'Sexual diversity is an intrinsic fact of being human and, as a social reality, a value to be made visible and nurtured'

Publication date: 

Ana Ramírez de Ocáriz SorollaInterview with Ana Ramírez de Ocáriz Sorolla, sexologist from EMAIZE Centro Sexológico and teacher of the online course titled Aniztasun sexuala: gizon eta emakume izateko era anitzak / Sexual diversity: Endless ways of being women and men 

  • Currently, several issues have been raised at the social level, such as the parental PIN or the so-called “Trans Law”. Do they affect attention to sexuality?

In recent times, we are seeing how aspects of sexuality care that we thought were beyond question, such as the consideration that school or non-formal education have much to contribute to high quality sexuality education, are once again being called into question. We cannot let the so-called “parental PIN” and the combativeness of the far right have the slightest influence on our work.

The controversy over the so-called “Trans Law” must also be overcome. In my view, only each individual can say who they are, what their sexual identity is. Our task as educational agents is to create the conditions for this to become a reality in our immediate environment: to create safe spaces of coexistence that not only respect but nurture sexual diversity, the different ways of being, wishing or expressing ourselves as sexed subjects (mostly as women and as men). 

  • I assume that this perspective will be reflected in the objectives of the course you are going to teach

In the long history of our endeavours, we have always had the same objectives in mind: that any young person should know, understand and accept themselves as the boy and girl they are (we usually speak of "sexed subjects" so that the person who neither feels they are a girl nor a boy does not feel excluded from these objectives), and that they can grow and express themselves with total freedom and respect in their environment.

That is why we have a twofold objective: to prevent situations of rejection or aggression towards those who are considered "different" and, more importantly, to develop collective strategies to make visible and appreciate the diversity of ways of expressing oneself, of being... 

  • What do you think are the educational keys to embracing diversity?

The starting point is self-reflection as educational agents on our own values and attitudes towards diversity, as it is easy to fall into combative stances. It is the teacher, the gazteclub monitor… who is the greatest and most effective educational tool. Therefore, introspection is essential.

The collective point of view of the educational team is also important, with the aim of reaching a consensus on minimum criteria that leads to a coherent educational model that nurtures sexuality and that can accommodate all the ways of being a woman and a man, without hierarchies.

We believe that inclusive strategies, such as the non-presumption of heterosexuality or the use of language that includes all people and which visualises all possible desires, families, bodies, roles, identities... are good educational keys.

Last but not least, it would be interesting if we were to take intersectionality into account, which is irremediably present in the reality of young people. By intersectionality, we refer to those social categories that create inequalities, and which can generate greater vulnerability, for example, the fact of being a Muslim girl, lesbian and poor. All of this will contribute to creating sensitive spaces that will strengthen inclusive and respectful environments.

  • In these times that make human contact difficult, how do you approach the delivery of this course?

Our intention is to try to humanise e-learning as much as possible. Therefore, the approach is similar to face-to-face modes: to generate an environment that allows for collective insights, where we can express ourselves freely and respectfully. With this in view, we will use theoretical concepts, approaches and activities that online platforms provide, to generate collective insights.

Online course. Sexual Diversity: Endless Ways of Being Women and Men