Shush the stigma | Diabetogenic

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On day 2 of the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, rushing between meetings, I overhead another attendee say this: ‘I’ve never heard so many people talking about diabetes stigma’. I turned to them, a bright smile on my face and said, ‘I know, right?’, (a phrase I only ever utter when I’m in the US).

Just a few hours earlier, Jazz Sethi and I had tweeted simultaneously, setting free an open letter from the diabetes community about diabetes-related stigma. You may have seen it; thousands of people have. And others have shared, commented and even translated it into different languages (I think we’re at 6 translations and counting). Here it is!

When we first asked advocates from the community if they would like to add their logo to the letter we were surprised by the quick response. Almost everyone we went to said yes. We hadn’t gone out too widely – we wanted to test the waters first. The first version of the open letter includes advocates and peer support groups from across the world. Amazing!

And after our very low-key, (i.e. a couple of tweets from unverified Twitter accounts, so who knows what the algorithm did with them!), we were once again inundated by people asking for us to add their logos. (We haven’t managed to add them yet, but absolutely will in coming weeks. Please give us time if you’ve shared your logo. We’ll get there. And I’ll update this post with the new final page when that happens.)

There is something magic about these sorts of very grassroots, very community, very inclusive initiatives. Not only are they great because they collaboratively offer a narrative from people with diabetes, highlighting an issue that is of great importance to many. They also show you just how powerful and united our community is while also pointing to individuals and groups who are keen to work together, support each other and power the importance of lived experience. And that’s pretty special!

Jazz and I were very excited to set this open letter free into the wild!



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