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Just posting to make a quick addition to this post to clarify a couple important things.
While people are being mostly incredibly supportive of us right now -- and we can't thank you enough, but will do our best to try in another post soon where we can talk about nothing but how awesome some of you are -- we've seen a few comments out and about that either aren't so supportive, but which also advance some misunderstandings or misinformation.
I want to make sure we address them so we can all be on the same page. These are the two statements or sentiments -- which are probably just based in false assumptions -- I want to address:
1) We're in this spot because clearly we have just needed someone to do fundraising full-time from or for our organization, and we are silly not to know that.
We so need that! In other words, we agree! Just not with the silly part.
Labor costs money, and professional fundraisers, particularly, do not come cheap. We don't have money. We have never had that kiRead more...
As an independent organization without state, federal, institutional, foundational or corporate funding, whose services have always been provided to millions each year at absolutely no cost -- not low-cost, not sliding-scale, but for free -- sustaining ourselves has always been a challenge. For a very long time now, almost our whole history, we've made clear that we can't sustain ourselves, and all our services, at only the meager level of support we've had to work with.
The kind of work we do is unsupported. Sexuality, sexual health and relationship education for young people, including additionally marginalized young people, like those who are LGBQA, transgender or otherwise gender nonconforming, those in or working to heal from abuse, those with disabilities, or of color and/or in cultures or communities deeply unsupportive of sexuality or sexual health outside very limited parameters, is unsupported. That is particularly so when our larger aim is happiness, autonomy and pleasureRead more...
(If that's a meaningless reference for you, have a click over. A little vintage Bowie, and with a sharp adultism callout, no less, is always good for the soul. And it's his 67th birthday today!)
Over the next few days, you'll notice some changes on the site. We are finally finishing the process of some design tweaks, and a pretty major reorganization of our static content on the site. Yippee! Myself, the volunteers, Casey, our badass developer, and Isabella Rotman, our snazzy artist-in-residence, have all had many conversations and brainstorming sessions to figure out the changes we wanted to make and felt best about when it comes to what we do, how we do it, what works best with our general ethos and the way we conceptualize comprehensive sex education, and how we want to grow from here, as well as what we feel will be most clear, comfortable useful for our users.
We hope everyone will be as excited about what we have come up with as we do!
Some sections we've had here for a long timRead more...
We are 15 years old today. FIFTEEN! (In internet years, that's like being 500.)
We debuted online on December 15th, 1998 and here we are, still rolling, and wanting to keep on rolling some more, in 2013.
I can't thank our donors and supporters, all our volunteers past and present, and the tens of millions of users who have been the heart and soul of what we do, with them and for them, enough for being part of this grand experiment in sexuality education and emerging technologies. So much of Scarleteen is a community, and we have been blessed with a large, deeply diverse and incredible group over the years, one which has challenged, inspired, moved and motivated all of us, myself very much included. As the founder and executive director of Scarleteen, all of you have benefitted my own life, and been part of something I gladly consider the core of my life's work.
We intend to keep at what we do for at least another fifteen years if we can, experimenting and innovating, exploring and dRead more...
Scarleteen's users are diverse, as are the reasons they find us, and the issues they bring to us. For some, the needs are as basic as needing to know how and when to use a condom or a hormonal contraceptive, or learning the names and functions of body parts. Some want help figuring out if sex with another person is something they want or not, or are ready for; some need help learning to negotiate or assert their sexual or interpersonal wants and needs. Many just need to know, from especially from someone who doesn't want anything from them, that it's okay for them to have sexual feelings and a sexuality. Many users like these have access to sexual healthcare, supportive and caring families or communities, and haven't experienced great sexual or interpersonal traumas. For those users, we're often something they need, but not something they can't manage without. We're a valuable helper, but not the only help they've got to draw on.
Some of our users come to Scarleteen just once or twicRead more...
As you may know, we started our major fundraising drive for the year this month. Our goal, for the year, is to raise just over $40,000 from new donors in order to best sustain, support and grow our organization.
Since we began the drive on the 13th, you've helped us raise just over $5,000. If the donors who chose to give monthly all keep that up for the year, that will get us to $8,500 of the total funds we need. Hooray!
We're still a long way off from raising what we need, though.
Here to help save the day, longtime Scarleteen donor, supporter and superhero (and also kickass science author) Stephen Luntz has offered a $2,000 match for funds we can raise from today at 9AM PST, through Thursday, February 28th, at 9 AM PST.
That's just $2,000 we need your help generating in the next 48 hours in order to grab those matching funds.
(We won't actually grab them. We'll take them only when offered and then say thank you politely.)
Check out this new infographic from Jacob, a volunteer at SRead more...
And on ice! (No, not on ice, sorry. That'd sure be fun, though.) "Scarleteen Live" is something we think is pretty exciting, even without ice skates and kooky costumes, but probably isn't quite as exciting as it sounds, either. There aren't even any song and dance numbers. (Yet.)
Here's what this is all about, for real.
Just below the Scarleteen 101 section on the left-hand sidebar over there, you should see something new today that looks like this:
Or, you'll see an image that looks like that one, but which says it's offline, and makes a sad-face because, as you know, someone not being online to help when you want is a bummer.
That's our brand new, shiny, live site helpline. It's a web-based, real-time chat system our visitors can now use to be able to connect with one of our staff or volunteers directly for quick help.
What kind of help? If you're new to the site, and are having any trouble navigating, or have any kind of technical problem using the site, yoRead more...
If you're someone who takes part in end-of-year giving, we'd like to ask you to consider giving to Scarleteen.
As you may already know, Scarleteen was one of the first online resources for young people about sex and sexuality, and remains the leading, most visited online resource expressly created and maintained for young people to get extensive and excellent sex and sexuality information, education and support.
We provide opt-in, youth-driven content and direct services every year through articles that don't shortcut, but give young people the depth they ask for, advice columns done with the aim of support and education, not entertainment; a staffed SMS service and fully moderated message boards available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, where young people talk to real people with the skills to do so well, not templates, machines or some random yahoo on Yahoo; an ever-growing database of referrals to direct, in-person services and to other credible websites or organizations; in-perRead more...