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I Want To Be a Sex Educator. Er, How do I do That?

heavyboots asks:

I will be a junior in high school next year, and because I've been lucky to stumble on a lot of really great sex-positive resources, I've learned I have a pretty strong interest in sexuality--as in, studying it/doing something in it as a career. However, getting information about this field is much more difficult than, say, engineering or law. What are jobs within this field, what are areas in college/majors you'd advise, and what are some ways I can get involved now, as a minor? My areas of interest are not really in the medical field--I'm more interested in counseling, giving advice, activism, and education

Also, do you have any advice for telling people about my interest? Right now the only person who knows is my boyfriend, because it's really difficult for me to trust most other people to not equivocate wanting to study sexuality with being obsessed with having sex. Esp my parents, who are politically liberal in every way except in their parenting. They ask me what I want to do with my life really often, and it's kinda stressful to not be able to talk to them.

Young Sexuality Activists: Steph Herold

This blog post is part of a series here at Scarleteen profiling young people worldwide who are activists in some way in the fields of sexuality, sex education and sexual health.

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. You can find her on twitter @StephHerold and read more about her work at stephherold.com.

When you started the I Am Dr Tiller Project as a response to the murder of Dr George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, you were working at an abortion clinic. What got you interested in the issue of abortion and abortion care in the first place?

I grew up in a progressive home in the liberal suburbs of Washington, DC. Abortion w

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Young Sexuality Activists: Jason Ball

This blog post is part of a series here at Scarleteen profiling young people worldwide who are activists in some way in the fields of sexuality, sex education and sexual 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. You can find him on twitter at @jasonball88.

You’ve had a very busy year, getting a lot of attention with your call for the AFL to do more to tackle homophobia. What is it that sparked that activism, that made you decide to do something?
The one thing that gave

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Young Sexuality Activists: Patsy Niklas

This blog post is part of a series here at Scarleteen profiling young people worldwide who are activists in some way in the fields of sexuality, sex education and sexual health.

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. You can follow the awesomeness that is Patsy on twitter at @apatsy.

(Note: This interview was done while Patsy was still working for YEAH, so it focuses on her work there rather than her current work with FYA.)

What is it that got you started doing the work t

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Straight for Equality

Your one-stop-shop for all things Ally! Find quizzes, resources, support, and tools to help you fight the good fight on behalf of your LGBTQ brethern. You can also sign the Straight for Equality Pledge.

PFLAG's Guide to Being a Straight Ally

A .doc pamphlet all about how to best show your support for the LGBTQ community (even though you may not be LGBT or Q!)

Sex, Etc.

A for-teens, by-teens site dealing with birth control and pregnancy, STDs and testing, relationship matters, LGBTQ issues, and sexual politics. Sex, Etc. also publishes a teen-written magazine which accepts reader contributions.

Young Sexuality Activists: Jessica Danforth

This blog post is the first in a series here at Scarleteen profiling young people worldwide who are activists in some way in the fields of sexuality, sex education and sexual health.

Jessica Danforth is a one-person whirlwind for change. The 26-year-old founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, with headquarters in Toronto and Oneida, Wisconsin, she travels around North America and internationally advocating for culturally appropriate sex education in indigenous communities. A self-described “multiracial Two Spirit Indigenous hip-hop feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter,” she’s the executive director of NYSHN, the first chair of the National Indigenous HIV/AIDS Council, a North American co-chair of the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and has somehow found the time in her seriously packed schedule to edit two books and pick up several awards for her work along the way. I managed to catch up with her during an

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Scarleteen Superstars: Joey, Karyn, Alice and Sarah

And here's the second part of our volunteer profiles (part one is here) so all of you can better get to know some of the people we're so lucky to have on Team Scarleteen!

Karyn

Age: 27
Where do you live? Melbourne, Australia
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2004

What made you want to volunteer? I went through high school and the first couple years of university completely clueless about pretty much everything to do with sex and relationships. When I finally found Scarleteen and had my own questions answered so brilliantly, with so much information and so much obvious care, I knew I had to help out.

Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? Learning to say "no", without any guilt, without feeling I'm letting a partner down, without second-guessing myself.

Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: That I can learn from them, really - I'm not always going to be the "expert". When I first started volunteering, I was so worried that it meant I'd have to know *every

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Scarleteen Superstars: Ray, Kat, Véronique, Steph and Jacob

Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.

They play a big part in providing our direct services at our message boards and through our text-in answer service. They are our invaluable collective editorial board: even when volunteers aren't part of writing a piece, every piece we publish goes past at least some of them and their input is priceless. They're an equal part of all conversations about how we run things here, collectively informing and making decisions about how we manage and administrate the site and organization. They are a strong support circle: for all of us as a staff, for each other, for our users. They are a brilliant hivemind: our backend chat channel for staff and volunteers has had some amazing, inspired conversation about the issues we address here at Scarleteen. Most of our volunteers also started out at Scarleteen as users, so they come in with a lot of knowledge about being a user here,

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