My name is Antón Castellanos Usigli. I recently celebrated my 24th birthday, I’m a Psychology student at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (I’m about to begin my final semester), and I work in sexual education and sexual health advocacy. I currently belong to the Boards of the Mexican Association for Sexual Health, of the Mexican Federation of Sexuality Education & Sexology and I’m the Co-Chair of the Youth Initiative Committee at the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). It would take me a while to explain my journey through sexology and sexual health advocacy, so I’ll put it in very simple terms.
I was 16 years old, trying to understand my own sexuality and by pure chance, I had to conduct a research about unprotected sexual relationships among teenagers. These two factors drove me into sexology at first. But what really pushed me into sexual health advocacy is anger. Anger because I lived in a town in which I didn’t feel safe to express my sexuality as a gay man, because I couldn’t say who I loved, anger because of the ignorance that surrounded me. I decided to do something about it, and that is why I began a sex education project in my own high school that ended up involving other schools from my hometown (Cuernavaca, Morelos), diverse experts in human sexuality and the National Institute of Public Health. In 2009, I would start my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the Universidad Iberoamericana, so I moved to Mexico City. Before that, I had studied a Diploma in Human Sexuality at the Mexican Association for Sexual Health, I had participated in a radio program of Cuernavaca talking about human sexuality and I had travelled to some sexology Conferences. Moving to Mexico City was liberating, it allowed me to get more in contact with my own sexual identity and to start developing friendships with lots of people. I continued my involvement with the Mexican Association for Sexual Health, and one day I was invited to co-organize the first World Sexual Health Day in Mexico, which is promoted by the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). That first contact with WAS led me to make an innovative proposal: a WAS Youth Initiative, in order to encourage the involvement of young people into sexual health and sexual rights promotion as well as into sexology. My proposal was well received and after developing it for a while, a Youth Initiative Committee (YIC) was finally integrated within WAS and I was elected as one of the two Co-Chairs of the Committee. The YIC Committee was ratified last June in Glasgow, United Kingdom by WAS General Assembly, during the XX World Congress for Sexual Health. After this Congress, I went on to study a Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Right now I am in Matsue, Japan, for the 12th Asia-Oceania Congress of Sexology, in which I will be coordinating a Round Table on Youth’s Sexual Health in Asia-Oceania with the participation of 25 young advocates. Though in this Blog I will write about things related to my work with WAS and other organizations, I will also write about several other things, so I have to point out that this is not a WAS Blog, and when I write I’m just writing as myself, and not as a representative of a specific organization. Therefore, views expressed in this Blog are not official views of WAS or the YIC, which can be found at this website: www.worldsexualhealth.org
But, what exactly drove me into starting this new project, a Blog called Sexuality Observer?
From January to May 2012 I lived in New York City, and I designed and implemented a sex education program for Latin Women living in East Harlem as part of the Social Service of my Bachelor’s Degree. I documented everything in relation to this program in the Blog Sexualidad Latina NY (www.sexualidadlatinany.blogspot.com), so I had a chance to re-discover a passion I’ve always had for writing. Maybe it is a family thing. My grandfather, Rodolfo Usigli, was a preeminent Mexican playwright and Diplomat. He is called the Father of Modern Mexican Theatre and he was awarded with the National Prize of Literature, and according to some rumors, he was even considered for the Nobel Prize of Literature (nothing strange given that George Bernard Shaw called him a genius). However, my grandfather has not been the only writer in the family. My grandmother Argentina Casas Olloqui and my father, sculptor Antonio Castellanos Basich, both enjoy writing short stories, and nowadays, my sister, Talía Castellanos Usigli, writes the Blog “Fashion Around the World” (www.fashion-aroundtheworld.blogspot.mx) and has collaborated with i-D Magazine in London. My mother, Lavinia Usigli, has written in local newspapers of Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Passion for writing is something quite present in my family and quite present in me at the moment. I consider myself to be very analytic, I always try to search new relationships between various elements and that is what I plan to do at this Blog. I will try to observe and write about different topics related to human sexuality, LGBT life, sexology, sexuality education, sexual rights and sexual health promotion. I will try to connect dots between psychology, public health, pop culture, technology, economics, politics, global and geopolitical affairs. I will try to be a constant sexuality observer! Join me in this journey and do not hesitate to participate and comment!