The People’s Sex Ed

In 2015, AIDS Action and Fenway Health launched Getting to Zero Massachusetts (GTZ), forming a statewide coalition of 40 organizations to achieve the aims of the Getting to Zero initiative. Since then, the Getting to Zero coalition undertook a successful statewide community engagement process to lay the groundwork for a conversation about Getting to Zero.

In 2019, 82% of high school students in MA reported they did not learn about LGBTQ sexual health in their school classes. 6.9% of high school students experienced physical dating violence in the past year- and this number rises to 17.7% for lesbian, gay, and bisexual identifying youth. Across the Commonwealth, we are not doing everything we can to provide our young people with the tools they need to make informed choices about their health and their relationships.

The People’s Sex Ed is a webinar series that will explore a variety of topics that are important for people in our communities so they can make informed choices.

We are offering webinars for people from a variety of backgrounds, because we know comprehensive health education is important for everyone. In addition to learning about LGBTQIA+ identities or topics like pleasure, our webinars will be medically accurate and participants will also learn how to engage their legislators on this issue. You can expect that each webinar will: 

Please see below for our webinar listings and register for them by checking out our linktree: linktr.ee/GTZMA! NOTE: Each webinar has its own Zoom registration link. You do not need to attend all webinars, but you do need to register for the webinars that you wish to attend. Please email Alyvia at anorris@fenwayhealth.org with any questions!

Important Dates

Webinars

Webinars Offered

An Introduction to Gender and Sexual Identities

Monday, 5/17, 2021 6:00 PM EST

In this workshop, we will build a foundational understanding for terms and definitions related to gender identity and sexual orientation. Building on that foundation, we will consider health and wellness for LGBTQIA+ people, including healthcare disparities, opportunities for health equity, and how an intersectional approach is vital to wellness. 

 Mason J. Dunn, JD. (he/they)

Mason J. Dunn, JD. (he/they)

Mason J. Dunn, JD, (pronouns he/they) is the Deputy Director of Education and Training at the Fenway Institute. Mason serves on the Massachusetts LGBTQ Youth Commission and is a board member with the Equality Federation. They are an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, in the Communications Department. Mason is the former Executive Director for the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and served as the campaign co-chair for the Massachusetts Yes on 3 campaign, the first ever state-wide ballot question on transgender rights in the United States.

Too often sex education is binary, heterosexist, and cissexist. In order to repair these oversights, we need a fundamental shared understanding of the beautifully complicated and diverse worlds of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Are You Talking to Me? / ¿Tú me estás hablando a mí?:
El lenguaje inclusivo en español

Tuesday, 6/15, at 4:00pm-5:30pm

This workshop will introduce best practices around the use of inclusive language in Spanish for people providing sex education and prevention services. Participants will reflect on the challenges and importance of using inclusive language. The workshop will give a brief history of the Spanish language, an overview of terminology, and an opportunity for participants to practice making language more inclusive. This presentation will be facilitated primarily in Spanish and would not be appropriate for participants who speak only English.

Intended audience: Health educators, sexuality educators, prevention workers, case managers, social workers, youth workers, etc. who provide services in Spanish

Coqui Negrón (she/her)

Coqui Negrón (she/her)

Carmen “Coqui” Negrón is a Bilingual Community Health Educator at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to Massachusetts after graduating from high school. Coqui has a Master’s degree in Health Education from Worcester State University. She is a health educator and trainer with over twenty years of experience in the HIV field, sexuality education and public health. Coqui is also an interpreter, language coach, community activist, and Laughter Yoga facilitator.

When providing health education services, it is key to create an environment of trust where participants feel safe and welcome, and language is one of the tools we use to achieve that goal.“

Starting Sex Ed in the Earlier Grades

Wednesday, 6/30, at 6:00pm-7:30pm

 Children in grades Kindergarten through Second are curious, impressionable and reliant on others. Regarding sexuality, children have a natural curiosity of their bodies, as well as the basics of family structures and reproduction. This webinar focuses on what to and how to teach children of these ages specific age- and developmentally- appropriate information and skills, while also being sex positive.

