Guerrilla Outreach

Coalition for Positive Sexuality
-Darrell Gordon

The Coalition for Positive Sexuality(CPS), the guerilla-style HIV prevention/birth control outreach organization, has been under attack by Bishop Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church for distributing Just Say Yes booklets to youth at Chicago Public Schools [never abbreviated in this article, to avoid confusion]. He held two press conferences expressing his opposition to Just Say Yes because he thinks CPS is forcing material onto students; the material is too graphic and promotes homosexuality. Trotter is starting a campaign to stop CPS from handing out sex ed/birth control information to youth outside the schools.

CPS is an organization made up of activists, students and educators that came together in 1992 during the tail end of the AIDS activist movement and the second wave of the pro-choice struggle out of the need for quality sex ed curriculum, which is lacking in Chicago Public Schools, and condom availability. The Family Life materials used in the schools is not sufficient to the needs of the youth. Just Say Yes addresses sex ed/birth control information from a pro-sex/feminist/queer point of view in teen lingo. CPS hands out Just Say Yes to students as they enter school, along with condoms.

CPS wants to force the Chicago Public Schools to come up with a comprehensive sex education program that is pro-sex/pro-queer/pro-feminist and culturally sensitive. CPS believes it's great to be proud of one's sexual orientation regardless of whether one is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or heterosexual and that one's sexual orientation is a state of being, not a lifestyle choice. The booklet also discloses resources for teens in the city and across the country. It's harder for the queer teens of color who live outside of the predominantly white, queer ghetto on the north side of Chicago to find allies or support due to an absence of queer movement on the west and south sides and who often face greater retribution due to isolation. The Chicago Public Schools are mandated to provide an adequate sex ed program but the public schools don't want students to have information that will affirm sexual choices and freedom, not to mention queer sexuality, in a positive way that would help build queer teens' pride. CPS was once criticized by Mayor Richard M. Daley because Just Say Yes doesn't promote Abstinence-Only as the means to prevent HIV and unwanted pregnancies, STDs, etc. CPS believes it is OK to be sexual as long as it's consensual and responsible.

If you want further info about CPS, phone 312 .604.1654

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