SEX ED FROM CELEBS
The latest revelations by the stars on sex & relationships topics
🌈 NBA basketball All-Star Dwyane Wade, age 41, in accepting an NAACP award, addresses his trans daughter Zaya, age 15:
“As your father, all I’ve wanted to do is get it right.
I have sat back and watched how graceful you have taken on the public scrutiny and even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of the house every morning as yourself.
I admire how you have handled the ignorance in our world. I admire that you face it every day. To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement.
Thank you for showing me that there is more than just one way to communicate effectively.
You taught me that communication with my mouth isn’t enough. I have to also communicate with my 2 ears and my 2 eyes.
As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams.
Zaya, you have made me a better human just simply by being who you were born to be. Our baby girl, Zaya Wade.
Thank you for showing the world what courage looks like”
WORDS “She’s arrived”: Parents Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union celebrate 15-year-old trans daughter Zaya’s catwalk debut weeks after she finally had her name and gender legally changed after first coming out as trans aged 12 (Daily Mail, 8/3/23) IMAGE John Salangsang for US Weekly
Though we don’t endorse her stance on trans issues, these are interesting reflections from Harry Potter author JK Rowling, age 57, on her mindset as a young person:
“I didn’t feel like I fitted in. Aged 11 or 12 I looked very androgynous with short hair, and I was acutely anxious about my changing body and became aware it was attracting attention that I didn’t welcome, particularly from boys at school.
As an adolescent I questioned my sexuality, thinking: ‘Well, I can tell my friends are pretty. Does that mean I’m gay?’
I grew up to be a straight woman, but I’ve never forgotten that feeling of anxiety around my body”
WORDS JK Rowling questioned her sexuality as a teen as she continues to weigh in on transgender rights (Evening Standard, 10/3/23) IMAGE Sam Hussein / Getty
EXTRA CREDIT! JK Rowling: I knew views on trans issues would make Potter fans deeply unhappy (Evening Standard, 15/3/23)
🌈 Close film director Lukas Dhont, age 31, “grew up gay and sensitive in Dikkelvenne, near Ghent, and dreamed of becoming a dancer. At his school’s talent show at the age of 12, he performed an extravagant routine to Christina Aguilera’s Fighter. The bullying that followed was vicious and relentless…
The traumatic dance contest, the bullying, the sense of growing up queer, his father off on fictitious swashbuckling escapades – small wonder Dhont keeps returning to childhood in his work when his own was such a source of drama.
‘In the film we address violence: the wars on the inside, not on the battlefield,’ he says. ‘For me it’s necessary to talk about that loss of tenderness in a way that shows the full impact.
When we meet the characters Léo and Rémi, they are at the age when so many things can go wrong in that masculine universe.In puberty, there is this confrontation with a society that has norms and expectations around what it means to be a man – and it’s so much about not clinging, about being stoic.
Society ruptures something essential in these young men as they grow up. We tell them not to listen to what they truly desire. For many people, that moment is the start of loneliness and of struggles with mental health. It’s when suicide rates go up’”
🌈 WORDS & IMAGE “I’d love to do a queer Titanic. Well, a queerer one!” Director and Oscar contender Lukas Dhont (Guardian, 1/3/23)
A Barbie doll of space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, 54 – the BBC Sky At Night presenter and University of Leicester chancellor known for her work with the James Webb Space Telescope – is one of 7 custom dolls created to celebrate women blazing trails in Stem (science technology engineering maths) subjects. The dolls aren’t going on sale.
“When I was little, Barbie didn’t look like me, so to have one created in my likeness is mind-boggling,” says Dr Aderin-Pocock, who hopes the expanded range of Barbie dolls will help smash stereotypes.
“Since falling in love with the idea of space travel as a young girl, I have spent my career trying to show girls how fascinating space science can be.
I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible.I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, and especially girls, and let them know that Stem is for them.
