Los Angeles based ABC News entertainment reporter, Karl Schmid has come out as HIV-positive in an emotional Facebook post.
The 37-year-old journalist who was born in Australia shared: ‘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'.
Famous for covering Hollywood’s major events such as The Academy Awards, Schmid revealed he was advised to keep his status a secret.
‘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.’
He continued: ‘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.’
Schmid concluded his post with a message of bravery: ‘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!’
Overwhelmed with all the support after sharing the post, the ABC reporter later took to Instagram to thank his fans and loved ones.