Dad, life would go on, regardless.





SAAGHI  ساقی

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  1. kitty cat says:

    Love this post..your dad’s gesture seriously warms my heart! Having a persian dad I can only imagine experiencing the scene you’re describing, I think it was an endearing and beautiful moment!

  2. Oh bless u, I know exactly how u felt at the time. My parents r religious n very conservative so there’s a lot of red lines that I shouldn’t cross. My parents never spoke about dating relationships or sex b4 marriage, it’s something that I should know and b aware of it. I was dating a mixed raced White British-Black Caribbean girl at the time n she always wanted to meet my parents but I was terrified n it never happened. One day I went home n dad goes I wana have a word with u, it’s about Leanne ! I was like WTF ! How he found out about her? & wot he wants to tell me about her? She was pregnant and she went to our house n told my parents about it!!!
    I was shitting myself it felt like end of the world for me.
    Dad goes living in western society may cause a lot of problems like clashes of culture I was predicting something may occure but this is ur choice and decision so far u made a mistake by creating a secret life but now go and stand on ur feet and correct it, have a deep thinking is this wot u really want? Do u love her? Is she want to keep the child? Me and ur mom r happy with any decision that u make and we totally respect n support u
    I couldn’t believe wot I was witnessing, is this my dad?
    I think persian parents r not that tough as we think, from my experience and wot I saw happening with my friends parents, all they wants is to see us the children happy :)

  3. Sha Sha Savy says:

    Knowing Your Dad Saaghi makes THIS STORY EXTRA EXTRA SPECIAL! glad your std free!

  4. What a sweet dad! My dad is a Persian rebel – he started talking to me about sex and HIV when I was about 10 years old!

  5. Aww, what a sweet little story. :-)

    I’m so glad healthcare in the UK is free.

  6. This was really sweet. I’m glad you don’t have HIV. I hope you feel better!


  1. […] a great example that shows a dilemma some of us might have to deal with at some point. Blogger Saaghi recounts […]

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