It’s such an honour to receive this doll that is celebrating my achievements. My daughter and I danced around the living room when we heard!”
Her daughter! We’ll never forget how Dr Aderin-Pocock at the 2014 WOW (Women of the World festival) gave the talk Women And Power with Baroness Shirley Williams with her young daughter at first asleep in a pushchair and then climbing on to her lap. It felt revolutionary that an acclaimed scientist talking about feminism would proudly have her girl onstage alongside her!
WORDS “Reach for the stars”: British scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock honoured with her own Barbie doll (Sky, 7/3/23) IMAGES Mattel/PA & Sarah Jeynes
Happy International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023 – a day to recognise women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements!
This year’s theme: #EmbraceEquity.
Equity and equality are both about fairness.
But this quick analogy explains the difference: equality means giving everyone the same-sized shoes. Equity means giving everyone shoes that fit them.
Equity is a way to get to equality. And equality is good for everyone!
Talk with your child about…
= What does equality means to you?
= What gender stereotypes do you see online, in films and books, at school, in life?
= How do gender stereotypes affect what girls & boys do and feel?
= What words are used most about girls (eg pretty, bossy) vs boys (eg strong)?
= Why do women need a special day?
= Is there an International Men’s Day?
= What female role models do you find inspiring?
= How have women helped to progress society?
= What’s changing for girls & boys, women & men, mothers & fathers in terms of school, work, politics, relationships with each other?
And #PowerOn, says UN Women, to give women & girls equal access to technology, end online violence and close the digital gender gap #DigitALL
IMAGE Alasdair McClellan for Vogue
Recently divorced doctor and dad-of-2 Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg) is told that his daughter Hannah (Meara Mahoney-Gross), age 11, sent a suggestive photo of herself to a boy at camp…
Camp leader: Your daughter Hannah took, uh, an unfortunate picture with her phone, and she shared it with a young man.
Toby (father): What? What kind of picture?
Camp leader: Well, it was a very suggestive picture. Um, the boy shared it with his friends.
Toby: He shared it with his friends. And what does “suggestive” mean?
Camp leader: Well, it was, uh… It wasn’t appropriate. I’ll let you discuss it with Hannah. But suffice it to say, it violated our camper code of conduct.
Toby: Yeah, I’m not really interested in the camper code of conduct. Is she OK?Camp leader: Yeah.
Toby: … And what’s happening to him? To the kid.
Camp leader: … Well, he’s not the one that took the photo, so…
Toby: Right. So nothing’s happening to him. He didn’t violate any of your policies or any of your rules?
[Later, to his daughter] I know there’s so little I can say to make this better, but…Listen to me. Honey, it won’t always feel this bad, OK?
WORDS & IMAGE Fleishman Is In Trouble (season 1, episode 5: Vantablack)
Recently divorced doctor and dad-of-2 Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg) realises that his son Solly (Maxim Swinton), age 9, watched porn on the family computer…
Solly (son): I-I don’t know why those things came up. They just came up.
Toby (father): It’s OK. Come sit down for a minute. Listen, there is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. Are you curious about girls?
Solly: I just wanted to know what it looked like underneath.
Toby: Yeah, no, I understand. Should I maybe get you a book for kids? Like, maybe with pictures?
Solly: No. I don’t want to see it ever again.
Toby: Yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. Of course not. Hey, it’s OK, buddy.
Solly: It’s not OK. I hate it.
Toby: I know. I know. Listen, um, I-I just want you to know that that’s not really what it’s like, OK? That’s like someone’s fantasy of what people might want. That’s not what it’s really like for two people to have sеx, OK?
Solly: Don’t say that word!Toby: Yeah. OK. I won’t say it
WORDS & IMAGE Fleishman Is In Trouble (season 1, episode 2: Welcome to Paniquil)
A new consent and rape storyline on the UK soap opera Coronation Street:
“After a night of drinking between friends and flatmates Aaron (James Craven) and Amy (Elle Mulvaney), he had sex with her while she was so drunk she was in no state to consent. Later she realised that what happened to her was rape.
