As I reflect on the past and look forward into 2019, here are some of my top 10 hopes for us all:
• I hope that our children and teens are safe in body, mind, spirit, orientation and identity and that their peers find the strength to stand up to those who would bully, criticize and berate any of them out of ignorance and fear.
• I hope that parents, teachers, relatives and other influential grown-ups find the strength and knowledge they need to create, nurture and sustain safe environments for all children.
• I hope that the efforts to create support for LGBTQ parents in Federal Way and South King County thrive, because no one should ever have to think they are “the only one.”
• I hope that we all continue to learn what about consent, to listen to and examine ways we have discounted it in the past, to apologize when necessary, and to do better each and every day.
• I hope that sexual abuse and assault end in this community and in our world.
• I hope for free and low-cost options for health care to increase so that people can take care of their entire bodies, including reproductive systems—lifesaving preventive care, such as mammograms, pap smears, testicular exams and more.
• I hope for universal access to free birth control to all who want it, in order that unintended pregnancies and termination of unintended pregnancies become a thing of the past.
• In the meantime, I hope for protection of the right to choose pregnancy, and for that choice to be the domain of a woman and her health care providers.
• I hope our legislators in the 30th District continue to fight to protect the rights of LGBTQ people in our community, state and country.
• I hope for developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, inclusive sexuality education that is taught in every grade in Federal Way Public Schools, and that upholds the importance of learning about bodies, consent, relationships, health, social media, decision-making and more.
When people have access to health care, birth control, education, safe environments in which to learn, and the protection of the law, they are more likely to be healthy, make decisions that promote their health and safety, and be productive, giving members of our community.
I hope you’ll join me in any way you can to make these hopes a reality in Federal Way in 2019.
Amy Johnson, MSW, is a trainer and educator in the Pacific Northwest. She is co-author of three books and facilitates classes and workshops in the Puget Sound area. Amy specializes in sexuality education and in promoting safe and healthy sexuality culture in faith communities. All opinions are her own. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.