WBEZ | stigma http://www.wbez.org/tags/stigma Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A Common Secret: Struggling with the Stigma of Herpes http://www.wbez.org/news/common-secret-struggling-stigma-herpes-114575 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/herpes-2-7479e6184a23dba10096f76f7f631581fe824a26-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Meeting girls at the bar didn&#39;t come as easily for Adrial Dale as it did for his friends. Standing on the sidelines, Dale watched his pals saunter up to women, cool and confident, perfect for the pick-up scene.</p><p>But Dale could never bring himself to do it. He was terrified about having to reveal a secret, one that had brought him shame for years.</p><p>In 2005, Dale was diagnosed with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stats.htm">herpes simplex type 2</a>, a virus that causes genital herpes. He first noticed a lesion on his genitals when he was taking a shower. In that moment, he said, the world went blank.</p><p>He immediately called a nearby clinic in North Carolina and went in to get checked out. From then on, he felt like a different person.</p><p>&quot;I noticed a pattern in myself. I was still judging myself for having herpes,&quot; Dale, 36, said. &quot;I was convinced that this was pretty much a death sentence to my love life.&quot;</p><p>While herpes is common in the U.S., many people face psychological issues and suffer silently because of herpes&#39; stigma.</p><p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm">estimates</a>&nbsp;15.5 percent of people ages 14 to 49 in the U.S. have HSV-2 infections. More than half of people in the same age range had herpes simplex virus type 1, most commonly associated with cold sores. But more people are being&nbsp;<a href="http://sti.bmj.com/content/89/Suppl_1/A33.2.abstract">diagnosed</a>&nbsp;with HSV-1 on their genitals.</p><p>Herpes can be transmitted when there are no physical symptoms present, and the CDC estimates that nearly 90 percent of those infected with HSV-2, the most common cause of genital herpes, have never been diagnosed.</p><p>Symptoms can include painful lesions on the mouth or genitals, but over time, the eruptions tend to be less painful. Unlike chlamydia and gonorrhea, herpes doesn&#39;t affect fertility or other internal organs.</p><p>Statistically speaking, pretty much everyone knows someone who has herpes, but not many talk about it, said Jenelle Marie Davis, founder of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thestdproject.com/">The STD Project</a>. A big reason is the stigma herpes carries. Society portrays people with an sexually transmitted infection as dirty and promiscuous, Davis said.</p><p>&quot;People get infections all the time &ndash; colds and flu &ndash; and no one shames those people because there is no &#39;you did something bad to get this,&#39; &quot; she said. &quot;As a society, we tell people how and who to have sex with, then you add a taboo infection as a result of being sexually active and people go crazy.&quot;</p><p>Herpes infections can&#39;t be cured, but there are treatments, such as the pill&nbsp;<a href="https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a695010.html">Valtrex</a>, to relieve symptoms and shorten eruptions. Regular treatment can make it less likely for someone to pass the virus on, too.</p><p>Having herpes doesn&#39;t consign a person to a life of celibacy and many herpes-positive people go on to have active sex lives without transmitting the virus to others. Disclosure is key when starting a sexual relationship with someone, Davis said. Condoms lower the risk of transmission, but don&#39;t eliminate it.</p><div id="res463852274" previewtitle="&quot;I was rejecting myself way before anyone else had the chance to reject me,&quot; said Adrial Dale, founder of Herpes Opportunity."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="&quot;I was rejecting myself way before anyone else had the chance to reject me,&quot; said Adrial Dale, founder of Herpes Opportunity." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/01/21/adrialdale-1_custom-b12d5b9d31ba5c59a0ea6d87bb20e505bfcb10c5-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="&quot;I was rejecting myself way before anyone else had the chance to reject me,&quot; said Adrial Dale, founder of Herpes Opportunity. (Courtesy of Marc LeMauviel)" /></div><div><div><p>Today, Dale is a life coach and the founder of&nbsp;<a href="https://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussions">Herpes Opportunity</a>, which helps people cope with herpes through blog posts, forums and weekend retreats that brings herpes-positive people together.</p></div></div></div><p>But he concedes that accepting his diagnosis wasn&#39;t easy. What helped him, he said, was having a support group, and realizing that herpes infections are common and can happen to anyone.</p><p>Disclosing his status to future partners was the scariest part. He&#39;s noticed that fear is common among other herpes-positive people who write about what they&#39;re going through on Herpes Opportunity forums.</p><p>&quot;If I feel undesirable and unwanted, then the way I&#39;m disclosing to potential partners has that undertone to it,&quot; Dale said. &quot;I was rejecting myself way before anyone else had the chance to reject me.