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.
As an educator and advocate of healthy sexuality, who also has some disabilities, I think it’s pretty important for people to have accurate information, but also to see themselves and their experiences included in the conversations we have about sexuality. So, I’ve put together a list of resources that put people with various kinds of disabilities smack dab back in the middle of the conversation.
This summer, Arianna, who is one of our readers, wrote and produced a play at her college about sexuality which also included a fundraising ask for Scarleteen.
This month, Marlena, another Scarleteen user, surprised us with this incredible video she made as part of Project for Awesome, to do what she could to help support what we do and express her experience of what Scarleteen can offer to young people, particularly in a world which is so often unsupportive not just of youth sexuality, but of youth as a whole.
Our volunteers are a huge part of Scarleteen, and I call them superstars with very good reason. They're all incredible.
You probably heard that Siri, the digital assistant on the iPhone 4S, could help someone find Viagra or a sexual escort, but not a family planning clinic, a local pharmacy to get a birth control prescription filled or an abortion provider
Some people sure paid a lot of money for a tool that didn’t serve them or others well. Scarleteen users get those services and much more for free. We give teens and young adults real people to talk with, for nearly 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, when the thousands of pages of in-depth, thoughtful information at Scarleteen don’t have all they want or need. While all of that is free to our users, providing it to them costs money.
Starting in 2006, for NOW's Love Your Body Day, our volunteers, staff and users have been creating haiku about body love and acceptance on our message boards.
It's resulted in some fantastically cool pieces over the years, so we figured we'd share a few of them today as it's that fine day yet again!
dry mouth crooked teeth
smiling never stops despite
himself, filling doubt
I want to focus this entry on the second of the optional questions in the demographics survey. The question was this: Since using Scarleteen, which of any of the following has changed for you, and by how much?
What we most wanted to see was not the areas where we may have done a good job or where our users already felt things were going very well for them, but areas where it would seem sound to say we currently are not having the impact we'd like to with positive changes. In other words, this question seemed likely to be most useful in identifying our potential weak spots, rather than our strengths, and could give us a clearer sense on how and where we should look most to improve our content and approaches.
In my experience it feels like there are two crowds, those who are 'cool' and have frequent sexual activity, hookups etc both in and out of relationships (or at least portray themselves as doing so) and those who are 'pure' who have decided at this point to abstain from sex until marriage, who are frequently Christian or otherwise religious. I think there's pressure to fit into one of those groups, either to go out and have lots of sex or to not have sex at all.