We do so much reading and outlinking in a given week through our Twitter and Facebook feeds, it can get dizzying! While it's not always easy to find great content out and about that addresses the issues we do well, we still always find plenty that catches our interest, or gets our support or a hat-tip from us.
Starting in 2006, for NOW's Love Your Body Day, our volunteers, staff and users have been creating haiku about body love and acceptance on our message boards.
It's resulted in some fantastically cool pieces over the years, so we figured we'd share a few of them today as it's that fine day yet again!
dry mouth crooked teeth
smiling never stops despite
himself, filling doubt
I want to focus this entry on the second of the optional questions in the demographics survey. The question was this: Since using Scarleteen, which of any of the following has changed for you, and by how much?
What we most wanted to see was not the areas where we may have done a good job or where our users already felt things were going very well for them, but areas where it would seem sound to say we currently are not having the impact we'd like to with positive changes. In other words, this question seemed likely to be most useful in identifying our potential weak spots, rather than our strengths, and could give us a clearer sense on how and where we should look most to improve our content and approaches.
Every day, around 20,000 to 30,000 people come to Scarleteen online. This summer, we created a new demographics survey as part of a potential partnership with a fellow organization, and to get an additional, fresh source of information for ourselves.
There's a lot to look at and talk about, so I'm going to share this information in three or four posts. Today, I'll fill you in on some of the most basic demographics from the survey.
Just a quick update about a change starting at Scarleteen, for those who use our direct services.
With both our message boards and text service, we have told our users for many years now that they can expect a reply from a staff member or volunteer within 24 hours, though most have usually received replies more quickly than that, often even within minutes at certain times of day.
I'm writing today to make a modest funding ask of our allies and our readers capable of financial contributions on behalf of our volunteers.
What we're looking to do is to raise enough funds for all of our volunteers, who are able, to fly to San Francisco this April and attend the sex::tech conference together.
Anyone who knows me or who knows anything about me usually knows that my pre-teen and teen years were incredibly difficult. I dealt with neglect and abuse in my family, starting from about the time I was 10. I was sexually assaulted twice before I even became a teenager. I was queer. I was suicidal and was a self-injurer. I struggled to find safe shelter sometimes. Few people seemed to notice, even though after I gave up trying to use my words, I still used my eyes to try and tell them constantly.
I'm 40 now, and in a whole lot of ways, I felt older at 16 than I feel now. Some days, I am truly gobsmacked that I survived at all, let alone with my heart and mind intact and rich.
A lot of why I survived is about having gotten support.
"In this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld/ In this life, you’re on your own!" —Prince
High school is a laugh riot. It’s a jolly funhouse where the unpopular and the unusual are punished for their crimes against conformity with a topsy-turvy ridicule. Here, overweight boys have “due dates”, homely girls are proposed marriage by homecoming kings, underwear waistbands are wedgied into easy carrying handles for Special Ed students, and exchange students, (regardless of country of origin) are addressed in mock Chinese. In this swarming mosh pit of ha!rassment, powered by sweaty insecurity and raw, smelly fear, homophobia stands as the indisputable height of hilarity. At least that’s how I remember it.