Carmen Hernandez Garcia

Austin Community College hosted the Ascender Virtual SEXucation SEXion event on Thursday, February 11th. Five panelists were introduced to talk about sex-related topics. Cassie Martinez, Rebel Sanders, Missi Patterson, Josh Garcia, and Steven Tamayo all spoke about the important parts of sex education, health, consent, and how to find important resources for help and guidance. The event started with Martinez, ACC Office of Compliance, who lectured on what consent is and the importance of communication between partners. She spoke on myths about consent in the nature of sexual relationships and how to know what proper consent looks like, introducing different methods of communication and how to properly say “yes” and “no” to all different types of situations. She also talked about how ACC addresses sexual misconduct and how to report and come forward to communicate with a trusted adult or counselor when in doubt. Sanders, ACC Biology professor, spoke next to participants about the health and physical side of sex which involved information about sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). She also spoke about the most common bacterial and viral STI’s, defining the difference between them and the most common symptoms. She provided information about common treatments and preventions, including recommending to get tested regularly to be more protected against STI’s, and provided some resources and locations to visit for testing and health information. Patterson, ACC Psychology professor, spoke to participants about the emotions and communication surrounding sex. She reemphasized the topic of consent as she talked about the importance of communication between partners and how to ask questions to have a better positive and healthy sex experience. She emphasized the importance of having a trusted role model to talk to about sex and how to be more confident in having a connection with your significant other.

Josh Garcia spoke about ACC’s LGBT eQuity Team, explaining their mission to provide a safe and supportive environment for students, faculty, and staff. He emphasized what it means to be part of the ALLY Program, which helps the LGBTQ community find allies and resources to receive the right guidance and support.  Tamayo, the Outreach Manager at the Kind Clinic, explained how the clinic provides a supportive environment with expertise in serving LGBTQIA+ people, as well as people impacted by HIV. He spoke about the services they offer and the kinds of testing and care that are open for people who need it. He emphasized the fact that most of these services are free and available to the public and not just the LGBTQ+ community.

Towards the end of the event, Megan Diaz, Ascender Outreach Specialist, led a Q&A for the panelists as they answered questions and concerns brought up by the students and participants. In the end, all the panelists were thanked for their resources and participation.


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