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Author Topic: In your own words
Heather
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Just a heads-up for users.

When we launch the site upgrade, we'll have a few new sections of the site that aren't here now.

One I'm really excited about, is a section called "In Your Own Words," where you users will be able to post your own first-person narratives and your own written pieces on your sexual realities, current affairs pertaining to sexuality and youth issues, the works. To me, this is really important because far more often what any of us read out and about on teen/YA sexuality is ABOUT teens and young adults, but not BY them. I think it's really vital that people be able to hear YOU, from your own lips, talking about your realities.

You'll be able to simply input them into the site, where they'll go into an approval queue for myself and some of our volunteers to read, edit if need be, and publish if they're up-to-par.

As we get closer to re-launch, I'll post some more specific information on this section, but in the meantime, I just wanted to make any of you budding writers or journalists aware of this so that if you're interested, you can start thinking about things you'd like to write on. [Smile]

[ 06-14-2007, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather
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We're getting closer (around a month away at this point, maybe a little less) to finishing the site upgrade, so I wanted to bump this up again.

I KNOW there are some of you who are such skilled writers, who have such unique perspectives to share, so if you are interested in this, please talk to me about it. I'm looking very much forward to having more young adult first-person work on the main site, where you can get your voice out there.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Bumping this again: we'll be rolling out the new site in the next week, so this is becoming more pertinent!

Y'all talk a LOT about how you're not heard, so I'm really hoping you'll take the opportunity.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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orca
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That actually sounds like a really cool idea. I've been wanting to find an outlet for my writings but it's been difficult (especially with my lack of computer knowledge). I'm thinking about this piece I wrote back when I was 15. I wrote it after reading "Hills Like White Elephants" so the style is a little similar to that. It's autobiographical too, so that hopefully makes it easier to relate to. Maybe this is just the push I need to finally start writing again. [Smile]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Alice
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I would absolutely write up something on being a young parent. What exactly do you want it to be? Like, about the pregnancy, birth, or just parenting? Obviously I only have 9.5 months of experience, but so far lots to say. [Razz]
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-Firefly-
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I'd like to write something about age disparate relationships if that's ok... Maybe an account from someone who's been (and is going) through the heartache and pitfalls can help others seriously (re)evaluate things?

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-Lauren-
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Blysse, I personally think that would be freaking awesome. I think users considering the same would love to hear a first-hand account from a peer experiencing the same things who is willing to give a balanced view, not just doom-and-gloom. [Smile]
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-Lauren-
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(And of course, Alice, didn't mean to leave you out! I think you being around the boards themselves is very beneficial, so having you write something up for the main site would be great! You're so counter to the teen-mama-falling-apart stereotype, and I really think that needs to be seen more often! [Smile] )
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Heather
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No one needs to pick any one thing, just to be clear. This new section will be set up so that any user can submit a first-person piece at any time, so if you have more than one thing you want to write about, you get more than one shot!

So, for instance, Alice, you can write about any of those experiences, or on all of them, in time, if you like. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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I would maybe be interested in writting something too but I'd have to think about it. I don't have any subject coming to my mind yet.

My English writting skills are not that remarquable lol but well that could be something fun to do even though ! [Smile]

[ 05-29-2007, 05:11 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Alice
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Aww, Lauren.. maybe I just had a super long day but I take that as a really nice compliment. Someone thinks I haven't fallen apart! Thank you! [Smile]

And thanks Heather, you'll hear from me with some sort of pregnancy/birth/parenting article. [Smile] That'll be fun to write.

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Heather
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(Pssssst, our first of these post-upgrade just got published, so if you're thinking about it -- dive in!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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-Lauren-
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Done. [Smile]
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Heather
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Lauren this is really great: I'll be editing it today.

(On a topic you touched on, it's really crazy how much of the medical establishment either doesn't understand or doesn't present it that even if and when something is psychomatic, that doesn't mean the pain isn't REAL, or that the pain isn't happening. Mind/body connection is not minor, it's vital, and psychosomatic pain IS real pain and IS a real problem.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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-Lauren-
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I love what you've done with it so far, along with the excellent book recommendations and your little note on the side. Thanks, and I can't wait to see it done! [Smile]

And totally hear you on the psychosomatic pain bit. From what I've seen and heard, medical pros often attach the phrase to imagined pain, which is very different from it being psychosomatic.

(And can I add a shoutout to Joey? I LOVED the "Victim to Survivor" piece.)

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Heather
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All finished. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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-Lauren-
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Gah, the grammar nazi in me edited it, and now it seems to have made the book links go poof. That'll teach me.

I promise I won't touch it again. [Razz]

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September
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(Thanks, Lauren, and right back at ya: Your piece is great!)

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Johanna
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Ecofem
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Both of your pieces are awesome, Joey and Lauren! [Smile]
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-Lauren-
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Thanks so much!

C'mon, let's see some others! [Smile]

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Alice
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Ok. Did it. I just got inspired at 2am, got up and hammered it out. I probably should have waited until morning to reread it and send, considering it's 3:30am now and my brain is oatmeal... but... this is how I roll.