Elle said: ‘Even though they were friends that doesn’t mean it’s OK for him to do what he wants – this shouldn’t be a grey area.’
James agrees: ‘Aaron’s biggest mistake is he doesn’t check in with himself and importantly with her that she’s OK with all of this. Initially there’s no sort of thought in his mind that he’s done anything wrong. He’s also trying to piece together what happened. He’s got this thing going on of:
did that really happen? It was so out of nowhere for him. He believes he hasn’t done anything wrong in this moment so if someone told him that, he’d be shocked.
Maybe if he’d had the education and he’d been spoken to about it and he was thinking about it a bit more he would have made a different decision. Because he’s had the alcohol and all the emotions are heightened to the max, it makes him vulnerable to getting himself in this situation.’
The show worked with the Schools Consent Project, a charity that educates young people to engage with issues around consent and sexual assault”
WORDS & IMAGE Coronation Street star James Craven reveals Aaron’s initial reactions and behaviour after raping Amy (Metro, 3/3/23)
THEN & NOW Actor Tracy-Ann Oberman, age 56:
“This is me aged two and a half. There was a fancy-dress party in the hotel [where we were staying] but my mum had forgotten to pack me anything to wear, so I had to put on my friend Antony’s cowboy outfit.
I’m doing a polite smile but I was really pissed off and thinking: ‘What the hell is this? I just wanted to be a princess!’
Now I love the costume, because it’s unusual to see a little girl as a cowboy; it looks like an emblem of my early doors feminism.
When I look at [the girl in] this photo, I want to put my arms around her and tell her that it is going to be all right, and: ‘You will happily put on a cowboy costume in 50 years’ time’”
WORDS Tracy-Ann Oberman looks back: “I’m thinking, What’s this? I want to be a princess!” (Guardian, 25/2/23) IMAGE Pål Hansen for The Guardian
Actor Michelle Williams, age 42, on #MeToo:
“I was raised in the 80s. Selfhood wasn’t put into young women. And now it is. I get to see it in my own daughter and I can’t take my eyes off her. It is a glorious miracle to behold that I never thought I would witness in my lifetime.
I thought I would have to teach my daughter how to subvert herself and crawl underneath the system to keep herself safe.
And instead the system has exploded and these young people act with compassion, integrity and righteousness.
I have the chills talking about it. These girls aren’t prey. These girls are already victorious.
I love to sit back and watch them in the world and know that it is safer and more inclined in their direction than it was for me”
WORDS “Girls today aren’t prey. They are victorious”: Michelle Williams on #MeToo, money and playing Spielberg’s mum (Guardian, 28/1/23) IMAGE Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello / Trunk Archive
Ironically the actor Paul Mescal, age 27, who became a heartthrob after starring in Normal People – with its great emphasis on consent – had a non-consensual experience with a fan. First he says:
“A woman said she had a naked picture of me, a screenshot from the show, as the wallpaper on her phone… It just felt very weird. I didn’t like it.
I can be pissed off with every person who has a naked picture of me stashed somewhere or I can just let it go.
Women have been objectified by men throughout history – and still are.
Nudity and sexuality in art and film and theatre are beautiful and important.”
Then about his recent experience with a fan who had asked him for a photo:
“As we posed for it, she put her hand on my ass. I thought it was an accident, so I like [moved away] but the hand followed.
I remember tensing up and feeling just, like, fury. I turned to her and said: ‘What’re you doing? Take your hand off my ass.’
The last thing I want to do is call somebody out in front of the theatre – it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved – but it was really not OK. It was so gross, creepy.
