Hi, I’m Lawrence. I’m a former Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Peer Advocate from South Los Angeles who is now an aspiring artist, passionate about reaching out and talking about important issues in my community.
When I was in high school, there were lots of different clubs offered to students on campus. I would always hear people talking about student council, chess club, and even “Nerd club!” When Planned Parenthood LA started offering the Peer Advocate program at my school, people didn’t talk about it. I didn’t even know it existed until I realized my table at lunch started getting smaller and smaller as my friends started attending the weekly Peer Advocate meetings. One day, I decided to follow them to their weekly Peer Advocate meeting and from that day on, I became a PPLA Peer Advocate and it changed my life.
Video of Lawrence's Story
I started attending the weekly meetings, which opened my mind to other people like me, who wanted more info about sexual health. Some were gay, straight, bi, lesbian, etc. I learned about the importance of getting tested regularly, healthy relationships, and consent. It was so important for me to get this info at school because I wasn’t getting comprehensive and inclusive information at home.
My mom was open with me about sex and relationships in that she talked about it, but the info she gave never applied to me. It didn’t make sense to me. It was all about “the birds and bees” and relationships between men and women. She never talked about people who identify as LGBT because we grew up religious.
I went to church every Sunday and I remember I would wear the cool shirts I got from the Peer Advocate program like shirts that said GYT (get yourself tested) across the front or shirts that said SEX ED. My church friends would ask, nervously, “What is that???” They were curious. When I started sharing what I learned through the Peer Advocate program with my church friends, they were shocked about all this new, comprehensive information. I assumed that since Planned Parenthood was at my school, it was at their schools, too. But it wasn’t. They had only learned about abstinence in their schools. I was able to bring new info that I was privileged to receive from Planned Parenthood at my school.
In my opinion, regardless of what school you go to, you should be able to have comprehensive sex ed info available to you. The law needs to change. Let’s support AB329 - you can show your support for this bill right now by signing onto this online action with Forward Together and Strong Families!