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Birmingham school row: ‘This is made out to be just Muslims v gays. It’s not’

“People of quality respect equality,” says Aisha, shyly sticking rainbow feathers on to the peace posters she’s just made. The teenager is one of half a dozen Muslim pupils from South and City College Birmingham attending a creative workshop promoting LGBTQ rights in the city. They are joined by Muslim girls and women, mothers, students and refugees, who have crammed into the Ort gallery to meet and collaborate with members of the local Muslim LGBTQ community. A two-year-old careers between the tables, which are scattered with paint pens, rainbow paper and pots of glue. One mother in a niqab who homeschools her three children tells me she’s here to make sure they understand “how to respect other people who might be different”. Another, a migrant from Iraq, listens carefully to the experie...
Children Teens, Free, Guide, Health, How-to Tips, LGBTQ, Parents Family, Sex Education, Sex Life

‘If you’re going to watch porn, know it’s not real’: meet Britain’s sex-positive influencers

Despite being a sex blogger with more than 86,000 Instagram followers, Oloni isn’t getting any. “I have to be careful about who I’m sleeping with,” the 29-year-old influencer says with a laugh. “It has to be with someone really low-key. The last person I was having sex with, it went pear-shaped. So I’m avoiding that right now.” But the impact of celebrity status on her sex life doesn’t seem to bother Oloni – real name Dami Olonisakin – too much. “I don’t feel like having sex with anyone at the moment.” She cracks a wide smile. “There’s no one worthy of me sleeping with them!” We’re sitting in the plant-filled Ilford recording studio in which Olonisakin, Shakira Scott, 31, and Shani Jamilah, 23, record their no-holds-barred sex and relationships podcast, Laid Bare. They eat sweets and catc...
Cyber Security, Free, Guide, Health, Safety Security, Sex Education, Sex Life, Virus

Polyamory in a pandemic: who do you quarantine with when you’re not monogamous?

Earlier this month, after being exposed to the coronavirus, Chaele Davis had to decide if she would spend her quarantine with her primary partner, whom she has been dating for a year, or her secondary partner, with whom she just celebrated a four year anniversary. Davis, a polyamorous woman living in Brooklyn, had arranged her life not having to make choices like these. “But when you love two people, in a time like this, you just have to make the call,” she said. The coronavirus has spread around the globe, infecting more than 750,000 and putting countless cities on lockdown. New social distancing guidelines have led many Americans to question whether it’s safe to touch the same basket at the supermarket as other shoppers, let alone whom it is safe to sleep with. For those who are polyamo...
Women’s Health Month
Assault Violence, Free, Guide, Health, Sex Education, Sex Life, Virus

Women’s Health Month

ASHA recognizes each May as Women’s Health Month. It officially kicks off this year on May 10 with National Women’s Health Week, an annual observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. ASHA will spotlight women’s health throughout the month of May with new content, a social media campaign, podcasts, and more. Check back here throughout the month to see what’s new. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. Women are often in charge of taking care of the health of their families, and sometimes they overlook their own health needs while taking care of others. Women’s Health Month in May gives us a chance to connect with women everywhere to share health ...
Black Lives Matter
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Black Lives Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr ASHA stands in solidarity with protesters across the country demanding an end to police brutality and the institutionalized racism that underpins it. Racism is insidious, pervasive and tightly woven into the fabric of our nation. Its tentacles are far reaching. It fuels violations of basic human rights and denies Black people the inalienable rights afforded in the declaration of independence. It creates health inequities including in sexual and reproductive health. The brutal, but causal, murder of George Floyd cast a flood light on a national tragedy. Enough. The diversity, passion and voices of protesters in every state provide glimmers of hope. Silence is a no knock warrant in the ...
How Being in a Long-Distance Relationship Prepared Me for Social Distancing
Children Teens, Free, Parents Family, Sex Education, Sex Life, Virus

How Being in a Long-Distance Relationship Prepared Me for Social Distancing

By Kira Eng, 17, Staff Writer April 10, 2020 With all the social distancing happening because of the coronavirus, a lot of people haven’t had as much contact with their partner as they’d probably like. If you’re one of these people, I’ve got some tips as you navigate your relationship during this time. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship since my partner went to college about a year ago, and I’ve learned a few things that I think could be helpful! Good morning and good night texts can help bridge the distance. These simple texts can start and end your day with your partner, even if you can’t “see” or text each...
Ready, Set, PrEP: A Step Forward
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Ready, Set, PrEP: A Step Forward

By Jack Scala, 17, Staff Writer April 10, 2020 The month of April is dedicated to sexually transmitted disease (STD) awareness, and April 12 to 18 is STD Awareness Week. Last year, I wrote about the numbers of young people with STDs and the importance of communicating with your partner about safer sex and getting tested. This year, I wanted to focus on PrEP and advances happening in the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. What Is HIV? But first, what is HIV? HIV is a virus that can be transmitted through the bodily fluids (blood, semen, pre-cum, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breastmilk) of an infe...
Self-Care: More Important Than Ever
Free, Guide, LGBTQ, Sex Education, Sex Life, Virus

Self-Care: More Important Than Ever

By Sabreen Dawud, 17, Staff Writer April 24, 2020 As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, we have undoubtedly been presented with some challenges. We’ve been directed to practice social distancing and self-quarantining to prevent the spread of the virus. Staying cooped up in your house may make you feel sad or stressed. But fear not! There are things you can do at home to care for yourself. Start That Project You’ve Been Putting Off It can feel easy to procrastinate. We all do it. However, now is the perfect time to get something done. Alone time with few people around to distract you can help when trying to complete...
How Social Distancing Can Improve Emotional Intimacy
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How Social Distancing Can Improve Emotional Intimacy

By Vivian Welch, 15, Staff Writer April 30, 2020 Last month, I went on my first socially distant date. Staying six feet apart, we sat on a quiet bench for a while and just chatted. It was really nice! While we had been dating for almost five months, it was on this date that I realized we still had a lot more to get to know about each other. Since then, things have gotten more strict, and we realized that seeing each other, even six feet apart, was a luxury. Stay-at-home orders in New Jersey shut down our local parks and reservations, and discouraged leaving our houses for any nonessential activities. So, we had to g...
Celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in 2020
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Celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month in 2020

By Sabreen Dawud and Kira Eng, 17, Staff Writers June 5, 2020 Sabreen’s ExperienceSpain, 2019 Dancers, buildings lit up in rainbow colors, love, celebration, happiness. I walked through the streets of Valencia, Spain during Pride, and it felt like peace was flowing through the streets. Around me, lovers were holding hands, best friends were laughing and families were embracing one another. I listened to the joyous sounds of music and chatter as positivity filled the air. For the first time in my life, I felt that we were on the right side of history… This is Pride. Kira’s ExperiencePrinceton, NJ, 2019 Princeton’s fi...