Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On Information Resources For GSAs

On Twitter's #abed / #ableg feeds yesterday, we were treated to a rather public meltdown by opponents of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) over content on C.H.E.W. Project's website.

Apparently, the "issue" is that they object to one particular resource - a set of information cards which is an "A-Z" of sexual terminology commonly used in LGBT circles (although I should point out that with only a few exceptions, most of the practices are also engaged in by heterosexuals as well).

I decided to go have a closer look at the content on C.H.E.W. Project's resources page.  I'll come back to the overall content.  One document in particular seems to have got the ire of parents:  "Sex From A-Z Cards: Information For Young Gay and Bisexual Men".  Each card consists of a graphic and an obverse which is the meaning for the letter, as shown below. 

Each term is given a brief definition, as well as how to mitigate the risks associated with STI and Hepatitis transmission associated with it.  I'll grant that if you're not "into" these practices yourself, some of them can sound pretty off-putting, but remember that everyone's sexuality is unique.  What gets you going is going to be seen as "ewww" for someone else.   

A brief perusal of the rest of the C.H.E.W. Project's resources page is clearly some excellent documents filled with relevant information and web resource links that anyone should be happy to have access to.  Knowing that information is available to youth who are coming into their sexuality today is a relief.  It might be unsettling to a few, but most parents I know would be happy to see their teens able to access that kind of quality information (objective, well researched, etc).  A heck of a lot better than the "schoolyard wisdom" I remember, and much easier for parents who are often uncomfortable talking about sex and sexuality with their children - all the more so if their children are not straight.  

The argument that this is "grooming" is ridiculous hyperbole.  It goes back to the old myth that LGBT adults are some kind of predator always on the lookout for vulnerable youth to "recruit" into their "licentious lifestyle".  We know today that this is at best hyperbole, at worst a gross mischaracterization of the sexual minorities as a whole.  

Frankly, parents who are "worried" about their children being exposed to this material would do a damn sight better to pay attention to the kind of material routinely available on hangouts like 4chan and 8chan.  The material routinely accessible through such sites makes anything they are getting upset about look positively tame.  By the time most kids are 12 or 13, they've probably seen stuff on the internet that would horrify their parents ... if they knew.  

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