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Building Bridges: Sexual Orientation Shifts

Time for another installment of Building Bridges, where we facilitate, then publish a conversation between two people in different life stages who have something with gender, sexuality and/or relationships in common. This time, our intergenerational pair is two women who have had their sexual orientation and identity shift for them during the course of their lives.

Amy & Candice: Shifting Sexual Orientation

Amy, 24: I came out as a lesbian at 14 and was, as I call it, "a Professional Gay" for a long time. I interned for activist organizations, ran the GSA at my high school, got a scholarship from a local LGBT organization for my activism and went on to a women's college where I eventually became co-chair of the LGBT organization on campus. I was, as a friend once said "her definition of gay."

Looking back, I struggled with liking guys for a long time, which sounds so backwards in the way that people think of sexual orientation transitions. I felt a strong connection and loyalty to th

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Building Bridges: Childhood Sexual Abuse

We hear a lot about generational divides. What we hear much less about are the bridges: how people of different generations can and do connect; how we can support and help one another and each offer the other things of great value. Just as often as a given experience, or even life as a whole, is different for people of one generation and those of another, there are also some things that are or have been the same, and all have our own wisdom to share, whatever our age may be.

People of different generations are not incapable of connecting or understanding each other, despite the way so much media can often make it sound that way, or the despite day-to-day frustrations and challenges we have probably all experienced with one another when trying to connect.

Often I am asked to explain things about one generation to another, illustrating differences as well as common ground to each. I often find myself telling people of one age group how to try and better understand the other; making app

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New Series: Would Love Your Help!

I'd like to start a new series at Scarleteen to address some unique first-person experiences while also looking at generational differences and similarities, divides and bridges. All too often, people with shared experiences but of different ages talk past or over each other; have a hard time connecting and seeing where they connect, where they don't and landing in a place where we can all respect each other's experiences, no matter how different we may be.

Ideally, how I'd like this to go is to get two people of different generations -- one under 25, one over 40 -- for each of the following themes/experiences in the list below. Rather than myself or other staff asking the questions or leading the topic, I'd like each of those two people to write out five questions for the other, then each answer the questions they were asked, adding more if needed during that back-and-forth conversation, and we'll edit it all together into something polished and cohesive.

What's the point? First to

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