Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Sex Lady

I walked into a party where I had met most people only once or twice, yet as I entered, someone shouted "Yay! The Sex Lady!" This was vaguely embarrassing, but it does fit - sex is kind of my thing, but not just in a sexy way. How did this come to be, you ask? Like this:

TMOL laid the foundation. Then, in 1984, hemopheliac blood-transfusion recipient Ryan White brought the AIDS epidemic into the kid sphere (at least my Seattle-alternative-elementary-school kid sphere, which I understand is a different kind of place). Around the same time, a colleague and friend of my mom's died of AIDS.

I was totally appalled and fascinated by this growing epidemic, but didn't know what a kid could really do about it. And then, frankly, puberty hit and I mostly tried to stop caring about everything except stupid shit like New Kids on The Block. It totally didn't work, but it sure did take up a lot of time. But I digress.

When I got into high school and the worst of puberty had passed, I joined a group called the Coalition for AIDS Peer Education (CAPE). I will write a full post later about how fucking awesome CAPE was.

With CAPE, I taught various sex ed classes throughout my teens and into my first years of college, in places ranging from my own junior high to a maximum-security juvenile detention facility - and let me tell you, watching 16-year-olds in orange jumpsuits and slippers running across a cellblock putting condoms on fake penises will give you something to smile about for LIFE. (Fake penises for children in state custody! Ah, the Clinton years...).

This is getting long and I'm late for dinnah, so this it to be continued - more to come!

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