A Girl Like Me: Top 10 Blogs of 2020

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As we enter into 2021, we are excited to share the Top 10 most viewed blogs from A Girl Like Me blogs in 2020. We will be adding a new one each day until we get to the most read blog of 2020! If you missed them the first time around, make sure to check out these blogs from our prolific community on a number of important and pressing topics including dating and HIV, stigma, abortion, COVID, racism and white privilege, and much more.

#1: "Feelings About COVID-19" by Escalice

"I wanted to check in with everyone here with the current situation. We all have to self-isolate due to the COVID19 pandemic. This can be a really difficult time given the circumstances. Our daily routines have been dismantled; no work and no school. If you're following the advice of doctors all over the country and our government, then you're staying inside as much as possible to avoid getting the virus.

I live in New York City which is currently the country's hotspot. My fiancé was working up until about 2 weeks ago. We still go out to the supermarket for ourselves and his parents who live downstairs from us. I worry about him getting sick. Many years ago he had pneumonia. Both him and my daughter have horrible congestion, stuffy noses, coughs, and overall breathing issues whenever they get sick. We have his older parents we worry about. Life has shifted. My daughter's first year of school has been halted and I'm now teaching a 4 year old, trying to make sure she is learning enough and doesn't fall behind for kindergarten in the fall. She can't see her teachers or her friends. We can't take a walk to the park. I can't take her out on adventures like we always do and for who knows how long. I'm worried about myself as well." Continue reading...

#2: "My Story" (Parts One and Two) by HEROconnor

"Hey all! Firstly- let me just say that I am so incredibly grateful to be part of such a strong and supportive group of women... thank you so much for having me here. I'm very lucky. Secondly- I hope everyone is finding some sort of inner calm during these uncertain times. I am fortunate enough to be quarantined with my husband, daughter, and animals. I try to frequently reach out to my friends and family whom I know are quarantining alone. Isolation can be so trying on a person's mental health, especially now. Please let me know if you are in need of support... it's so important to make connections and check in with each other during this time. I'm here for you." Continue reading Part One...

"On the morning of May 16th, 2016 - the first appointment with my primary care physician, I vividly recall waking up overwhelmed with new and refreshing feelings of hope. I stepped out of bed with hope, brushed my teeth with hope, dressed my body with hope; I just knew that this day was the day I would begin to receive legitimate explanations for my ailments. This day was the day things would finally begin to improve. At the appointment, I verbally shared with my new doctor all of the symptoms I'd been experiencing, as well as photos of the spots that had appeared on my body (but had disappeared since then). I also shared that I had been seen at Urgent Care on various occasions for these aforementioned symptoms and on each occasion, a metabolic panel was ordered by the physician and revealed that I had a very small number of white blood cells and low blood sugars. I repeated to the doctor the orders Urgent Care had sent me home with time and time again: sleep more, eat more, stop working so much. (Sure doc, who the hell has time for that shit in today's economy when you're young, working in the arts, trying to make rent, feed yourself, and keep the lights on? NOBODY.)" Continue reading Part Two...

 

#3: "My Abortion Story" by MzGee1966

"Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental 'right to privacy' that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

The case began in Texas when a woman (Jane Roe) sued the Dallas County District Attorney. Prior to this case, women were only able to obtain an abortion if her life was at risk. The law as it stood prior to 1973 took the choice out of a woman's hands. Women had abortions before Roe v. Wade, but they were not safe or legal. Women died having unsafe abortions. It was first argued in 1971, reargued in 1972, and decided in 1973. For 46 years women have had this right, but today it's under attack." Continue reading...

#4: "Broken Crayons" by Red40something

"When we were children, we learned all kinds of things. We learned things as vastly different as our different cultures, but one thing that was pretty much universal, was coloring. Coloring was a way to teach us our lessons in a fun way. We were given crayons and taught to color. It kept us quiet in church or at the doctor. It kept us occupied on long car rides. Taught us what color was in the first place! We chose a color and started to scribble. All over the page at first, then eventually, gradually, we learn to color in the lines. We're "encouraged" to color in the lines. It is actually one of our first subtle lessons in conformity and striving for perfection although we don't know it. We get better at it with practice. There are contests and prizes for the best picture. Whose picture looks the most like reality? Who stayed in the lines and had the neatest picture?" Continue reading...

#5: "Dear (Other) White People*: Racism Is a Public Health Crisis – and It Is on Us" by Krista Martel

"Dear Other White People,

For the past several days I have been operating both in a muddy fog and with a racing heart – the heavy pit in my stomach growing with the news of George Floyd's horrific murder by cops and Amy Cooper's weaponizing of her tears against a Black man who asked her to keep her dog from hurting birds. If I am feeling such a constant sense of outrage that I can barely focus, I cannot begin to imagine the depths of trauma and grief being experienced by Floyd's family, the loved ones of other Black and Brown people slain by police, and virtually every Black and Brown person in the United States." Continue reading...

#6: "Stigma 2020" by IeshiaDKScott

"I have not known a life without HIV. In the era of U=U and PrEP, I feel myself navigating the stigma of HIV at an increased volume. The more people living with HIV attempt to escape the stigmas through messaging of scientific advances, the more we deal with a heightened level of stigma. Education is a tool used to curb ignorance, but it can be a driver of willful ignorance. Let's dissect 'willful', the definition being, intentional, or deliberate. Ignorance, meaning the lack of knowledge or information. Willful ignorance is the intentional and deliberate act of disregarding, avoiding or disagreeing with facts and/or empirical evidence because they oppose and/or contradict your own personal beliefs." Continue reading...

#7: "Why Are You Dating If You Have HIV?" by Marig2016

"Recently I was asked why am I dating if I have HIV. It took me some time to process this comment and the ignorance in which it stemmed.

As some background information, I recently joined FB dating and made the decision to be honest in my bio. It specifically states 'I am HIV+ and undetectable. If you're not sure what that means swipe right or head to google.' I guess this particular individual chose to swipe right with the intention of asking me why I am dating if I am HIV positive." Continue reading...

#8: "The Walking STD" by ci.ciiiiii

"You ever met somebody who had ALL the STDs?
Welp, that would be me.
Well, maybe not all of them.
But I have enough.
So you know about the HIV.
Blah blah blah.
But I wasn't so pressed to tell you about the Herpes part."
Continue reading...

#9: "Intimacy Issues!" by PDEES

"Lucky for me, I have been fortunate enough to find people who still want to date me after I disclose that I am HIV positive... But then there is another layer to the reason why I get Anxiety when it comes to dating. As if Disclosure isn't difficult enough right? I have to deal with the part after disclosure; the part where I now have to educate my partner on how to be INTIMATE with me.

And I mean, I guess I should be grateful of the fact that I found someone who is open to the idea of dating someone with HIV... But I can't even begin to explain how annoying it is to have to teach someone how to love you... And I don't mean love in the emotional sense... I mean love in the physical sense." Continue reading...

#10: "32-Year Long-Term Survivor of HIV! I Shouldn't Be Here" by Maria Mejia

"Tomorrow, April 18, marks my 32-year battle with #HIV! I never thought I would make it this far! Thank you to all that have helped me and taught me in this journey to be a better human being. I want to thank my mother, Tere Velasquez, for being my rock and for always being there even as a troubled and violent teen that saw nothing but pain and violence, but her example and for me personally, My God and determination to survive, has me still standing and fighting till the end!! The key to this is not only to survive, but to thrive and be adherent to your medication. I love Biktarvy and I am doing well on it; it is one of the newest and least toxic medications for this human condition." Continue reading...

 

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