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Matthew’s Story: Why I’m Speaking Out about Porn’s Harmful Effects in British Columbia

Porn is a very interesting conversation topic. There can be underlying challenges and mixed reactions when you introduce it, that’s for sure. Porn can be a very...

By November 25, 2017No Comments

Porn is a very interesting conversation topic. There can be underlying challenges and mixed reactions when you introduce it, that’s for sure.

Porn can be a very sensitive subject for people who experience guilt or shame from their own, often who have a hidden habit of it, or those who have been negatively impacted by it in other ways. Not only that, but some people are very outspoken and defensive because they don’t see anything unhealthy or unacceptable with porn and their consumption of it.

But, despite the challenges, I’ve had some very encouraging opportunities in fighting against the harms of pornography through my conversations. This is the most significant way I have been able to make a personal impact in this fight for love.

One of the easiest ways to introduce porn as a conversation topic is by wearing one of Fight the New Drug’s bold tee shirts. I’ve committed to wearing one every day for #NoPornovember as well as regularly throughout the year for the past three years! Although people don’t always comment on them right away, my bold shirts almost always get noticed. And even if strangers don’t say anything to me, I know they’re thinking about what it says!

Related: Raphaël’s Story: Why I Joined The Fight For Real Love In Quebec

While visiting a rest stop on a road trip, I walked into the travel info center and was approached by a guy working there who noticed my shirt and said, “I don’t think porn kills love.” This controversial opening led to a very productive conversation! Our discussion earned concerned looks from others around, so we continued our conversation outside. During our respectful discussion, I introduced him to Fight the New Drug’s resources from the Street Team kit and shared the evidence of the harmful effects of pornography. He now says he’s on board!

Another opportunity for conversation and awareness is through a Canadian made documentary called “Over 18.” The goal of this doc is to raise awareness of the harms of porn. In my own community, there have been multiple screenings from public schools to other places, and my own college will be putting on a screening during #NoPornovember for students. I co-hosted one of these “Over 18” screening this summer that was largely targeted toward parents to inform them on the current issue of porn. This isn’t about Playboy magazine anymore—we are dealing with the most explicit, violent hardcore porn ever imaginable.

I was able to engage in discussion with concerned parents through hosting the Q&A after and equip them with resources to help them and their children navigate the harms of porn.

Last November, after watching an “Over 18” screening, a group of young adults, the “Freedom Fighters” as we now call ourselves, decided to go through the Fortify platform where we were able to very intimately fight for each other’s freedom with real love and connection.

Related: Canada Motions To Examine Pornography’s Effects On Public Health

Conversations are happening not only on a personal level, but also on a higher societal level, too. The Government of Canada has been studying the health effects of “sexually explicit material” (porn) with Motion-47. I have been following the conversation and research closely, and found ways to be involved in the discussion, too. I have had multiple phone meetings with Members of Parliament and have also been consistently collecting signatures to send petitions to parliament on the matter. Even the young man in the info center who originally disagreed with me about porn, signed a petition by the end of our conversation.

I encourage you to #FightForLove in the lives of those around you and never underestimate the power of a conversation (or a social media post) to help people live in freedom and real love. There is hope!