Like every other staffer here at Scarleteen, I was devastated by the result of the recent presidential election in the United States. This is not what I - what any of us - were hoping for, and I am scared. I don't live in the U.S., but I have friends and family who do (my colleagues here included), almost all of whom belong to one or more of the groups targeted by Trump and his supporters, and I worry about what kind of harm the next four years will bring to the people I care so much about.
Steph Herold might be best known for starting the website IAmDrTiller.com, but since getting that project up and running in 2009, she's also started the blog AbortionGang.org, written for RH Reality Check, and put together the Safe Abortion Project and the tumblr I Had An Abortion. She currently sits on the board of the New York Abortion Access Fund, and just finished a master's degree in public health.
In September of 2012, openly gay footy player Jason Ball started a change.org petition calling on the AFL (Australian Football League, for all you non-Aussies out there) to air anti-homophobia videos during their grand final. They agreed to show the ads from No To Homophobia during the preliminary finals, and since then, Jason has kept very busy speaking to new AFL players about homophobia in sport, becoming an ambassador for national mental health organization Beyond Blue, and leading the 18th Pride March Victoria through Melbourne with his teammates.
Since the first time I had it inserted, the technology of the implant has changed a little bit, for the better. When it was developed, Implanon was a thin plastic rod that couldn't be seen on x-rays - so if there was a question about whether it had been placed in the right spot, there wasn't really a way to tell. The insertion device was also pretty intimidating-looking.
Nexplanon, the newer version, has fixed both of those issues.
Patsy Niklas is someone I consider myself privileged to know in person. Until recently, she worked as the program manager for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) in Melbourne, coordinating volunteer training and taking care of the organisation's social media.
Now she works with the Foundation for Young Australians on their Young People Without Borders project, helping young Australians get involved in volunteering and activism. In addition to all that, she hosts a weekly show about sex and relationships on Melbourne's youth-run radio station, SYN.
I have a very exciting announcement to make (and a little bit of a happydance that goes with it, but I'm not sure that's something anyone wants to see, so I'll stick with just the announcement for now).
High school has always provided great inspiration for movies and television. Grease, Popular, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Breakfast Club, Freaks and Geeks....the list of high-school-based movies and TV shows is pretty extensive. And then there's a new addition, Glee, set in a smallish town in the US, centered on the local high school's glee club, and chock full of as much singing, dancing and snappy one-liners as anyone could want.
To: Stephen Harper (a.k.a. the Prime Minister of Canada, a.k.a. That Guy With the Questionable Judgment)
From: Me (a.k.a. A Concerned Citizen, a.k.a. Someone Who Thinks You're a Bit of a Twit)
Australians let us all rejoice,
For we are young and free.
Not a bad way to start a national anthem, if you ask me. Australians have a long list of reasons to rejoice, when you think about it. Lately though, being young and free hasn't been one of the items on that list. Oh sure, Australia's a first-world democracy, quite wealthy with lovely things like a good education system and mostly public health care. So what am I on about, you might ask, when I say young and free isn't a fitting description?