STIgma zine: Breaking the silence on living with an STI

Head & Hands wants your stories for an upcoming zine! We want to demystify the reality of living with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). What are the real consequences of STIs on the emotional, relational and sexual lives of youth aged 12-25? There are many misconceptions, taboos and stigma surrounding STIs, which can prevent people from getting the support and information they need. We believe that by providing real stories without judgment, we can learn from the experiences of others, and hopefully equip each other in dealing with a diagnosis.

This is why we need your help! We would like to hear your stories and present the diversity of experiences related to STIs that are often kept silent. You can be as creative as you want in your submission: it can be a story, a poem, a drawing, a list… as long as it fits in a zine format (can be photocopied in black & white, ideally no more than 500 words!). Your submission can be written in french or in english.

If you are not between 12-25 but you would like to submit a story, please feel free!

Here are some topics we hope to cover in the zine and that might help you present your story:
● When you found out that you had an STI – What happened? How did you feel? How
did you react?
● Telling your partners and other people in your life – What might influence your decision to tell people? What reactions can you anticipate? What do you think can make it easier or harder to address it with partners? When is it necessary?
● Emotions about living with an STI – How does it affect your day-to-day life? Do you
encounter stigma or discrimination? How can we combat prejudices, individually and
● Sexuality with STIs – Does your sex life have to change? If so, what do you have to
change? What does “safer sex” mean in different situations?

All the submissions will remain anonymous in the zine. The identities of the individuals who
submit to the zine will be kept confidential. If you feel comfortable, you can leave your first
name or a pseudonym and your age – we would put it at the end of your submission, so that people find it easier to relate to your story. If not, that’s ok too!

You can get your submission to us in a few different ways. In all these cases, Gabrielle (Sense Project intern) and Nikki (Health Educator at Head & Hands) will be the only ones who read and compile the submissions.

● In person at Head & Hands office: 5833, rue Sherbrooke Ouest
● By mail at Head & Hands office: C.P. 206 Succ. NDG, Montréal (QC), H4A 3P5
● By email at:

The deadline to submit your story or work of art is Friday, February 3, 2012.
Thank you! If you have any questions about the zine or how to submit, contact Gabrielle at Head & Hands (

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