Sam participated in the seminar "Us as sexual beings" organised by the international youth organisation International Falcon Movement – Socialist Educational International (IFM-SEI). Sam has been interviewed by the EYF during a visit to this activity in May 2018 in Austria.
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How did you hear about this activity?
In my organisation, there is this nation-wide forum called the Queer Forum, which is basically the committee where people from all over our organisation’s groups can participate and be informed about including a queer perspective into their work. I’m in their e-mail list and they sent the link to this activity, and I was really happy to hear about it.
What are you expecting from this seminar?
It is very important to me to keep in mind the perspective of diversity of identities, including intersectional perspective. At the same time, I expect people to speak from their own experiences while still including the perspective of diverse identities but making sure that the way we speak about it, is not to speak for someone, but to make clear that “yes, I feel like this is important to include in the discussions, but this is not my own perspective”.
What I expect from myself is to bring into the discussion my own perspective being in various ways a queer person concerning my gender, my sexuality and the way I live relationships.
From the content, I am hoping for some kind of aha! moments, where I can connect stuff that I came across in my own biography or in my political work and really see the structures of why things are the way they are right now and through that, seeing where we must tackle those structures in our political work and in the work of our organisations to improve our sex education.
Do you feel concerned about the topic of this activity, and how?
It’s a really sensitive topic for me. Being a non-binary person, receiving any kind of sex education in schools and other organisations, I never felt my identity included in any of the conservations, also concerning the way we are taught relationships should be. Especially being an asexual person and moving on the asexual spectrum, through the way I received sex education, I was for so many years under a lot of pressure that I am doing something wrong or it’s my fault that it’s not working for me. The asexual spectrum remains invisible even to people who would consider themselves aware and active on gender issues. This is how it concerns me and this is what I want to counteract. And because it is about sex education, I think this can give me the skills and knowledge and methods to make sure that stuff that I experienced doesn’t happen to others; and to create awareness.
After the seminar, what would like to do with the knowledge that you will get?
really want to spread the topics, methods and skills in different circles, and even put some of it into writing to hand it out to people, to make sure that it spreads. That’s how we can change the structures from below until top levels.
Do you have any special project you would like to develop?
A big part of what my organisation does is summer camps - we do it with younger children and older children, and I can definitely see myself doing sex education in the space of camps but also in seminars and workshops – not only from my organisation. I’m also starting to work for a feminist youth centre and I feel that that’s the perfect place to go with this kind of knowledge.
If you had a message for the EYF what would it be?
I get the feeling that you have a lot of focus on transparency which is I think a really important thing. So thumbs up and keep it up! I didn’t know about it before this activity; and I don’t know what kind of things you do to make yourselves known at international but also at local and national level, so I don’t know what you do already but maybe that could be improved.
I really admire the courage of the people sitting in the Joint Council on Youth, and I’m hoping that people from the youth organisations can a give a positive example of how decisions can be made in a consensual way; and to maybe even inspire some government representatives so much that they would take the model back into their own parliaments.