Heather Corinna's blog
Many people have been asking about when our next peer sex educator training will be, and I'm sorry to say that I'm coming in with my founder and executive director hat on to deliver some not-so-awesome news about it.
I was watching a debate about sex education today, one rife with a lot of ludicrous statements, but the statement that quality sex education could not possibly help prevent sexual abuse stuck with me. It was all the more infuriating as someone who knows too well that a lack of knowledge about bodies and sex, and a lack of information about sexual consent and autonomy are some of the hugest reasons why sexual abuse is so prevalent.
If you're gay, lesbian or bisexual (LGB) and also of color, you don't need us to tell you how challenging that can be, nor that a lot of people -- especially those who aren't of color or who aren't queer -- don't realize, see or acknowledge much of what you've gone through or what you deal with. We're rolling out a new blog series today we hope can help counter that compound invisibility.
On top of doing what I do here at Scarleteen (and everything else I do), I also do some outreach sexuality and sexual rights education for a youth homeless shelter here in Seattle. My partner also now works full-time at that shelter, and when he came home last night and filled me in on some things that had gone on that day, I got struck very hard in the gut with some feelings I hadn't fully realized for myself until then, both about that work and the young people there, but also about some of my experiences with some of the users at Scarleteen.
So, I wrote the residents there a letter this morning that I'd also like to share with you, because the way I feel about them is also the way I feel about plenty of you.
I'm thrilled to announce that beginning in May, Scarleteen will be welcoming CJ Turett as our part-time assistant director. We've never had an official assistant director before, but have wanted one for quite some time, and I can't conceive of a better person for the job. I am particularly delighted to bring someone into a position of leadership here who is a younger activist: part of serving younger people well involves making them an integral part of the organizations who serve them, which absolutely should include positions of leadership.
You probably already know I'm the founder and executive director of Scarleteen. (If not, hello! Lovely meeting you.) You might not know that on Sunday I'm turning 40.
As you may know, at Scarleteen we do not yet endorse suppressing menstruation/continuous birth control -- using a hormonal method of birth control in order to skip withdrawal bleeds/periods -- for women under 18, because there still is yet to be any study done or published with adolescent women to evaluate if it is safe or medically sound for those in that stage of physical development.
There is yet no available data concerning the long term effects of menstrual suppression on a woman's overall health, at any age. I should also mention that no studies have been published yet about the safety or efficacy of suppressing periods with the patch or vaginal ring.
However, there have been published and reviewed studies for women over 18 using oral contraceptives for suppression.
Condoms have been my BFFs.
All the same, I know there are people who experience them as a drag. I was prepared to discover that walking into a change in my sex life where condoms absolutely were not needed, and also where I had a new birth control method that was as reliable as it gets and totally foolproof might give me some new insight on why some folks feel that way. I was prepared to be wrong: to find out that suddenly what I perceived as no interruption at all had been, in fact, more of an interruption than I realized.
Bzzzzt. So far, that's not what's happened.
I tried several times to leave a comment at the National Campaign's blog on this, but alas, it wouldn't let me. I'm pretty savvy with web forms, so it's probably just some kind of temporary technical snag over there. Since it wouldn't let me do so there, I'm doing it here.