&quot;</p><p>For him, self-confidence was the key when it came to sharing his status with potential partners. &quot;The more we shame and judge those &#39;dirty people with herpes,&#39; the more ashamed they are of disclosing and saying that yeah, it&#39;s just a skin condition, it&#39;s herpes,&quot; Dale said.</p><p>But it&#39;s also the case that failing to disclose herpes infection can have serious health consequences for a sexual partner who becomes pregnant.</p><p>Mariel David, 41,&nbsp;<a href="http://projectaccept.org/cinderella-storybook-ending/">learned</a>&nbsp;she contracted HSV-2 from her former husband, her first and only partner at the time, shortly after giving birth to their first child. A week after delivery, her daughter started having seizures. Doctors realized the girl had herpetic encephalitis, a condition that affects the human nervous system caused by the herpes simplex virus.</p><p>&quot;My husband had been dishonest with me and so I think he knew deep down inside he had something, but he didn&#39;t face the fact as to what it was,&quot; David said.</p><p>Doctors told David that her daughter wouldn&#39;t live through puberty. Despite the odds, David&#39;s daughter is turning 18 at the end of January, though her life comes with many difficulties. She is non-verbal, blind and suffered from abnormal bone growth.</p><p>After she became aware of her herpes status, David took precautions during two subsequent pregnancies. She took suppressive treatments during her last trimester to reduce the chance for transmission of the virus and gave birth to two healthy children by C-section.</p><p><em>Sarah Ravani, who previously worked in NPR&#39;s development department, is now astudent at Columbia University&#39;s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. You can follow her on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/farrah_joon">@Farrah_Joon</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/common-secret-struggling-stigma-herpes-114575 FDA Lifts Ban on Blood Donations by Gay and Bisexual Men http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-22/fda-lifts-ban-blood-donations-gay-and-bisexual-men-114253 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/blood-donation_custom-4a7ebcf0e0864084e9035d1ddc48b84d884b12e8-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><div id="res460605326" previewtitle="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/21/blood-donation_custom-4a7ebcf0e0864084e9035d1ddc48b84d884b12e8-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 440px; width: 620px;" title="Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood over concern that HIV could contaminate the blood supply. (Vesna Andjic/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The Food and Drug Administration is relaxing a 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.</p></div></div></div><p>The FDA&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm478031.htm">announced</a>&nbsp;Monday that it was replacing a lifetime prohibition with a new policy that will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood, but only if they have not had sexual contact with another man for at least one year.</p><p>&quot;Relying on sound scientific evidence, we&#39;ve taken great care to ensure the revised policy continues to protect our blood supply,&quot; said&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/downloads/InternationalPrograms/WorkshopsandConferences/UCM397516.pdf">Peter Marks</a>, deputy director of the FDA&#39;s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.</p><p>In 1983, the FDA banned gay and bisexual men from ever being eligible to donate blood to protect people receiving blood transfusions from the possibility of getting infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes&nbsp;<a href="https://www.aids.gov/">AIDS</a>.</p><p>But gay-rights advocates and many medical groups have been urging the FDA to lift the ban for years. They argue the policy is discriminatory because it singles out gay and bisexual men and that it is unnecessary because blood donors can be screened for HIV.</p><p>Others, however, have urged the FDA to keep the ban, saying that infected people can slip through the screening process. Blood tests remain negative for about nine days after a person has been infected with HIV.</p><p>After weighing the arguments, Marks announced the FDA is finalizing a policy change it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/12/23/372729051/fda-allows-gay-men-to-donate-blood">proposed</a>&nbsp;last year. The new policy brings the U.S. in line with other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Britain, Marks says. Research in Australia indicates the policy would not jeopardize the safety of the blood supply.</p><p>But this has not satisfied many advocates.</p><p>&quot;It perpetuates the stigma that HIV is a gay disease,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gmhc.org/about-us/leadership/senior-management">Kelsey Louie</a>, who heads Gay Men&#39;s Health Crisis, an advocacy group.</p><p>Gay or bisexual men in monogamous relationships may be at much lower risk as donors than, say, promiscuous heterosexuals, Louie said.</p><p>But others are praising the new policy as a reasonable compromise.</p><p>&quot;The gay community and many people view blood donation as a civil right. And I don&#39;t think it is,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1267/kenrad-nelson">Dr. Kenrad Nelson</a>, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who advised the FDA about the policy.</p><p>Nelson points out he can&#39;t donate blood for a year after he returns from countries where he might have gotten infected with malaria.