JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — JASMYN, the leading LGBTQ youth organization in Northeast Florida, has removed numerous social media posts that were marketed to teens as young as 13, including some that featured sexualized activities.
JASMYN’s Instagram account disappeared just hours after the Florida Standard reached out requesting comment on the posts. JASMYN’s youth Facebook and Twitter pages have also been taken down and their TikTok page was made private.
Last week, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) decided to sever its decades-long relationship with JASMYN after the Florida Standard reported the group promoted a card game called “Dick Match” with different illustrations of penises and scrotums for teens as young as 13.
MESSAGES FOR YOUTH
JASMYN works with both young adults and teens, but those distinctions are not always made clear on social media. Up until yesterday, JASMYN operated two Instagram accounts – one specifically for youth (@jasmynjax), and another for adults (@jasmynlgbtq). This article references only those posted on JASMYN’s youth-facing page.
In addition to “Dick Match,” which JASMYN claims was never played with teens despite its presence on the youth-specific Instagram account and the JASMYN website stating that event is offered to 13-year-olds, other posts lack disclaimers such as “adults only” or “18+.” Thus, the implication is that the message is for viewers of any age.
One now-deleted post from 2021 shows eight dildos arranged in the shape of a heart.
Another post from August 2021 features a graphic that reads “All that sex can be (and so much more!)” with dozens of terms listed, including “bondage,” “strap-on sex,” “fisting,” “face-sitting,” “watching porn (with a partner or solo),” “analingus/rimming,” “using a buttplug on a partner” and “muffing.” A 2017 Vice article defined muffing as “The Hidden Way to Finger Trans Women.”
On October 18, JASMYN posted the following photos in promotion of dance lessons for “youth 13-18.”
On October 28, JASMYN promoted and attended a Halloween Dance at a local music venue that displayed more dildos, lube and condoms, as well as a spinning wheel that had options such as “name 5 sex positions,” or “10 sec free style rap abt sex!” The event was advertised for “all ages.”
In a video post from November 19, men and women at JASMYN take turns speaking to the camera, encouraging those watching to come join the party.
“Got a little beer pong going on, okay, get your balls wet,” the person holding the camera says and laughs. “Hope y’all come in!”
One TikTok video shows a woman dancing provocatively while holding a dildo. The woman also spins a wheel with different options, including some that appear to read “five names for penis,” “five names for vagina,” and “five names for sex.”
(Video below is best viewed on desktop)
“MANY MEN, MANY VOICES” CDC GRANT
In multiple posts explicitly stating “Ages 13–24,” JASMYN advertises gift card incentives for “participating in 3MV chats.”
According to BeatAids.org, “Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) is an HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention intervention for black or Hispanic men who have sex with men (MSM) who may or may not identify as gay. 3MV aims to increase condom use with main and other sex partners.”
3MV studies conducted by Yale University and the University of Rochester state that participants must be 18 years of age or older.
TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT?
JASMYN has repeatedly declined to respond to the Florida Standard’s requests for comment, but said in a statement to News4Jax that the DCPS decision was “an overreaction to a far right extremist website spreading inflammatory misinformation about our HIV prevention work with young adults.” Two posts shared several months apart displayed “Dick Match” cards with graphic illustrations of penises on them, including one with a caption that read in part: “SaturGayz at Jasmyn!! Come play board games with Zy and Christina!”
Curiously, major local outlets in Jacksonville – including News4Jax, First Coast News, Action News Jax, WJCT and the Florida Times Union – have failed to mention that the post was promoting the event SaturGayz, which JASMYN’s website stated was for youth ages 13 to 24.
JASMYN has since scrubbed SaturGayz from their website, but a simple Google search still shows the event description, which reads: “SaturGayz is a new program for young people ages 13 to 24 that will take place two Saturdays a month from 10 am to 2pm in J3.”
FLORIDA OBSCENITY STATUTE
Florida obscenity statute 847 states that “A person may not knowingly sell, rent, loan, give away, distribute, transmit, or show any obscene material to a minor.” Examples of obscene materials include a “card, picture, drawing, [or] photograph.”
According to the statute, “Specific sexual activities” include “Human genitals in the state of sexual stimulation or arousal” and “Less than completely and opaquely covered: Human genitals or the pubic region.”
JASMYN did not respond to a request for comment.
Former Baptist Health CEO Hugh Greene tweeted “As long time supporters/donors to JASMYN, it is very disappointing to learn of @DuvalSchools decision to terminate their partnership. It certainly undermines confidence in @DrDianaGreene and leadership . This was a quick and ill advised decision. JASMYN is a stellar organization.”
Hugh Greene did not respond to a request for comment.
JASMYN sponsor Florida Blue turned the lights on their downtown building rainbow colored on Friday evening.
Additional JASMYN sponsors can be seen below: