Las Vegas is known for being a progressive city and The Center is looking to help improve upon that name. The Center—shorthand for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada—is hosting sex ed classes, looking to expand the education here in the valley.
“The public school system only teaches abstinence-only programs,” AJ Holly Huth, Youth Services Manager and PREP Coordinator, says. “We teach an evidence-based curriculum based on facts and want to get that information out there.”
The Making Proud Choices program is giving two free rounds of sex ed for anyone ages 13 to 19 with the next session on September 27. This program features new ways for teens to discover the truths of sexual experiences and how to be prepared for them properly. But it goes a lot deeper than just the facts.
“We ask them how they feel about these situations too,” Huth says. “We talk about pressure, how teen pregnancy or an STD can affect your life and how to give that message [of consent] to their partner.”
The Making Proud Choices program is inclusive, recognizing the diversity of its students. The program is written in a way so that the scenarios are gender-neutral and respectful of everyone’s identity and can be utilized for any situation. According to Huth, a lot of the sexual education programs out there are prepared for a heterosexual/cisgendered environment.
“You know, you’re not the same person you were at 5,” Huth says. “And we ask our students how they identify.”
A common misconception, Huth pointed out, is that many people feel these classes are only for LGBTQ+ individuals. Making Proud Choices, however, is for everyone no matter their orientation.
“This is appropriate for anyone,” Huth says. “No matter your orientation, religion, race … This is an education everyone can use and learn.”
The program utilizes interactive ways to keep students engaged. Games, roleplay scenarios and other activities help take sex education to life education. The Center hopes to give these skills to students who need it.
To register for the Making Proud Choices sessions, visit www.thecenterlv.org.