"Let me start by saying something: I HAVE HERPES. Is that clear enough for you? Direct enough? Have I made my point? Do you feel like you understand what I am saying? Good! Because throughout this small writing, I will be uttering horribly bad words! Don’t worry, I’ll place them in bold so you can spot them and avoid them if you need to.
This is a rant. This is me bitching. This is me needing to vent my frustration over the idiocy of uneducated, ignorant people who feel the need to make others feel like less because they deem the person in question to be… we’ll say ‘lacking’, k? Feel free to get annoyed. Feel free to get angry. And yes, I will even admit to my own idiocy because before I got herpes, I was an ignorant idiot who never bothered to educate herself beyond my comfort zone.
So, I will start with my own admission of guilt! When I was 18, I went to Surrey, BC to visit one of my best friends. She told me that her girlfriend had once had gonorrhea. This is a treatable infection that is actually one of the most common ones out there… and she had been treated months before I met her. I smiled and nodded. But… in my head? I didn’t think this so much as felt it, but what the feeling amounted to? “Gross.”
What a fucking idiot I was! I was so judgemental and, yes, when I was diagnosed with herpes, it did flash through my mind that this was karma’s way of getting me back. I had judged a sweet, beautiful person on her misfortune that someone had raped a virus into her body. A virus that was -gone-. But I was one of ‘those’ people who couldn’t move past the ‘gross’ feeling with her and as such, I was paying the price by knowing how she must have felt whenever she had to disclose this to her partners. Hell, she didn’t even need to disclose it - it was gone! Unlike herpes, which never goes away and you should disclose.
There you go. I was an idiot. I failed to educate myself. I never verbalized it and I’d like to think my judgement never showed on my face, but after the trip, she deleted me from her facebook and never spoke to me again - so really, how ‘stealthy’ with my judgeyness could I have actually been? Not very. I am so, so sorry, K. If you ever see this, I am beyond sorry.
Now… you might wonder what the hell got me on a roll like this. What might have gotten me so riled up that I felt the need to post something like this? People like my 18 year old self.
I’ve had herpes for nearly 7 years. I’m not dirty. I’m not ‘unclean.’ And I know, with the right people, I’m not undesirable. I would never, ever make someone feel like shit for saying they didn’t want to take the risk with me - so why would they feel the need to make me feel like shit with the way they reject me? Rejection is rejection. It’s never ‘easy’ - but if you stay away from keywords like ‘disgusting’ or ‘dirty’, you’re pretty much moving in the right direction. It’s about tact, people. TACT.
Eight days ago, I came up with the guts to come out because of the most amazing people in my life. I still feel good that I did. In fact? I feel BETTER. I feel so amazing because not only has it set me free in new ways, but now I’m finding that it’s showing me exactly the kind of people I don’t want to associate with. Eight days… and I’ve had nothing but support. Until?
Tonight. I logged on, first, to find that one solitary person had deleted me from their friends list. No big deal. I invited people to delete me if they needed to. However… a few minutes later? I received an email that expressed both of those ‘keywords’ discussed above. Are you kidding me? Are you SERIOUS? No, I do not want someone like you on my friends list. And you’re lucky that I love myself enough that this hasn’t sent me fleeing back into the closet. Instead, this has made me want to proclaim my shit even more loudly. I HAVE HERPES.
I won’t name names. Ever. No one needs to know who this…’person’ is. But you know what I’m going to say to you, publicly?
Grow the fuck up. Open your eyes. Do your damn research. You really think you can avoid having sex with people who’ve tested positive? Unless you fuck only virgins, you can’t. Did you know that 1 in 4 people, statistically, have an STD? Did you know that 1 in 2 people will GET an STD by the time they’re 25? Do your research, people, I beg you. Please. Because if you think you are riskless, you will get something and you will pass it around. STD’s -can- be avoided, but only through education and adopting safe sex practices, especially if you plan to have sex with more than one person in your lifetime.
There is always going to be risk. Am I saying you should fuck people -because- they know their STD status? Certainly not. Do or don’t do what you’re comfortable with. But know the facts. Do not go into this blindly. Be mature. Be tactful. Consider others feelings. And please…please do not go throwing D words (dirty, disgusting) around like weapons. There is no need for any of that.
Share this. Please. If it can prevent more people like this specific person from acting like callous morons or prevent honest people from scampering back into and locking that closet door, share this. Love it. If you know someone struggling to come out? SUPPORT THEM. And if you are struggling? Drop me an email. I’m always happy to help anyone I can…with anything I can.
And lastly? If you can’t be supportive of me… I’m serious. No hard feelings. Please, please save both of us a lot of time and effort and delete me. And? If you can support me? Add me! I love to have like-minded people to talk with.
Just one final clarification. I HAVE HERPES.
Add: Seriously. ‘Love’ this. I want this out there as much as possible. Partly because I want it to reach out to other people. The other part is selfish: the more people that see it, the less chances it gives me to ever go back into the closet.
Another add-on: WOW! I logged on today to find that this post went viral (like my pun? >.>) And I can no longer reply to individual comments!!! But… thank you -so- very much for all of the support, comments and friend requests. Thank you, thank you, thank you. <3
EDIT & THIRD ADDON: I mistakenly put that gonorrhea was a virus. It’s not. It’s a bacterial infection. My mistake! And I’m going to Friend Request a lot of the people who Loved/commented on this, if it’s okay with some of you!”
I love this so much~~ and Thank you to fucktoyfredi for letting me post this on Tumblr! <3