So the homosexual community has already hijacked this phrase for their use, but the fact is that all of us (gay and non-gay alike) have something to “come out of the closet” about. And just like many homosexuals, the feeling of proclaiming to the world that they were gay (something that most started off feeling ashamed of, but then learned to embrace — sound familiar?).

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So we as the herpes community may not need to feel necessarily proud of herpes, but we can sure start talking about it more without shame. The more we talk about it openly, the more people get that it’s just not the big deal that everyone’s making it out to be.

Wired magazine had a great article a few years back on the notion of “radical transparency” being the trend of the business world. The article was called “The See-Through CEO.” And although this article was about business, it’s interesting to read it from the perspective of radical transparency with herpes. It spoke about how in this world of instant information, there are no secrets anymore in the business world. And some are taking that to action. Some CEOs are being absolutely transparent — the good, the bad, the ugly — about how they conduct business. And that ultimately leads to more trust in the customers. Letting things that previously were thought to be something to hide are now wide in the open, in the bright sunlight of sharing.

So radical transparency applies even moreso in our case. We let people (definitely potential partners, but also friends, family) know that we have herpes, which comes from a place of strength, not a place of shame. Letting that into the bright sunlight of openness and vulnerability opens up a dialogue that goes deeper and allows more human connection and realness. Let’s take a hint from the business world and adopt our own flavor of radical transparency. Let’s be the transparent CEOs of our lives.