When Sen. Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) visited Our Center Reno last month, she thanked its staff and touted the "local resources" the group provides for area children. Those resources include a "Queer Pagan Exploration" club, a "transdiscovery" group for 11-year-olds, and a sex education curriculum so controversial that a nonpartisan Nevada school board banned it over four years ago.
The self-described "LGBTQIA+ community center" is also the meeting ground for far-left organizations such as the Northern Nevada Democratic Socialists of America. Regular events at Our Center Reno include "drag story hour," "free gender-affirming haircuts" for transgender children, and "free legal advice" for those interested in transgender surgery.
Our Center Reno’s programs often veer into what many would consider bizarre, such as its monthly "Queer Pagan Exploration" classes on topics such as witchcraft and pentagrams. The organization also offers "summer intensive" study groups on the controversial Scarleteen Queer Sex Education curriculum, which teaches children to masturbate and encourages them to do so.
Rosen met with Our Center’s staff and volunteers on July 8. Her visit came, she said on Twitter, at a time when "LGBTQ+ rights are under attack." Rosen’s trip to her home state corresponded with a series of meetings with other constituents in Reno including a roundtable discussion with female veterans.
Nevada is considered one of the most competitive Senate races in 2024, when Rosen is up for reelection. Republicans have their eye on Rosen's seat and recently convinced former Army captain Sam Brown to throw his hat into the ring.
Established in 2009, Our Center Reno shuttered from 2016 until 2021 due to a lack of funds. Since then, the group has emerged as a premier left-wing advocacy group in Northern Nevada. Nowhere are Our Center Reno’s radical tendencies clearer than its embrace of the Scarleteen program, which the Washoe County Board of Education removed from its list of approved education resources in 2019.
School board minutes from the time show parents expressing concerns about Scarleteen’s lessons on gender identity and other controversial subject matters.
"It is way too much too soon for 14-year-olds and I think that's shown out in every lesson," said Nevada Family Alliance executive director Karen England at the time. "The lesson on abstinence brings up anal sex," England observed, adding that the lessons were "very graphic for people in their teens."
The public comment on the school district’s proposed sex education curriculum lasted more than three hours, with a majority of parents voicing criticisms. The nonpartisan school board later voted 5-2 to eliminate any references to Scarleteen from the curriculum.
Scarleteen bills itself as "a progressive, independent sexuality and relationships education media and support organization" that provides "in person outreach" to teenagers. But an examination of Scarleteen’s education material provides some answers as to why even a school board in solidly blue Washoe County had concerns.
Among the literature offered by Scarleteen includes a "How Do You Masturbate?" guide for children that recommends "pre-orgasmic people" and "younger" people engage in "a daily masturbation session, over at least several weeks." Another guide published by Scarleteen called "The Transmasculine Flow" is available to children and proposes that elective hysterectomies may be a solution for those looking to "affirm their gender."
Scarleteen also runs an internet message board that allows children as young as 13 to post questions about sex that are often answered by adults. In one instance, a 14-year-old inquired about her "diaper" and feces "fetish." A Scarleteen staff member named "Sam" replied with a Scarleteen guide called the "Sex Readiness Checklist."
The owner of Scarleteen, Heather Corinna, writes an advice column for children and young adults as well. One 2008 post, which was updated in 2023, concerned the question of whether a 23-year-old man who is "attracted to teenagers" is "a pedophile." Corrina’s lengthy response included asides such as "in both humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, it's not unusual for a person to be attracted to someone who has the [sic] physically markers of adulthood and fertility," and that "rich sexual and interpersonal relationships" can be had "with people of any age."
Scarleteen partnered with Lucky Bloke, a sex shop, in July. The venture allows Scarleteen to pocket 40 percent of revenue from purchases made on the organization’s website. Items available for purchase through that partnership include condoms and lubricant that are shipped "in packaging that doesn’t tell what’s inside."
Rosen did not respond to a request for comment.