Hey! I'm Chanté Thurmond, and I'm the new curator of the Sexuality in Color blog, as well as Scarleteen's Growth and Advancement Advisor. Before I share a quote that's been in my heart lately, and a shortlist of a few exceptional PoC who consistently add value to the culture and to their respective communities, I want to share a brief backstory about my journey to Scarleteen.
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.
None of us in this kind of work have the ability to be everything for everyone, or to serve people in all the ways people need help, care, support, information or community by ourselves. So, this #GivingTuesday, we'd like to bring your attention to just a few other organizations besides us (oh, we'll ask you for money for ourselves soon enough, don't you worry!) who we really appreciate who are participating. We're so grateful for them and all that they do. If you're looking for a new place to give some support this week, we suggest you start here:
Unless you live under a very large rock, odds are good you've heard some statistics and research about adolescent minds and neurochemistry and how they are still doing a lot of developing through the early to mid-twenties.
Yes, the adolescent brain makes impulsive behavior more likely. But that doesn't mean that teens and emerging adults don't know what they want, who they are now, or what they're talking about.
For two years, I worked in a bookstore that was aimed primarily at children and teenagers. It was a job I quite enjoyed, but I quickly discovered that when you work near books, people always want to tell you their opinions on said books. That's fine most of the time. But I noticed a pattern when parents or adults would refer to The Hunger Games series. They would express dismay over a child wanting to read the book, wondering what they saw in it, and either implicitly or explicitly stating that they thought the book was not good for youth to be reading.
What struck me about these conversations was that ninety-nine percent of the time, the adult in question had not even read the book they were criticizing. They dismissed it, either as inappropriate trash or as mindless fiction without ever actually seeing what it had to say.