My partner and I don’t really do Valentine’s Day. There generally aren’t any cards, or flowers, or giant boxes of chocolates or expensive jewelry around our house come February 14. Mind you, a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’re both pretty broke and we (mainly I) eat more than enough chocolate as it is. But it’s also about the fact that we kind of don’t see the point: the 14th of February has no special significance for us, other than the fact that it’s a well-publicized holiday that you’re “supposed” to celebrate if you’re in a relationship. (A specific kind of romantic relationship, that is – for a holiday about love, you don’t tend to see a lot of cards and gifts for parents, best friends, siblings, extended family and the like, but that’s a post for another day.)
Of course, if other people want to celebrate, I’m not going to get in the way of their enjoyment! And I’ll probably be breaking my own no-cards rule this year, because Scarleteen, with the help of artist-in-residence Isabella Rotman, has rolled out a series of the most amazingly funny and touching Valentine’s Day e-cards that suit all kinds of love and all kinds of relationships. They are seriously stunning and you should go take a look at them right now. They’ve even been designed to play nice with screen readers, which is pretty cool. (For those of you not familiar with it, Scarleteen is a super-awesome, inclusive, feminist and sex-positive online sex education resource for young people; basically the only site of its kind on the web.)
The cards themselves are free, and you’re more than welcome to use as many as you like. But all of us at Scarleteen – myself included – would be thrilled if you took the time to make a bit of a donation as well. The site has been around for fifteen years and served millions of young people in that time, and I’d kind of like it to stick around, not just because it’s clearly needed, but for more personal reasons as well.
Scarleteen is the reason I do what I do. It was the first place I found that showed me that it was okay to be interested in sex and sexuality, and that sex could be talked about without shame or embarrassment. Until I discovered Scarleteen, I had no idea that working in the field of sexuality was an option (usually a very poorly-paid one, but an option nonetheless) and volunteering there helped me figure out that sex education was what I wanted to do with my life. The site’s founder, Heather Corinna, is someone I consider a mentor and a friend, and my fellow volunteers are all amazing and wonderful people that I’m so lucky to know, even if we only ever communicate online.
So, even if you don’t normally make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, make an exception this year, grab an e-card and send a few dollars Scarleteen’s way while you’re at it. I guarantee it will be very much appreciated.
If you want to know more about what your donation will be supporting, you can find out all about the services and information we provide right here.
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