Intended audience: Caregivers, educators and others working with younger children

Lori Reichel (she/her)

Lori Reichel (she/her)

Lori A. Reichel, PhD, is a former school health educator with 25+ years working with children. A former New York State Health Teacher of the Year and National Health Education Professional of the Year, she is currently teaching full-time at the Western Michigan University and is the Coordinator of the PHETE Programs.
Lori currently hosts the Puberty Prof podcast (found on most podcast platforms) and has authored books pertaining to sexuality and young people.

Talking with younger people about age- and developmentally-appropriate sexuality concepts is important because children begin to receive messages at a young age about their bodies and sexuality. By starting discussions/teaching at younger ages, a stronger and positive base can be formed between caregivers and children.”

Safer Sex for *Our* Bodies: Trans and Nonbinary Needs and Pleasure

Monday, 7/12, at 5:30pm-7:00pm

When it comes to Sex Ed, many of us are too often left behind: our bodies ignored, and our complex relationships with our bodies unseen. For trans and nonbinary folks, that means that there’s a lot for us to talk about! In this session, we’ll dive into some of the areas that are often untouched by most Sex Ed conversations: language, navigating dysphoria, impacts of (various forms of) transition, queering safer sex materials, and pleasure! Through information sharing, demos (as needed), personal reflection, and conversation (as group size allows), we’ll create trans and nonbinary brilliance together.

Intended audience: T/GNB folks, folks questioning or exploring their gender identity, their partners and loved ones, and health educators

LB Moore (they/ze)

LB Moore (they/ze)

LB (they/ze) is a white, nonbinary, disabled Jew who is passionate about the power of humor, candid conversations about sex and mental health, and the radical health inherent in dismantling stigma and oppression. An avowed mountain gay, LB enjoys cuddling canines, hugging trees, and uprooting the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy (and planting calendula in its place). As a facilitator for TPSE 2021, they are pumped to join an incredible cast of community members in cultivating the conversations about sexual health that we need. In their day jobs, LB is a licensed mental health counselor, researcher, part-time farmer, and community educator.

I hold tightly to the radical belief that we–as trans and nonbinary people–deserve to explore joy, pleasure, and safety in our bodies and relationships. I am humbled by the sheer magnitude of T/GNB creativity and resilience, and I believe that heartful conversations about sexual health are one way that we uplift and heal ourselves and each other.”

History Repeats Itself Unless We Intervene:
Linking Sexual Violence, Racism, and White Supremacy

Wednesday, 7/28, at 6:00pm-7:30pm

This webinar examines cultural and historical factors of sexual violence. Looking at historical examples, we will examine challenges that survivors of color may face connected to the U.S.’s history of slavery and racism. We will discuss how to support survivors, bystander intervention, and how white people can be allies. In addition to considering individual actions, we will discuss how to engage legislators to improve sexual assault policies.

Intended audience: This webinar is intended for folks in high school and above.  People of all identities are encouraged to attend this webinar, as it asks each person to examine their own positionality to the content we cover.

Anthony DiNicola (he/him)

Anthony DiNicola (he/him)

Anthony DiNicola (he/his) serves as Inclusion Liaison for the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this appointment he was based in Chicago, Illinois working for nearly a decade at Catharsis Productions traveling across the United States and internationally working with colleges/ universities, every branch of the US Armed Services, and companies large and small on facilitating meaningful dialogue when it comes to sexual violence prevention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anthony’s specialty is using humor and the tenets of courageous leadership to engage a wide range of audiences in meaningful dialogue and action planning for a future that is more intersectional and offers a true sense of belonging for all.

This is all the information that we deserve as community members. Whether one is sexually active or not, single or in a relationship, no matter our race, gender, socio-economic status, religious beliefs–or any of the many parts of our individual identities–we are owed all of the information that helps us increase respect and reduce harm.”

– Anthony

Establishing comprehensive sex ed means speaking about ideas that have been labeled as “taboo,” and bringing to light the messed up, inaccurate and harmful messages so many of us were taught about sex, identity, and choice. I want to live in a world where every person is expressing themselves authentically and truthfully—and comprehensive sex ed is a path to that world.”

