It’s Scarleteen’s 20th birthday. I feel like Scarleteen is ALL GROWED UP. Millions of people who have used Scarleteen over the last two decades, or have been part of it as volunteers or other staff, are now, too. Some of us who were part of Scarleteen as teenagers are even now the parents of teenagers or soon-to-be's ourselves.
Scarleteen turns 20 years old today. Twenty.
For two decades, we’ve delivered our unique and innovative brand of sex education, despite many financial, legal, political and practical barriers and battles. That kind of tenure for anything on the internet is unheard of, let alone for a grassroots, feminist sexual health, sex and healthy relationships initiative and alternative education project for young people, and one that was (and still is) queer, working class and woman-led.
Centering and serving young people, sexuality and relationships like we do, with inspired quality, care and vision, and doing so independently — and for free — for so long is so rare. Very few organizations and resources have consistently delivered all of what we do, as well as we do, and to as many as we have, for this long.
What's that shiny graphic there? Why, that's just a lovely little commemorative doodle we asked artist-in-residence Isabella Rotman to do for our TWENTIETH FREAKING ANNIVERSARY. For real, we turn 20 on Saturday. TWENTY.This queer, scrappy, irreverent little sex education engine that (sometimes barely, but still) could...well, somehow actually did.
One of my projects over the last year has been a full content review of Scarleteen. I have now literally read every blog, every article, every advice column we have ever published. Besides our director and founder Heather Corinna, I don't think anyone else on earth has read as much of Scarleteen as I have.
As we're rolling out some redesign we've been working (and working to fund) over the last year or so, we thought we'd celebrate by sharing some of our history.