As my classes are wrapping up (two down, three still to go!), sometimes students write me parting letters. One of my college students wrote me something that I think speaks very well to why I do this work and why it is so important. When students receive a full and well-rounded sex education, they are able to understand themselves, the world around them, and the individuals they meet with more compassion and understanding. It has the potential to make the world a much better place.
This class was everything I wanted and hoped it would be and then some. I have learned so much, but also learned a new way to look at my new found knowledge. People are unique and beautiful. I knew that life for the LGBT community was difficult, but I never really considered it until you (and the text) forced me to. I thought of sex workers as “whores” and never thought twice bout why they were in the position they were in. I knew people had fetishes but didn’t fully understand what this meant. I didn’t know that people could literally have a fetish with children, and just how difficult it made their lives. I didn’t know you could be religious and still go against the word, and that going against the word didn’t condemn you to hell. The world is not so black and white. I hadn’t considered all of my birthing options and just assumed I would give birth in a hospital. I had never considered masturbation. I knew some about STIs and HIV but not everything – including the symptoms, signs, and dormant period. I didn’t know that sex could be a holistic, out of body experience, and to some a form of religious practice. I didn’t know many of these things, but mostly I didn’t know how out of touch with myself I was. You showed me a new light, a new way of seeing things and I will forever be a better person. I will approach situations with more understanding, more acceptance, and more openness. I will be considerate in the things that I think and say, because you never know someone’s story. Thank you for teaching me lessons for the bedroom and for the real world.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do this work, to provide this kind of education to young people. And so I thank my students for coming to my classes, talking with me, sharing with me, trusting me. I also thank the parents of my students for giving me the opportunity to meet their children. It is quite a gift and an honor.