Feminists are celebrating Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness month with a hashtag campaign titled #ShoutYourStatus on Twitter, in which they announce they have the courage to say they have herpes or other STDs.
— Emily Depasse (@eld3393) April 6, 2016
Salon explains that four women, who met because they all contracted herpes, began the campaign – which was patterned after Planned Parenthood’s #ShoutYourAbortion campaign. They started the #ShoutYourStatus effort to demonstrate unity and lessen the stigma that generally goes with having an STD.
“We felt like if people could dismantle abortion stigma by sharing their stories, we wanted to try the same tactic for STI+ people,” said Britni de la Cretaz. “The #ShoutYourStatus hashtag is a place for STI+ people to share their status as a way to humanize something that so many people have, and to not feel ashamed.”
STI stigma has also long been used as a weapon to further oppress marginalized and vulnerable people. It hurts, not helps. #shoutyourstatus
— Scarleteen (@Scarleteen) April 8, 2016
As Newsbusters observes, in a recent interview with Revelist, an online publication that caters to millennial women, de la Cretaz also said, “The truth of the matter is, many people are living, and living happily, as STI+ people… Being able to be publicly open about my status as someone with genital herpes is a privilege and I want to use that privilege to help other people feel less alone.”
Salon complains, however, that “right-wing trolls” are mocking the #ShoutYourStatus campaign.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 11, 2016
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) April 8, 2016