Bekkah Abeyta: Outreach Organizer Blog
What does Beforeplay.org mean to you?
To me Beforeplay.org is advocating to change the culture around sex. Today we see young adults exploring their sexuality without the adequate resources and education. Through Beforeplay.org individuals are offered eduction and resources to make healthy sexual decisions, which is a means to take care of the well-being of humans along with changing the culture of sex that our society has adopted.
How did you get involved in Beforeplay.org?
I became involved in Beforeplay.org by becoming an intern in January 2014. I am currently a senior at Regis University studying Peace & Justice, Sociology and Women & Gender Studies. I hope to advocate for sexual health rights when I graduate in May.
What is your favorite Beforeplay.org ad and why?
Ah, I love them all but one of my favorites is; “We tell each other everything, I can ask them about protection.” I love this ad because it has a group of girlfriends hanging out with one another and one of the most influential groups of people in our lives are our friends. One should feel comfortable talking about sex, protection, STIs, etc., especially when around peers. Sexual health should not be something that we shame. By having aware and educated friends on the topic of sexual health, one’s whole life can be changed.
What is your favorite Beforeplay.org outreach item and why?
Another hard choice, but I would say my favorite beforeplay.org outreach item is a tie between the magnets and the condoms. I love the condoms because they are an actual resource we are providing to engage in safe sex. The Beforeplay.org condoms also create the association one makes between the condom and our campaign – knowing that they are taking a part in changing the culture around sex. I love the magnets because they are a fun way to promote what Beforeplay.org is advocating for. People constantly ask about the magnets when they see them on their friends or roommates refrigerator.
Has Beforeplay.org impacted you in any way and how?
Beforeplay.org has and currently is impacting me. Through the outreach work that we do I have seen how much progress organizing and advocating for a social injustice can make. People in Colorado are becoming more and more familiar with the campaign which then leads to the change of culture, which would be the ultimate goal. I also love how passionate all of my co-workers and co-volunteers are, it is so empowering to be surrounding by people that are just as passionate about sexual health and awareness as I am.
How do people usually react when you mention Beforeplay.org?
People are so excited when I mention Beforeplay.org! The majority of people I have talked to in the Denver community know exactly what I am talking about, or have at least heard about Beforeplay.org. Women and men that I have talked to always want to learn more about the campaign and its progress.
What is your favorite outreach interaction that you have had with others?
My favorite outreach interaction that I have had thus far is probably one that you would not expect – I was up at the X Games in Aspen doing outreach and I came across a group of young males who immediately started telling me that they don’t use protection and protection is “uncool.” As they continued to go on about the “cons” of engaging in safe sex I saw how important this issue truly is. The level of invincibility and lack of care for well-being that so many young people have just shocks me, but also opens my eyes. The culture we have around sex is heavily influenced by society, which does not prioritize or even take into account how important exploring one’s sexuality safely is.
What have you learned since being involved with Beforeplay.org?
Going along with the previous question, I have learned a lot since the start of my internship with Beforeplay.org. One of the most important things that I have learned is how powerful outreach in the community is. Just by talking to people and providing a safe space to talk about sex, we are taking the steps to a sexually safe and aware community.
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February 26, 2014