Saving & Changing Lives: Scarleteen’s Activism

November 15, 2010  |  essays

So this month, Scarleteen has had a Fund Raiser and Blog Carnival coordinated by AAG going ’round the sex blogs. Dozens of writers and bloggers and sex-positive forward thinking folks took part, just take a look at the list here

You probably already know about Scarleteen. I certainly mention that site frequently here. Here’s the description:

Scarleteen has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998, and has the longest tenure of any sex education resource for young people online. We have consistently provided free, inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and one-on-one support to millions, and have never shied away from discussing sexuality as more than merely posing potential risks, but as posing potential benefits, something rarely seen in young adult sex education. We built the online model for teen and young adult sex education and have never stopped working hard to sustain, refine and expand it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m preaching to the choir when I say that teen sex education is important, and that beyond that reliable information about sex available for anyone and everyone on the internet is also important. I go there frequently when I need to look up the details of STIs, for example. It’s a great resource for all kinds of things, and the testimonials from teens and folks who have been users and contributors to the site for years are very moving. They have a whole community, people talking to each other and taking care of each other and sending love and information to each other honestly and openly. That kind of interaction and information is invaluable.

In 2009 and 2010, Scarleteen has had around 1 million overall hits to the site each day from an average of 25,000 unique users daily. And you know, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to say that sites like this, with frank and real and honest and non-judgmental resources about sexuality, kink, sexual orientation, gender identity, and relationships, can and have had real impact on the complicated and sometimes life-threatening teenage years of folks with marginalized genders and sexualities. Sex education saves lives, at best, and absolutely changes lives.

I’m closing out the blog carnival today, along with pieces by Violet Blue on Tiny Nibbles and Heather Corinna on Scarleteen, with the end of the call for financial support for Scarleteen.

Scarleteen is very undersupported financially. We always need more financial support and I would very much appreciate having yours. I think we do a fantastic, important job, think we have for many years, and I intend to do all I can for us to keep doing that job for many more to come so we can remain a place young people know they can come back to, and don’t have to worry about passing in the night when a media or cultural tide shifts. I think Scarleteen and all that happens at Scarleteen is very worthy of being supported and sustained. To make that happen, we need more than just my own stubborn and dogged commitment and that of our volunteers: it also takes some dollars. (Quoted from Heather’s post on Scarleteen.)

Thanks to some generous donors, up to $2,000 in donations will now be matched for donations made from today until Saturday the 20th. If you’ve got an extra few bucks, now’s the time to toss ‘em toward an organization that does some important work.

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