We are stronger together when we love one another

C/O Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In 2020, I was given the insurmountable task as Arts and Culture Editor to create and produce the Silhouette’s annual love and positivity issue, Sex and the Steel City. A tradition for each person in my role, the beginning of SATSC dates back at least 10 years ago.

While it has evolved over the years with each A&C Editor giving it their own spin, the core values remain the same: to give the McMaster and Hamilton communities a creative outlet to talk about sex, body postivity, identity and love. In recent years, SATSC has focused on diversity, self-identity and this year, we focus on education — both formal and informal.

Over the last three years, we have seen a regressional way of thinking from our provincial government. One of the first acts that Premier Doug Ford enacted when elected was to repeal the then-new sex education curriculm.

Updated in 2015 by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, this was the first revision sex-ed had seen since 1998. Topics surrounding 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, sexting, gender identity and consent were added to better keep up with modern values. Instead, the Ford government proposed a new curriculum; however, after much lobbying by students, little was changed.

In the United States and around the world, homophobia and transphobia still run rampant. Sex work continues to be criminalized. Many still wonder if they should teach their kids about “taboo” subjects. While these are issues that are larger than any one person, these are topics that are explored in this year’s Sex and the Steel City. Our way of acknowledging and bringing awareness to these issues that continue to plague society.

Now more than ever, we need unity. We live in a divided world. We live on a divided continent. We live in a divided nation. We live in a divided province. Now is the time to take action, to stand up for what you believe in. Now is the time to unite (albeit virtually) to create change and to be a voice for the voiceless.

Sex and the Steel City is a small annual reminder of that unity that we should all strive for. I hope you take the time to read through the 36 pages of this extended special issue. May this issue serve as a reminder: a reminder that we are stronger together when we love one another.

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