BURBANK – The much anticipated debut of MTV’s I’m Thirteen and I Have Gonorrhea is scheduled to air this spring on Sunday Nights. After the heralded success of 16 and Pregnant, MTV hopes to capitalize on what it considers the fastest growing demographic in America – dysfunctional families who are eager to air their horrors to a television viewing audience.
Each week the show will revolve around a group of 7th and 8th grade girls and boys who are struggling with gonorrhea. In the first episode we meet Brittany, Kylee and Connor, all battling with the physical and emotional annoyances of gonorrhea. We learn early on that Kylee and Brittany contracted their gonorrhea after they had sex with the same boy in the cloak closet of their History of Gangsta Rap class at school. The show takes an intriguing twist when we find out that Connor is not only battling his sexually transmitted disease, but he’s struggling with the fact that he is gay and that he contracted gonorrhea from his Industrial Arts teacher.
“I was in the living room watching Hoarders when Brittany screamed from the bathroom. I told her to shut-up so I could hear the TV. When she screamed again I grabbed my belt and ran in to teach her a lesson. Before I could lay into her she began to cry and said that it was hurting really bad when she peed. I hadn’t forgotten my own experiences with gonorrhea back in high school so I knew what time it was. I assured her that a doctor could give her pills that would relieve the pain and that in a few days she’d forget all about it. I was going to hug her but I didn’t want to miss the rest of my TV show.”
Connor is on the school badminton team and he participates in activities that focus on helping others. Early in the program he tells the television crew that he thinks he is in love with his shop teacher. He says he was torn between telling his mom and dad about his gonorrhea and running away to join a circus.
“I just figured since I had gonorrhea that I might fit in more at a circus than I did in my suburban neighborhood. I called several circuses about working for them but because I didn’t have any circus experience they said they weren’t interested, even after I told them I had gonorrhea.”
“The first time I contracted a sexually transmitted disease I was well into my twenties and let me tell you, it scared the dickens out of me,” Mr. Munsack chuckled. “I mean, really thought I was going to die.” After his doctor prescribed tetracycline Munsack felt better. “In just one day the pain had dissipated when I peed and there was only minimal amounts of oozing pus.”
Munsack says it’s the stigma of shame that MTV is focused on alleviating.
“I’m Thirteen and I Have Gonorrhea will break down the walls of shame that so many kids have to contend with when they catch a venereal disease. We now know that catching gonorrhea is really no different than catching a cold. And with antibiotics, gonorrhea heals faster than a cold. So in a way, if it weren’t for the social stigma attached to it, for most teens a bout with gonorrhea is preferable to suffering through a cold.”
The show takes an interesting turn when Connor’s dad admits that he too is gay. Connor tells the TV cameras he feels some relief and that maybe his dad will understand and accept him a little more. But the controversy escalates when Connor is confronted with the news that his father has been having an affair with the very same shop teacher. Not just that, but Connor must also grapple with the startling announcement that the shop teacher contracted his gonorrhea from Connor’s father. As Connor wrestles with the psychological uncertainties that accompany the discovery that he inadvertently contracted gonorrhea from his father, his mother struggles to comprehend the role she is unexpectedly thrown into.
“Today I found out that my son and my husband are gay, that they have both been having sexual relations with the same teacher and that all three of them have gonorrhea,” she tells the cameras while fighting off tears. “And tomorrow is my birthday. If anybody planned a surprise party… I’ll bet it’s going to be cancelled now!”