For the final project, I was placed in the group called “Sexuality and LGBTQ”. As my project, I decided to create a poster campaign representing these topics. I came up with the designs and drew them all myself. I created three posters; one against slut-shaming, one against sexual bullying, and one regarding sexual education in schools.
- Slut-shaming poster: I got the idea for this poster from reading “UnSlut: A Diary and a Memoir”, by Emily Lindin (2015). Many teenage girls suffer from slut-shaming, especially based on the amount of people that they have slept with. The basis of Lindin’s book comes from the fact that when she was in 6th grade, she did a sexual act with a boy (albeit, quite unwillingly and did not give explicit consent). He then spread rumors about her, and in turn, her class-mates judged her and labeled her as a slut for the rest of her middle school career. The poster is meant to show that the amount of sexual partners one has had, or whatever sexual acts one does with other people is not anyone else’s business to judge. What matters is that you have been have only had safe and consensual sex. This also occurred in my middle school and especially in my high school. I even experienced it to a certain extent, which drove my desire to create this poster.
- Sexual Bullying poster: The inspiration form this poster came from three readings: “CHOOSING QUEER: I WAS NOT BORN THIS WAY, AND THAT’S OK.” by Hari Ziyad (2015), “I am not an LGBT ally, I’m an accomplice” by Sommer Foster (2015), and Lindin’s book as well. In my middle school, just like in Lindin’s, it was very common to use the words “gay” or “queer” as an insult. The poster addresses that fact, and explains that “gay” should not be used as an insult. “Gay” is a sexuality that some people identify with, and they are certainly not insults. It also shows the hatred some people have towards gay and queer people. Like Ziyad (2015) states in his article, he was very afraid at first to accept the fact that he was gay because of what it could mean to his friendships, and family relationships if they found out (Ziyad, 2015:3). This was one of the things that really caught my eye form his article, because I strongly believe that no one should be afraid of being who they are, and that we should all be able to express our sexuality freely. This brings me to the last article I used as inspiration for this poster. Foster (2015) states in his article that he is an accomplice to the LGBTQ community, and that “as an accomplice, it was important for me to say, “Yes, I support you, and I am here with you. I am rolling up my sleeves. What can I do?”” (Foster, 2015:2). I believe that we should all try to become accomplices, and start by stopping people from using the word “gay” as an insult whenever we hear it being used that way.
- Sexual Education poster: I would have to say that this is my favorite out of the three. My sole inspiration for this poster was an article titled “John Oliver, Laverne Cox and Nick Offerman Just Gave Us the Sex Ed PSA America Needs” by Julie Zeilinger (2015) regarding John Oliver’s Sex Education TV episode. I was very shocked after reading this article. Zeilinger (2015) starts off by saying that “only 22 states and Washington, D.C., require comprehensive sex education, and only 13 require that the information is medically accurate” (Zeilinger, 2015:1) which shocked me quite a bit. She also states that “sex education sometimes delays sexual activity, whereas abstinence-only education has been linked to higher teen pregnancy rates and found to have no impact on preventing teens from having sex.” (Zeilinger, 2015:3). In his TV episode, Oliver addresses this fact and provides solutions to the problem, like providing solid, accurate sexual education in all schools across the country, without shaming the decision to have sex or marginalizing students who are not heterosexual (Zeilinger, 2015:1). I agree with the point that Zeilinger (2015) and Oliver (2015) make. I was lucky enough to receive a pretty comprehensive sexual education when I was in middle and high school, but other students in the country may not, and I believe that this needs to change.