– Anne
Anne Dufault (she/her)

Anne Dufault (she/her)

Anne Dufault, M.Ed. (she/hers), is a recent graduate of the Educational Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This fall, Anne will begin her PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology at Suffolk University, where she will be joining the Youth Equity and Sexuality Lab under the direction of Dr. Mimi R. Arbeit. Professionally, Anne spent seven years as an educator for Catharsis Productions, facilitating conversations about sexual violence prevention and diversity and inclusion with college students, the U.S. military, and businesses. She is passionate about how sexual violence prevention, education, and policy can address the threats of white supremacy, misogyny, and fascism.

Embodied Sexual: Exploration as Self-Pleasure

Wednesday, 8/11, at 4pm-5:30pm

This webinar is a guide to exploring our relationship with self. It’s important to establish our yeses and nos – to do that, we have to take time to explore! This webinar will allow folks the space to connect to their desires and learn to appreciate them. There will also be an opportunity to check in about some healthy and unhealthy relationship-with-self behaviors with the intention to reframe our self-talk for more softness.

Intended audience: centering Black youth and young adults, but education for all

Jowal-Lisa W. (she/her)

Jowal-Lisa W. (she/her)

Jowal-Lisa (she/her) is a magical Black girl, Megan Thee Stallion stan, and Boston area sex health educator who provides brave spaces centering pleasure and sex positivity for Black young adults like herself. Lisa is also a postpartum doula who assists Black birthing parents adjust to life after birth, abortion and pregnancy/ infant loss. She likes to think the point of her existence on this planet is to embody and embrace her wholeness – she is a whole person with human desires and feelings and her goal is to help you embrace and embody your wholeness, too!

Establishing comprehensive sex ed would mean people in my community could build a sexual foundation that is informed, loving, pleasurable, exciting and more! It would mean that we’d have the knowledge and the supportive space to receive it.”

Safer Sex Pictionary! A Humorous Harm Reduction Game

Monday, 8/16, at 5:30pm-7:00pm

Let’s move beyond the exclusive message that “Safer Sex = Condoms.” There are so many amazing, creative, resourceful ways that we protect ourselves and our partners by minimizing the risk that comes with sex—whether we recognize them as such or not! In this live game of pictionary, participants respond to a shared prompt…and the group draws and laughs its way through a candid conversation about a more diverse ways to engage in safer sex.

Intended audience: Any and all folks aged 18+! 

LB Moore (they/ze)

LB Moore (they/ze)

LB (they/ze) is a white, nonbinary, disabled Jew who is passionate about the power of humor, candid conversations about sex and mental health, and the radical health inherent in dismantling stigma and oppression. An avowed mountain gay, LB enjoys cuddling canines, hugging trees, and uprooting the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy (and planting calendula in its place). As a facilitator for TPSE 2021, they are pumped to join an incredible cast of community members in cultivating the conversations about sexual health that we need. In their day jobs, LB is a licensed mental health counselor, researcher, part-time farmer, and community educator.

To me, the establishment of comprehensive sex ed would mean that the wholeness of my and my communities’ (a)sexualities–our diverse bodies, health statuses, genders, attraction patterns, sensory needs, emotional worlds, pleasure, cultures, access to materials, and more–is acknowledged, honored, celebrated, and provided for in health and education spaces. When I imagine such a world, in which all sex ed conversations are radically anti-stigma, anti-oppression, and pro-humanity, I feel more connected. More open. More joyful.”

Medical Racism: A Look at the Past, Present and Future

Friday, 8/27, at 4:00pm-5:30pm

This webinar aims to explain and define the term “medical racism”. In this workshop, participants will come to understand how medical racism has affected BIPOC communities in the past leading up to the present day. We will work together to pinpoint the systems or barriers that were/are in place that allowed instances of medical racism to occur. After acknowledging our past and present, participants will discuss current changes happening within the healthcare realm to combat medical racism and envision our path forward. Participants will also learn tools for how we can advocate for ourselves and others, as well as relay this information to others so they can get educated on this topic.

