Hanging the Hang-Ups? An exhibition idea
Options for Sexual Health, the organization for which I work, has a vision of a society that celebrates healthy sexuality, its diversity of expression, and a positive sexual self-image for individuals throughout life. I’m someone who passed from adolescence to so-called adulthood with a truly inadequate knowledge of sexual expression and little understanding of how to build and maintain a sexual relationship. Thankfully, looking back, I learned something helpful from each relationship I had and shed some hang-ups that were rooted in ignorance, misinformation and, yes, sheer ineptitude. As my comfort zone grew, so did my sense of confidence and self.
The exhibition Sex Talk in the City will examine how we, as individuals and communities, have dealt with sexuality, the ways we have matured, and the challenges and contradictions with which we still live. It would be great if everyone coming to the exhibition could experience some expansion of their comfort zone.
So here’s my idea. I’d like the people who come to write down a hang-up they have about sex — quite literally on one of those paper-covered hangers we get at the dry cleaner’s — and hang it up in a kind of closet at the door. Anonymously, of course. If they still have the hang-up when they leave the exhibition, they’ll be encouraged to take it home. Otherwise I’d like them to leave it behind.
Although I work in a sexual health organization, I still have one or two little issues I’ll be hanging up. Now, how can I contribute to planning the museum’s exhibition so I can leave my hangers behind?!
Greg Smith, is Executive Director of Options for Sexual Health in British Columbia and is a member of the Sex Talk in the City Advisory Committee.
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