Former Dallasite says HIV-positive status led to cancellation of contract
RICH LOPEZ | Staff Writer
Mason Wyler can be a hard man to figure out. He could be smarter than people give him credit for. After causing a frenzy last year coming out as HIV-positive, he’s received both criticism for irresponsibility in the industry but also reassuring feedback from his fans.
As he sees his career options dwindle, Wyler now has to figure what his next role will be — not in film, but in life.
“I would say my career as a porn performer is dead. I’m calling it. Mason Wyler as a porn performer is dead,” he declares.
Porn stars work in an industry that doesn’t garner them a lot of sympathy from society, but Wyler likes to remind people that he’s a human with real-life issues. Stating his career is dead lends itself to the same worries other people losing their job would feel. Following disclosure of his HIV status, his studio, Next Door, fizzled out his contract; his last “job” was the end of May. All as a result of his status.
“Because of my work, I’ve been able to not give a thought about money or bills or savings,” he admits. “But it’s been unreal. I’m sad and it is worrisome.”
During his contract for the past four years, Wyler says he was earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, but since coming out, he has been relegated to just webcam shows, clocking time until his contract was met. And as he saw it, the other studios were done with him.
So maybe ending his career, by choice or not, is a smart move. Wyler considered his options and finds himself approaching an entirely new career path. Part of that includes moving back to the Dallas area away from his Houston suburban home with his partner.
“I’m sort of an idiot,” he laughs. “I had one semester left at UNT to graduate so it looks like in the near future I’ll be trekking my ass back up to DFW area and finishing my degree at UNT. Thankfully I left in good standing and able to be readmitted. For some reason I thought I had two years left and it turns out I only have 15 hours.”
He was working his way toward a teaching certificate initially, but now plans to finish his schooling and receive a bachelor’s degree in history. His goal: To work in a museum.
As for his health, he says he’s fine.
“I had a massive infection after just getting my wisdom teeth out but that had nothing to do with the HIV,” he says. “I go to my doc once a month to get my blood screened. People ask me what meds I’m on but my doc says as long as I feel healthy, my immune system is working, my T-cells are high and my viral load is down, I don’t need to be on any right now.”
Although a public person of sorts, Wyler has yet to resolve his position as any kind of spokesman for HIV prevention. He’s aware of the likely societal impression a former porn star would make, but he’s also conflicted about the messages already out there.
“There are two message the community wants to put out there: Know your status, play safe, etcetera. And then, from the poz side, the message is to stay healthy, live your life, what not,” he says. “If I’m trying to get rid of any stigma, I think it cancels out the ‘safe sex message.’ Then it doesn’t show how devastating it can be. As a positive person, when I hear those reassuring messages about feeling fine, I think it lends to actually making people feel worse about the situation. It’s very difficult for me to resolve it all.”
There is a certain earnest and conflict in his voice with an added confusion. This is why he hasn’t attempted to be any sort of activist. Additionally, his decision not to be on medication may be controversial for others. He’s still figuring it out.
“In terms of any kind of platform, I still write on my site, but I don’t think I’m the person to turn to for any sort of legitimate advice,” he acknowledges. “Hopefully I can just tell people that everybody should know the risks and act accordingly. I think it’s a personal responsibility.”
So what does the future hold for “Mason Wyler” now that he’s been publicly announced as dead by his creator.
“Maybe one of the Caven clubs can host a funeral for him,” he laughs. “I’d attend that for sure. That could be fun as I return to Dallas!”
For more on Wyler, visit his blog WylerNation.com.