Today, like most days, our site has been up and running, including its tremendous archive; probably serving around 20,000 users by the end of the day. All of our direct services are live: our message boards, SMS service and live online chat. Myself and some of the volunteers are in the middle of creating new content, like one of our in-depth articles or advice columns. The daily and collective creative brainstorming, problem-solving, observing and reflecting that goes on behind the scenes amongst our staff and volunteers, and together with our users, can and will happen today.
When it comes to financial support, we primarily look to, and need help from, older adults in the world who care about young people, who care about young people's free, unrestricted access to excellent sex education and who do have the economic autonomy and funds to give a little.
This can obviously be a bit tricky. Most of these folks have never used Scarleteen, so it's hard for them to understand its value and what it offers and gives our readers and users.
But! There's something that can help. Here's where you come in, current-Scarleteen-user or now-Scarleteen-alum.
You can tell them. Then they'll know.
As you may have read a few weeks ago, we are in dire straits when it comes to sustaining all that we do here at Scarleteen, and need more support to do so now. Since we put out that call, we've raised around half of what we need to keep doing all we currently do, thanks to a few hundred generous individuals. Thanks so much to everyone who has given us your help so far!
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.
UPDATE! We -- and you! -- did it! WE SO TOTALLY DID IT! We met the minimum goal we needed to to avoid a strike and having to shut down any of our services. We can't thank the 1,000+ of you enough who have helped us do this, and who have made it possible for all the young people who need and use our services to keep on using them without interruption.
A friend of mine was in a relationship about 2 years ago. He's a guy. His girlfriend at the time pressured him into doing oral sex by saying that if he didn't do it that meant he didn't love her. Would that be sexual abuse? Because if a guy pressured a girl into giving him a blow job that would be considered sexual abuse and I'm just double-checking to see if that goes both ways....
One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.
Eleven years have gone by since I first came to Scarleteen as a very frightened, very lost sixteen year-old who had nowhere else to go and was ready to give up altogether.
I don't remember now what I wrote or what I asked for. But I will never forget seeing a response from Heather which read "I believe you, and I care."