Intended audience: All ages, all genders, all sexualities, all ethnicities and all religions

Zarie Locke (they/them)

Zarie Locke (they/them)

Zarie is a Queer, Afro-Panamanian Non-binary Person who is living, working and advocating in Boston, they are on a driven path to alleviate and end health disparities for LGBTQ Youth and Young adults in Massachusetts and their main passions include Sexual Health Advocacy, Racial Justice, Peer Navigation, and Equitable Housing Access work. When they aren’t focused on work Zarie is an avid video gamer, embroider, enjoys old cartoons and the latest Drag race episode, they are also a lover of animals including their Nebelung Cat named Achilles.

This topic is important to me because as a trans person of color, I have personally experienced along with many of my community members the barriers that can come up in trying to access competent and affirming physical, sexual and mental health care. It is up to us as bipoc and allies to open up the conversation around the health disparities in bipoc communities, where they come from and how we can start advocating for ourselves and others so that everyone can start to receive the medical care that is deserved through knowing our history, finding ways to stand up for ourselves and educating others.”

Peach Care: Be Anal About It

Wednesday, 9/8, at 4:00pm-5:30pm

The goal of this webinar is to engage in an educational experience around an often misunderstood form of pleasure. During this webinar we will provide the facts around anal pleasure, including anatomy, hygiene, penetration, routine check-ups, techniques, pre/post care, and safer sex methods relating to anal sex. This webinar is a learning opportunity that will explore how to make anal play healthy, safe, and pleasurable, as well as provide tools for having a conversation about anal sex with partners and medical care providers.

Intended audience: Any and all folks 18+!

Lamar Brown-Noguera (they/them)

Lamar Brown-Noguera (they/them)

Lamar is a sexual health advocate, who has for six (6) years contributed to AIDS Project Worcester’s incredible work in HIV/AIDS services and youth development. Lamar has served on the Boston Health Commission Planning Council for two consecutive two-year terms, completed the Getting to Zero (GTZ) Activist Academy in 2019, and served as a mentor for the Youth Ambassador Program. They were awarded Youth Worker of the Year by the BEST initiative and featured by the POZ magazine, and named a Hometown Hero by the Worcester Magazine/Telegram in 2019. Lamar is a young queer person invested in advocacy related to LGBTQ+ youth, men who have sex with men, and protections for sexually exploited individuals.

The establishment of comprehensive sex education would significantly improve sexual health and experience for those who identity as LGBTQIA+. It will provide safe, medically informed, inclusive knowledge not only on sexual activities, but also on relationships and communication skills. Additionally, it would provide a sense of belonging and also improve the mental health of many LGBTQIA+ youth.”

Sex Ed and Social Justice

Monday, 9/20, at 5:00pm-6:30pm

This webinar connects sexuality education to larger struggles for collective liberation. It starts from the premise that sex education is always political—it’s always linked to social power. It’s not an accident that most sex education is heteronormative or pathologizes the bodies of people of color. Through a combination of interactive lecture, group dialogue, and individual reflection, participants will connect topics from other webinars in the series (eg: consent, harm reduction, pleasure) to collective liberation. 

Intended audience: youth, adults, LGBTQ folks, people of color, anyone interested in the politics of sex ed

Chris Barcelos, Ph.D (they/them)

Chris Barcelos, Ph.D (they/them)

Chris Barcelos, PhD, is an educator-scholar and Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where they teach courses on feminist, queer, and anti-racist sex education. Dr. Barcelos’s research focuses on critical public health, sexuality, youth, and collective liberation. Their first book “Distributing Condoms and Hope: The Racialized Politics of Youth Sexual Health,” was published in 2020 by the University of California Press. Chris lives in Boston where they enjoy riding their bike around the city, knitting things for strangers, and spoiling their cats.

This topic is important to me because sex education for and by the people must be rooted in our intersecting struggles for liberation. As adult accomplices, we must work with youth to ensure they get the sex education they need, but we must also strategize to work against the systems of oppression that resulted in such abysmal sex ed in the first place.”