</p><p>The FDA says it will monitor the new policy to see whether the restrictions could eventually be relaxed more.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/21/460580469/fda-lifts-ban-on-blood-donations-by-gay-and-bisexual-men?ft=nprml&amp;f=460580469" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Dec 2015 13:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-12-22/fda-lifts-ban-blood-donations-gay-and-bisexual-men-114253 Organic farmers struggle with stigma of 'dirty fields' http://www.wbez.org/news/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields-112765 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://www.wbez.org/" alt="" /><p><p>While consumers might seek out organic food for its purity, organic farmers have a reputation for being anything but.</p><p><a href="http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&amp;context=gers_pubs">A study</a>&nbsp;conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale found that farmers who go organic are often subject to a &ldquo;weedy field bad farmer&rdquo; mentality in their communities, a social stigma organic corn and soybean growers face for having mare&rsquo;s tails and pigweeds poking their raggedy heads up through the neat rows of cash crops.</p><p>Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the judgment can be so harsh,&nbsp;<a href="https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/123677/Ch8.Transitioning.pdf?sequence=7" target="_blank">it&rsquo;s an actual risk factor</a>&nbsp;conventional farmers who are interested in transitioning to organic should consider before making the switch.</p><p>Organic farmers are a rare breed. Nationwide,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/organic-production.aspx" target="_blank">fewer than 1 percent of all farm operations</a>&nbsp;are certified organic. In the Corn Belt, they&rsquo;re even fewer and farther between. In Illinois, for example, of the state&rsquo;s nearly 20 million acres of cropland, only a smidgen -- 0.15 percent -- of it is USDA certified organic.</p><p><img data-interchange-default="/sites/kunc/files/styles/default/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-large="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/large/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-medium="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" data-interchange-small="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/small/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4406.JPG" title="Juniper Lane sips sweet tea at the second annual Organic Fest hosted by the Illinois Organic Growers Association. (KUNC/Abby Wendle)" /></p><div>For corn and soybean farmers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-standards" target="_blank">being certified organic</a>&nbsp;boils down to avoiding a laundry list of synthetic materials - like pesticides that kill bugs and weeds - and not planting genetically modified seeds.</div><p>Dane Hunter, a conventional corn and soybean farmer from southern Illinois, said the social stigma of having a &ldquo;dirty&rdquo; field is a big obstacle.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of organic fields, compared to conventionally herbicide-managed fields, just have a lot more weeds in them, which is kind of a faux pas for the agriculture community,&rdquo; said Hunter, who is interested in transitioning part of his family&rsquo;s 1,200-acre grain farm into an organic operation.</p><p>Hunter said it&rsquo;s especially a barrier for older farmers, like men in his father&rsquo;s generation, who base their merit not on the success of the farm business, but on having, weed-free, pretty fields.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of behind-the-scenes chastising of organic fields,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;I used to be that way, too,&rdquo; agreed Tom Yucus, an organic farmer who grows 480 acres of grain in the center of the state. &ldquo;If I&rsquo;d see weeds in somebody&rsquo;s field, I&rsquo;d say, &lsquo;Oh, what&rsquo;s wrong with him?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Yucus turned to organic farming for a number of reasons, including money. Organic grain typically sells for anywhere from two to three times as much as a conventional crop, which means organic farmers don&rsquo;t have to farm as many acres to make a decent living.</p><p>But Yucus, whose farm has been certified organic for more than a decade, said now he&rsquo;s committed to farming organic grain for more reasons than economics.</p><p><img alt="IOGA was founded in 2011 to bring organic producers together to exchange information and offer each other support. (Harvest Public Media/Abby Wendle)" data-interchange-default="/sites/kunc/files/styles/default/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-large="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/large/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-medium="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" data-interchange-small="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/small/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kunc/files/styles/medium/public/201508/IMG_4334.JPG" style="float: right; width: 400px; height: 267px;" title="IOGA was founded in 2011 to bring organic producers together to exchange information and offer each other support. (Harvest Public Media/Abby Wendle)" /></p><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a change in mindset,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Everything you do affects the land and your food, so you know, keep it simple and don&rsquo;t add synthetic, non-natural stuff.