This week we're talking about STDs, STIs, and sexual stigma in honor of STD Awareness Month (but also because it's, like, really important to talk about).
I’ve been writing about stigmatized topics on the Internet for almost 10 years, so it’s never a surprise to me when I get pushback or face trolling or abuse for my opinions. I am a woman on the Internet, after all. Men love to tell me how stupid I am on a regular basis.
Four years ago, I could be found most mornings at the same café with the same blue notebook and a mug of hot coffee. I was trying to write the story of how I got herpes.
In STI support communities, many refer to the person who gave them herpes as their “gifter.” This might sound strange, since I’m sure a sexually transmitted disease is not a gift anyone wants. But, looking back on my past nine months with herpes, I think this is an apt term.
For some of us, our first real taste of adulthood comes from sitting alone in a clinic, waiting to get our ding-dongs tested.