ABC News correspondent Karl Schmid gathered ten years’ worth of courage to finally tell the world that he is “an HIV-positive man.”
The Los-Angeles based reporter took to Facebook to write an emotional post, where he told his story and declared that he “has a big heart.” The post quickly went viral, taking media by storm, the New York Post reports.
I work in television. And on the side of the camera where, for better or worse it’s considered ‘taboo’ for people ‘like me’ to be ‘like me.’
He said that this is a statement media professionals drilled into his head as he made his career by covering high-profile occasions like the Academy Awards and other entertainments events.
The Australian 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.”
The post continues, “So here’s what I say, stand tall, and stand proud. You can’t make everybody happy but you can make you happy. And so long as you tell the truth, you will never have to remember anything. 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 open admission brought Schmid plenty of positive support and encouragement, which he was surprised and overwhelmed by. In another post, he thanked all the people who shared their own stories about being HIV-positive.