&rdquo;</div><p>Colleen Yucus, Tom&rsquo;s wife, struggled to adopt her husband&rsquo;s new mentality, especially when it came to her weekly trip to the grocery store.</p><p>&ldquo;I think I was like a lot of other people that had the mindset that if food was on sale at a chain grocery store, that was wonderful and that&rsquo;s what I was gonna buy,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The differences in opinion led to a few minor marital disputes, but in the end, Tom managed to convince her.</p><p>&ldquo;My husband had a good point,&rdquo; Yucus recalled, with a smile. &ldquo;When I didn&#39;t want to buy organic potatoes that were $2 a pound, he came to me and said, &lsquo;Look at this bag of chips. How much did you pay for this bag of chips?&rsquo; And I said, &lsquo;$3.58.&rsquo; And he said, &lsquo;How much per pound would that 8-ounce bag of chips be?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The answer is $7.66, which means she could buy nearly four pounds of potatoes. When doused in olive oil and fried, that amounts to a lot more potato chips than you&rsquo;ll get in an 8-ounce bag.</p><p>&ldquo;The healthier eating, the non-processed foods, has just become so much more a part of our lives,&rdquo; Colleen said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m really happy he chose to start being an organic farmer and I&rsquo;m really proud of him.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.kunc.org/post/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields#stream/0" target="_blank"><em>Harvest Public Media</em></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/organic-farmers-struggle-stigma-dirty-fields-112765 Tackling the stigma of bisexuality http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/tackling-stigma-bisexuality-108978 <p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bisexual%20pride%20flag.jpg" title="(WIkipedia/Commons)" /></p><div><p dir="ltr">October is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/october-1-lgbt-history-month_n_4013850.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices">LGBTQ History Month</a> &ndash; a time to honor gay rights pioneers of the past and celebrate the monumental progress that has been made. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">But prejudice against the &quot;B&quot; in LGBTQ, bisexuality, still holds a tremendous amount of power, as its legitimacy continues to be called into question in straight and queer communities alike.</p><p dir="ltr">People who identify as bisexual &ndash; that is, having an attraction to both genders, although not always simultaneously or equally &ndash; are often called liars, branded as promiscuous, or shamed into invisibility by those who don&#39;t understand how bisexuality could be anything more than a &quot;phase&quot; or a &quot;coverup.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">A <a href="http://chicago.gopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/47341876">groundbreaking report</a> from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has defined the bisexual &ldquo;erasure&rdquo; problem this way:</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;Bisexuals experience high rates of being ignored, discriminated against, demonized, or rendered invisible by both the heterosexual world and the lesbian and gay communities. Often, the entire sexual orientation is branded as invalid, immoral, or irrelevant. Despite years of activism, the needs of bisexuals still go unaddressed and their very existence is still called into question. This erasure has serious consequences on bisexuals&#39; health, economic well-being, and funding for bi organizations and programs.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Ultimately, bisexuality myths only serve to amplify stereotypes about people who don&#39;t settle at one end of the homo/hetero binary, while also perpetuating stigmas that keep &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biphobia">biphobia</a>&quot; alive and well.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Myth 1: You&#39;re either gay, straight, or lying. </strong><strong>Bisexuality does not exist. </strong></p><p dir="ltr">In addition to being rude and presumptuous, this oft-used maxim is just flat out <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/21/1134808/-I-m-not-Gay-Straight-OR-Lying">wrong</a> in dismissing all bisexual people as wolves in sheep&#39;s clothing.</p><p dir="ltr">Granted, many bisexual individuals hold a preference. For example, I identify as bisexual, and while I hold a sexual attraction to both genders, I tend to be more romantically attracted to men. This is why I choose the term &ldquo;heteroromantic bisexual.&quot; Others may prefer another descriptor under the <a href="http://bidyke.tumblr.com/post/36276376222/new-bisexual-umbrella-d-i-needed-to-make-this">bisexual umbrella</a>, or choose not to label themselves at all.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Myth 2: Bisexuality is just one stage in the coming out process for gays and lesbians.