the chicago tribune.

I only had one article byline at the Tribune, but I’m really proud of this personal essay.

I experienced some horrible online trolling for simply talking about STIs. And once I opened up about having herpes, I was called awful names and told to kill myself. I refuse to let negativity control my life, so I wrote my story. The Tribune published it.

I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback my story received. Messages flooded my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. I got more than a dozen emails. People wrote to encourage me and to tell me their stories. Some asked for advice. Some just needed someone to hear them.

This article’s impact on my life has been incredible. Not only have I met and connected with people all over the world, I’ve been interviewed for a podcast, Canadian public radio, and articles for SELF and Revelist.

I opened up about my life to help people. Our society doesn’t talk about things like herpes. My goal was to reach people and let them know they’re not alone, and the feedback was more than I had hoped for.

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Published by Whitney Dawn Carlson

I'm a digital communications professional and a big fan of coffee, cats and gluten-free baked goods.

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