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Cicily versus Sweet Cicily: “I have herpes.”

Guest author from our community: Cicily

Last fall I had watched a powerful TEDx Talks presentation by speaker Ash Beckham where she shared her experience with coming out of the closet as a lesbian. Her message of acceptance and self love went viral across social media and the world wide web.

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CatalystCon panel: Living with herpes, HIV, STIs

Many people living with an STI are too ashamed to admit their diagnosis. In the de facto hierarchy of STIs, Herpes and HIV are widely considered to be the “worst” to get because they are not curable. In this panel, we combine the knowledge and experience of sex educators and public health professionals, two of whom are “out” about having STIs themselves. We’ll discuss sex and dating with an STI, as well as navigating the stigma that exists in daily life. Knowledge is more contagious than STIs. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans have an STI. Those statistics make this an important and relevant discussion for all sexuality professionals.

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Herpes then and now… thoughts from a life-long herpes carrier

Guest author from our community: WCSDancer2010

I don’t remember what it’s like to not have Herpes. Photo albums have pictures of me at around 3 years of age, with half my chin broken out in a big-assed cold sore. Snapshots of me passed out because I was running a temperature of 105 that always seemed to accompany the outbreaks. Memories of trips to multiple “specialists” and even a move to a bigger city that had a Teaching Hospital to try to figure out what was causing the fevers…when all along, the cause was staring them in the face.

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Closets are for hangers

Guest author from our community: Carlos

Very simple instructions… Closets are for wire hangers, NOT for the human Soul. Hello again! This is your HERPES virus speaking. I’m sort of using my buddy Carlos again to reach out to you in love. Yes, in L.O.V.E.! What, you think because I’m a tiny parasite I have no capacity to love, especially my host? Don’t get it twisted. Like Lady Gaga said: “I was born this way!”
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If you live your life in fear …

Guest author from our community: WCSDancer2010

This morning I was responding to some of the discussions on the Herpes Opportunity Forum and came across a question from a young gentleman who lives in a small town and who is concerned that if he discloses, that someone might “out” him and the whole community would learn of his H+ status. I want to post my response here because I think it is sooooo important that people learn the lesson that H is giving to many regarding how we often allow the Opinions and Ignorance of society to run our lives……

The young gentleman said:

“I watched About Last Night with Kevin Hart. In the movie he is trying to hit on several women and his ex walks up and scares them off. He asks her what she said to them , her reply was that he gave her herpes. He screams out I don’t have ‘fucking herpes’ — everybody in the film stops and looks at him. There is a bunch of laughing where I was watching it. It’s just awful feeling. Watching the jokes, hearing them, knowing that you would be shunned if people knew.”

Here is my reply:

So imagine you are watching that movie before you had Herpes. What would you have seen in that scene that is one of the lessons of the movie? (Because writers are usually writing about the Human Condition … how we live and react to what happens around us, there is often a message in the parts where there is a strong human interaction). What is the message of that scene? Play along with me….. I’m going to create a space here so you don’t see my answer immediately …

I want you to think about this on your own first …

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Using Herpes As Your Wing-Man

Guest author from our community: WCSDancer2010

I know you may not be able to imagine this right now, but Herpes really CAN become your Wing-man in both your dating and regular life.  The definition of a Wing-man is “… a role that a person may take when a friend needs support with approaching potential partners. A wingman is someone who is on the “inside” and is used to help someone with intimate relationships.” (from Wikipedia)

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HSV Virus: “Stop demonizing me!”

Guest author from our community: Carlos

“Hello Everyone! Surely I need no introduction. In Western Culture I’m right up there with Leprosy (which totally baffles me). In the 20th century three Influenza pandemics occurred, each caused by the appearance of a new strain of the Flu virus in humans and killed tens of millions of people. In the 4,500 years of my existence on Earth, I have caused zero fatalities… That is ZERO, as in not one! Moreover, comedians capitalize on herpes jokes, but that says more about their lack of creativity that your living with me. I personally can’t stand them; most of their herpes material is so trite. Truth be told, I wish you and I could just be friends. I’m a virus seeking a host, and you just happened to be there. I’m sorry I’ve caused you so much heartache, distress, shame and anger. It was never my intention to hurt you; I’m just trying to survive like any other organism out there. Anyways, I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I’ve asked my friend Carlos to put together a report where the mythology surrounding me and my so-called unclean nature is debunked. Again, now that we are linked together forever, I hope we can come to a deeper understanding of ourselves. My contribution to your pain is not deliberate, and I promise, as times goes by, my moodiness will lessen — like most humans — I too have bad days and flare up. I promise to partake in a stress-free lifestyle, if you do the footwork… And oh yeah, since Mother Nature created ME as well as She did YOU, heck, neither of us is going to be perfect 100% of the time; so let’s turn the self-loathing a couple of notches down… deal?”

Yours truly,
The Herpes Simplex Virus (and all my mutations)

And here’s what I have to say …

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I have something embarrassing to admit

Last night was Halloween. And I have something to admit to you.

(As I type this, I feel fear and sadness slowly churning in my stomach. Nervous anticipation.)

It feels vulnerable to consider telling you this. Why? Because me “admitting” this could lead to you judging me. Maybe you will judge me, maybe you won’t. I can’t control either your judgments or acceptance or what you will ultimately think of me. But there’s a part of me that judges myself about this, so it’s easy to jump to the assumption that you will judge me, too.

Sound familiar? I am also wanting to share myself with our community in service of deeper connection and understanding. So you can know me better, so we can know ourselves better. And I trust that all of you will receive this well, with acceptance and heart. Because that’s just the kind of community this is. Understanding. Heartfelt. Giving. Loving. Supportive.

So what is this embarrassing admission?

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