Oh snap, I just thought of something I wanted to add. Hmm, guess I'll either edit or save it for the next one... [Razz]

(eta: Can't figure out how to get back to the page to edit it! help! I did it before, musta lost it. Gah, forget it. Must go sleep now. I'm waking up to Nolan's shiney happy face in less than a mere 4 hours.)

[ 06-20-2007, 05:45 AM: Message edited by: lemonberry ]

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Heather
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Alice: looked at this, I think it's great, and I can put it up tonight.

But if you wanted to edit it first, but can't get back to it, you can also just resubmit the version you prefer.

Thanks, gal. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alice
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Nah, it's okay. The other thing I wanted to talk about would go on for too long, it doesn't really fit, now that I think about it. I'm fine with how it is, now. Besides whatever edits you want to make.

Thanks, Heather!

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Heather
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Hey, thank you! I really like the piece a lot, and I love your candor in it. You're a gem, Miz Alice, and I hope you never forget it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Done!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alice
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Wow, way cool! Thanks! My name isn't on it, though, was that on purpose?
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Heather
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Oh, poop. Must be a bug in there: I'll take a look today, Alice. So sorry!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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I'm bumping this up, just because I keep noticing more and more adults talking about teen sexual issues.

Many of whom rarely even talk with teens, especially in a diverse array, but none of whom ARE teens. This has been bugging me mightily.

I know that some of you rely on adults to help (or to solely) fight a lot of these battles for you, or bring them to the forefront, some of you because you're without the agency to do so yourself. Some of you because you feel powerless: but you are not powerless.

ALL of you have places where you CAN speak for yourselves and be read and heard. We have 10K - 30K in readers here a DAY at the site. This is also one on THE lone spots on the web where people come to find out about teen sexuality. When someone puts "sex ed" into Google, this has long been the first or second result in the list. When we get new In Your Own Words segments up and edited, I almost always put them on the front page of the site: it is MAJOR visibility. In other words, I've given you a place to really speak and be heard, and I can't encourage you enough to use it. Until y'all really start making yourselves visible and really seen, things for you are not going to get better per policies and attitudes about your sexuality.

In other words, this is me, kicking your butts to get you heard, in your OWN words and voice. [Smile] I'm down with speaking for you all the times I'm asked, but I'd so much rather you spoke more for yourselves, and I think it is far, far more powerful than anything I could say FOR you, okay?

[ 11-02-2007, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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I have a few questions...

I was wondering something. If there is already a lot of stories already on the topic we would like to write about, does it matter ? Also, do we have to have great writing skills or satisfy certain criterias for our story to be accepted ?

And one last thing... how about anonymity ? Is stating only the user name suffisant for example ?

[ 11-03-2007, 11:14 AM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Heather
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Y'all can write with whatever name you prefer to use.

Pieces really should be of a quality that is on par with what gets professionally published, but like anywhere else, we can/will (or I should say *I* can and will) edit your piece to polish it up.

Usually, when we have a lot of pieces on a given topic, it's simply because that topic is very pertinent and an experience many people share. So, shared topics are not a big deal. Obviously, it'd be really great to have things rounded out in terms of what we have, but what I'm most interested in is just getting your voices out there on the issues that matter to you.

But to give you some ideas of some topics we really don't have young adult address on, should any of them be topics relevant to any of you we'd like to write about, here's a rough list:

• emergency contraception: getting it, using it, being refused it, etc.
• birth control: negotiating use, getting access to it, affording it, being advised by doctors about it, etc.
• being sexually active: from the awful stuff to the good stuff, social conflicts, working it out with a partner, dealing with cultural ideals or norms, etc.
• transgender issues or other issues about gender roles
• body image: ow you feel or have felt about your body, how sex throws more issues into the mix (or didn't), dealing with body image and media, the beauty myth, male body image, male or female eating disorders, etc.
• love and like: just figuring it all out, challenges people who grew up in abuse may face in dealing with love, communication, self-worth and validation issues, etc.
• dealing with an unplanned pregnancy
• peer and social pressures about sex
• dealing with any kind of genital mutilation, including circumcision
• working out limits and boundaries

And talking about those things can be about you, about working those things out with friends, or more academic thoughts on those kinds of issues.

That's the short list: really, the sky's the limit.

And with that, I'm off to the NARAL youth leadership summit for the day. back later, but anyone should feel free to aks anything they like about this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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Can it just be a bit like Joey's story, like about what happened to me ? I just find it might help just sharing and exposing those thoughts and feelings out.

[ 11-03-2007, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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-Lauren-
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There are NEVER too many teen survivor stories, in my opinion. I'd love to see it. [Smile]
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cool87
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Posted ! :)

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cool87
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Heather if you are there...I was just wondering if you did get my story ?

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-Lauren-
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It's awesome, cool! We'll doctor it up to look nice, do some minor proofreading, and publish it as soon as we can. [Smile]

(Only one thing: we think it necessary to add a very brief warning at the beginning warning that it might be triggering. It's crucial that assaulted women speak freely, but it might be a bit much for another survivor. Are you all right with that?)

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