Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Sol, I am 21 years old and I currently live in Mission, Texas. I attended La Joya ISD, which is about 35 minutes away from Edinburg, Texas. In that ISD I went to two high schools, my freshman year I attended La Joya Early College High School, and during my Sophomore through Senior years, I attended Jimmy Carter Early College High School.

During the past two years, I have been able to get even more engaged with reproductive health and reproductive justice. Currently, I am a youth organizer at Planned Parenthood Texas Votes.

During high school, I was not a big advocate of reproductive health because I did not know much about it or sexuality. The lack of sex education conversations made me feel very unprepared.

What is your experience with sex education in Texas?
In my middle school, we could take a course in health, which counted as high school credit. I did not have to take the course anymore in high school, but there was a mishap with my transcript, so I ended up taking it for one semester. They only covered a bit about STDS and did not go into detail.

In middle school, when sex came up during the health class it was super awkward, and we were all very squeamish. Our teacher was a coach, and he was very awkward when having a conversation about sex with us. Throughout the whole class, we were all giggling a bit, and we were just basically told that there was a penis and vagina involved during sex. I don’t remember learning anything about LGBTQ+ sex, we just learned the penis penetrates the vagina. And there was only one class where we talked about STDs.

I wished there had been something talked about LGBTQ+ people because at that time I was not sure about my sexuality. Later in high school, I realized I was pansexual, and I never learned prior how to have sex with someone of the same gender.

At the end of the health class, two special speakers came to the class, and they divided us into two groups, boys and girls. For the girls, they sent us the speaker who was a woman, and she talked to us about “sex.” That experience was such a horrible one, and looking back at that time, I cannot believe that she was allowed to come to speak to us.

Her whole speech was about celibacy. She told us that we should all stay pure and used an example. While doing her skit, she had these crazy eyes and pretended to be a boy of our age. She then put up her hands and said “these hands have touched the breasts of 10 other girls” she then looked at us and asked us “is that someone you really want to be with?” She basically was telling us that we should choose someone as pure as we should be. That presentation made a lot of us cry.

After that, my best friend at that time was not sexually active, but she had dated a few boys, and they had kissed. She then came up to me afterward and told me “oh my god it’s so true, I have let so many boys kiss me,” and overall she felt so guilty. This was overall a bad experience.

That lady also told us something else that stayed with me forever. She told us that if we sit on a boy’s lap with just our underwear, we could get pregnant. After that presentation, I was so scared of sex. I never felt comfortable discovering my sexuality because of that experience.

During high school, I had so many questions. I did not know I could get a bacterial infection down there, and I had no idea what I should do when I turned 18 years old. I knew about the pap smear, but was not sure if I had to get it at 18. I wished I had gotten better sex education. In my family, my mom is not religious, but she is not comfortable talking about sexuality. The most she talked to me about was periods. When it came to sex, she told me “no vas a hacer esas cochinadas” (“don’t do those dirty things”). My mom was not comfortable talking to me about sex.

I did end up having sex with a boy in high school, and I and my boyfriend at that time did not have good sex education. Before we had sex, he told me had bought condoms and wanted to buy a morning-after pill, because we thought the steps to have sex were to use a condom, have sex and then take a pill. One of the first times we had sex, the condom broke, and all we knew to do was to take a plan B.

I was also not taught that we have to ask people we have sex with if they have been checked for STDs. The stigma around sex and STDs is something I wish I had learned because all I was taught was that you have sex if you are married. Staying pure was all I was taught.

What do you want teens right now to know?
I want teens to know that having questions about sex is perfectly okay. Teens should feel comfortable enough to ask questions about sex even if they aren’t having sex. And if you are having sex, just be safe! Sex is not dirty, and if you have been told that I am very sorry for that, sex is normal despite the stigma.

What could have been offered to you as a teen to make you feel more supported in making decisions about sex and relationships?
I wished I was taught about LGBTQ+ sex because I did not know anything about how to have sex with a girl. I did not learn about this until my freshman year in college.

I also wished we overall had better sex education for people who are in a heterosexual relationship. I wished I was taught how to stay safe, information about STDs, pregnancy, and what to do when you get pregnant. I thought that having sex equaled pregnancy. I basically believed in that Mean Girl’s quote, “don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!”

Can you share a memory about a person or service who was most helpful to you when you were working through these decisions about sex and relationships?
The club Access for Sex Education on campus taught me a lot. I learned about Plan B, the clinics that can help you, and about pap smears. That was a safe space that allowed me to talk about these things and have answers.

How do you wish to help others in your community?
Now that I am with a great organization, I would like to continue working with my campus community. I just graduated, but I want to continue helping people there learn about resources and information about reproductive health.

Not only in my career but as an individual, I am trying to erase that stigma around having sex and let people know that it is okay to have sex. People should never feel shame about sex, especially in my culture.

I hope public schools stop allowing the type of people who made me scared and ashamed about sex.

Views expressed in this storytelling are those of the storyteller, and are not reflective of any organization.

If you are interested in sharing your story, email Alondra at or fill out this form.