97% of fame is really nice – then 3% is somebody, like, grabbing your ass”
WORDS Paul Mescal: “I don’t want my life to change any more than it already has” (Evening Standard, 23/2/23) IMAGE Little White Lies
🌈 Planet Sex presenter and supermodel Cara Delevingne, age 30:
“Any person who’s queer has gone through a period of shame, or at least not understanding who they are and feeling like they don’t belong. That was something I’ve always felt. Doing Planet Sex brought back a lot of memories of how that was so prevalent in my childhood, my teenage years and my 20s.
Growing up, I didn’t really have an understanding of true, unconditional self-love. What stopped me from coming out was the shame I put on myself.
I was always queer, yes, but I lived a very straight lifestyle. I kind of started as bisexual, then I was pansexual. [About being LGBTQ+] I felt like: ‘I don’t know what letter I am!’
I am a ‘she’ right now. But I also like dressing up as a man and being a ‘he’. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself about what you are, who you are. Whether it’s masculine and feminine, it’s just who I am.
The constructs and binaries that are given are stupid. I’m proud to be a woman but I don’t have to sit in a box.
I’m definitely genderfluid. I love playing with what we’ve been given as those gender constructs. Being super femme, being super masc, mixing it all up in one big cauldron.
I want people to have the sort of conversations that are in the show. Hate and fear come from things that are not spoken about, or fears about questions”
🌈 WORDS Cara Delevingne on How Planet Sex Changed Her Life: “I Was Always Queer, but I Lived a Straight Lifestyle” (Variety, 14/2/23) and Cara Delevingne: “Being queer felt fluid and free” (BBC, 2/12/22) IMAGE BBC
🌈 “Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp, age 18, came out in a TikTok clip last month by lip-syncing a popular viral sound – ‘You know what it never was? That serious. It was never that serious. Quite frankly, it will never be that serious’ – with the caption:
‘When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was “we know”’
His family has got his back. He revealed the heartwarming text he received from his grandfather: ‘Hey noah I became aware today of your public announcement that you are gay. I just want you to know that I love you the same and I’m happy for you to be open and to be yourself. Just be proud of who and what you are. Iris and I are supportive of your honestly and ability to express your true self! Love you to the moon and back.’
In his TikTok video, Schnapp referenced his Stranger Things character Will Byers – who in the latest season is hinted at having feelings for his best friend Mike – writing: ‘I guess I’m more like Will than I thought’”
WORDS Noah Schnapp Shares Text From His Grandpa After Coming Out as Gay (E! Online, 9/2/23)
IMAGE Aleksandar Tomovic for Vulkan magazine
“It’s so much harder to be alive now than in the 90s. That was a gentler time.
We didn’t know what hardcore porn was.
We had puberty without access to the internet”
WORDS Comedian Sara Pascoe – our iconic Advisory Board member! – in her show Success Story (12/2/23)
IMAGE Pål Hansen for The Observer Magazine
Olympic cyclist Bradley Wiggins, 42, was groomed by a cycling coach between ages 13 and 16 but “swept it under the carpet”.
He said: “Abuse becomes very normalised by the perpetrators and [you are] very, very unaware that is happening.
It’s not until later in life and particularly when I had my own children… [that] I suddenly realised what I’d been subjected to as a child.
We all have a responsibility as adults, parents, onlookers, coaches, teachers to recognise the signs… Rather than worrying [if] you’re intruding or intervening or the consequences of that… if you’re right, wouldn’t you rather just go in and take that risk? It’s OK to approach victims of abuse and speak to them.”
Wiggins warned that children can fear violence if they speak out and described how his need to escape his childhood problems drove him to train harder and “contributed to why I was so great at cycling”. He also “suffered violence from his stepfather”.“Lots of people that are great at something have a drive that kind of stems from adversity,” Wiggins said. “What we can do is change and accept it, learn to stop running away from it and help others”
WORDS Bradley Wiggins backs NSPCC child abuse plan as he reveals impact of own experience (Guardian, 10/1/23) IMAGE On the Champs-Elysées in 2012 with his son Ben, then aged 7