Introducing Tessara

Name: Tessara/Mayhem

Age: 21

Gender Identity: Genderqueer

Preferred Pronoun: “they/them/their”

Sexual Orientation: Pansexual

Location: Portland, Oregon

Likes: Reading, writing poetry & fan-fiction, knitting, educating around youth sexuality

Dislikes: Street harassment, unearned privilege, bigots, politicians who prevaricate, stigma

I have some poetry coming up on the blog- keep an eye out for it! Some of it’s pretty gritty, and stems from personal experiences that have been hard… I write fiction a lot, but I also channel anger and frustration into my work. I write about my experience of the world as a female-bodied person transitioning into a male presentation, my experiences with stigma and harassment, and my encounters with the –isms of the world.

I moved to Oregon from San Jose, CA at the age of 13. Shortly after getting here, I found SMYRC and got involved with Bridge 13, the community education project there. I spend a lot of time—both through Bridge 13 and on my own time—educating friends and strangers about gender and sexuality. Youth sexuality is oft-misunderstood, and education is easy. I use Gender Gumby and other awesome resources to show people how broad the range of sex and gender minority can be—it opens a lot of eyes!

I have had my experiences discounted time and again because of my age, and that is an awful feeling. My solution? Education! There are so many people who would be queer allies and adults who would be youth allies if they knew how, and that’s where we come in. The youth who stand up and talk, who share their experiences so that others can be aware and informed. Education is also important in Curbing HIV/AIDS Transmission among at-risk and racial/ethnic minority youth! Teaching that sex is dirty and shameful, or that condoms are evil, or that only gay people get AIDS are all things that contribute to the continued transmission of a preventable disease.

This blog is an awesome tool for educating, but it is also a great way to share community. Sometimes it can be so easy to feel isolated. CHATmosphere helps us see that there are others facing the same struggles we are, that we are not alone.



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