Young Sexuality Activists: Patsy Niklas
Patsy Niklas is someone I consider myself privileged to know in person. Until recently, she worked as the program manager for YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) in Melbourne, coordinating volunteer training and taking care of the organisation's social media.
Now she works with the Foundation for Young Australians on their Young People Without Borders project, helping young Australians get involved in volunteering and activism. In addition to all that, she hosts a weekly show about sex and relationships on Melbourne's youth-run radio station, SYN. You can follow the awesomeness that is Patsy on twitter at @apatsy.
(Note: This interview was done while Patsy was still working for YEAH, so it focuses on her work there rather than her current work with FYA.)
What is it that got you started doing the work that you do? Was there a specific moment or event that prompted you get involved in sex education, or was it more gradual? I suppose my interest in sex education comes from my experience – during university I was diagnosed with vaginismus, and spent a lot of time hanging out with my pelvic floor physiotherapist as she taught me to relax my vaginal muscles. It kind of surreal having chats with my doctor about politics, feminism and movies with her hand halfway up my clacker, but her sex-positive approach really inspired me to get into the field.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend a lot of time writing and implementing strategy for our social media channels, which is a great way to connect with other young people. Occasionally, I get to go to events at universities and music festivals, which is great fun, especially when we bring our gigantic inflatable here.