</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Of course, some people do come out as bisexual before eventually coming out as gay or lesbian to their friends and family. But to stereotype all bisexuals as being in some phase of transition, or just &ldquo;experimenting&rdquo; before finally accepting themselves as exclusively gay or straight, is not only an unfair and prejudicial assumption, but a scientifically inaccurate one as well.</p><p dir="ltr">A number of studies, including those conducted by renowned sexologist Alfred Kinsey, have shown that sexuality is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_orientation">fluid</a> and exists on a spectrum. In 1948, Kinsey&#39;s work &quot;Sexual Behavior in the Human Male&quot; found that &quot;46 percent of the male population had engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or &#39;reacted to&#39; persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives,&quot; which is just one example to make up the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale">vast middle</a> that many of us occupy, but often feel too afraid to admit even to ourselves.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Myth 3: Bisexuality is okay for women, but not for men.</strong></p><p dir="ltr">This bias is deeply rooted in patriarchy, and the corresponding myth that women only pretend to be bisexual to attract men. The idea that bisexuality is more acceptable in women may also stem from the overwhelming visibility of woman-on-woman sexuality in comparison to men, especially in pornographic films, mainstream movies, and onstage at MTV award shows.</p><p dir="ltr">For example, Katy Perry&#39;s hit song &quot;I Kissed A Girl (And I Liked It)&quot; is a little racy, but hardly shocking enough to turn off a mainstream audience. However, would a man singing &ldquo;I Kissed A Boy (And I Liked It)&rdquo; in a similarly bisexual context be greeted with the same enthusiasm? &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Countless men both in and out of the public eye have proudly affirmed their bisexuality (and &quot;<a href="http://www.towleroad.com/2013/10/morrissey-im-not-gay-i-am-humansexual.html">humansexuality</a>,&quot; in Morrissey&#39;s case) over the years. Here are just a few:&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.bowiegoldenyears.com/articles/7609-playboy.html">David Bowie</a>, in a 1976 interview with Playboy:</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;It&#39;s true &ndash; I am a bisexual. But I can&#39;t deny that I&#39;ve used that fact very well. It&#39;s the best thing that ever happened to me.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/1f52wp/til_billy_joe_armstrong_came_out_as_bisexual_in/">Billie Joe Armstrong</a>, in a 1995 interview with The Advocate:</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;I think I&#39;ve always been bisexual. I mean, it&#39;s something that I&#39;ve always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it&#39;s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of &#39;Oh, I can&#39;t.&#39; They say it&#39;s taboo. It&#39;s ingrained in our heads that it&#39;s bad, when it&#39;s not bad at all. It&#39;s a very beautiful thing.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/clive-davis-comes-out-in-new-memoir-20130219">Clive Davis</a>, in his 2013 memoir &quot;The Soundtrack of My Life&quot;:</p><p>&quot;After my second marriage failed, I met a man who was also grounded in music. Having only had loving relationships and sexual intimacy with women, I opened myself up to the possibility that I could have that with a male, and found that I could ...You don&#39;t only have to be one thing or the other. For me, it&#39;s the person.&quot;</p><p>Finally, to all who have been ostracized, invalidated, or shamed into silence because of your sexual orientation, especially those who have been told to &quot;pick a side&quot; or &quot;you can&#39;t have it both ways,&quot; know this: you&#39;re okay just the way you are. I promise.</p></div><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/tackling-stigma-bisexuality-108978 Coping with the stigma of mental illness http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-21/coping-stigma-mental-illness-93360 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-21/35686501_e58f4cbd71.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Over time, society improved the way it understands and treats mental illness, but long-standing stigma can still be heard in everyday casual language. The stigma is heard in words like crazy, nutty, unbalanced or delusional. <a href="http://www.iit.edu/psych/faculty/patrick_corrigan.shtml" target="_blank">Patrick Corrigan</a>, a distinguished professor of psychology at the <a href="http://www.iit.edu/" target="_blank">Illinois Institute of Technology</a>, spoke with <em>Eight Forty-Eight,</em> as part of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/out-shadows" target="_blank"><em>Out of the Shadows </em></a>series, about the ways society continues to stigmatize and marginalize those who are mentally ill. Corrigan most recently explored the role community organizations – like churches – play in defining and changing attitudes toward mental illness. His research took him to some black churches on Chicago's West Side.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Join the conversation: Ask experts about mental illness in our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/live-chat-ask-experts-about-childhood-mental-illness-93156">live chat</a>.</strong></p></p> Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-21/coping-stigma-mental-illness-93360