one year later
i'm alive and thriving in new york.
i have been at my job teaching sex ed and leading an hiv peer education group with teens in the bronx for 1 year and 6 days, exactly. i just received a promotion to full time and i'm about to hire an assistant! i'm officially a "coordinator" now. big boss, hell yeah!
sandy (the puppy) seems to have completed her adjustment. she now pees comfortably without grass (a major triumph). there is a dog park a few blocks from our apartment but the fleas come out in the summer. we've had to avoid the park for the last two months. but if this cold snap lasts a few more days we may be able to return shortly.
sandy and i have taken quite a few roadtrips to north carolina and florida. she loves a good drive.
i just joined a gym.
crazy-wise, i'm super functional and stable. i have been on the same basic cocktail since march and it is working well. two major side effects: dry mouth (i'm thirsty ALL the time) and low sex drive. the sex drive isn't as much of an issue as it could be. virgin roommate makes for challenging masturbation and ridiculous work schedule places relationships, etc far on the back burner.
the main thing is: I LOVE MY KIDS! my peer educators rock the world. they are 22 young people between 13 and 19. guys and girls. primarily straight, but a few are coming out to close friends/themselves. we have gone to conferences, plays, movies, health fairs, concerts, and festivals. i took them the vagina monologues for v-day. 12 (5 guys, 7 girls). they LOVED it! the guys especially. i had a moment of conflict when they asked for survivors of abuse/assualt to stand, but i decided to represent. one of my girls asked me about it on the subway home. i told her it wasn't the best time, but she could come talk to me one-on-one. they drop by the office or call my phone regularly (i gave them my number for field trips, now they call with random questions, etc whenever they feel like it). i've started an informal book exchange with some of the ladies.
i'm also starting a second club this fall. loosely titled "let's talk about sex" or "sex talk" (clever pg-13 suggestions welcome), a group of participants will get together weekly to discuss sex and sexuality in their lives. we'll look at news, movies, music, politics, and their experiences. i'm bringing in guest speakers and screening films. i'm hoping that all the sessions will be co-facilitated by participants. please give me suggestions for movies & music to enjoy with my teens.
the biggest event this fall is the birth of the peer educators' first friday events. we are hosting monthly events with performances, information, and free rapid hiv testing for bronx teens. the first event is october 5th. wish me luck!
i serve on a handful of coalitions. i just applied for a seat on a community advisory board. for the first time, i was open about my sex work experience on a (confidential) document with my real name on it. hope it doesn't backfire. knock wood.
summary: i'm great. returning to new york was one of the best decisions of my life. sorry i dropped of the face of the web. thank you for all your thoughts and kind words. my love.