‘For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, “don’t! It’ll ruin you”
ABC reporter, Karl Schmid has revealed that he is HIV positive and has been living with HIV for ten years. In an emotional post on social media, the 37-year-old admitted that he had been told by co-workers that coming out about his status could “ruin” him in the entertainment industry.
He said, “For 10 years I’ve struggled with ‘do I or don’t I’? For ten years the stigma and industry professionals have said, ‘don’t! It’ll ruin you’. But here’s the thing. I’m me. I’m just like you. I have a big heart and I want to be loved and accepted. I may be on TV from time to time, but at the end of the day I’m just an average guy who wants want we all want. To be accepted and loved by our friends and family and to be encouraged by our peers,”
He spoke out saying that he was standing “tall” and “proud” saying the decision to talk about HIV wasn’t to make people happy, but himself happier. He went on to say,
” Labels are things that come and go but your dignity and who you are is what defines you. I know who I am, I know what I stand for and while in the past I may not have always had clarity, I do now. Love me or hate me, that’s up to you.
“But, for anyone who has ever doubted themselves because of those scary three letters and one symbol, let me tell you this, you are somebody who matters. Your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions count. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I’m Karl Schmid, and I’m an HIV-positive man!”
The post attracted thousands of positive likes and comments.