Prevention Meets Fashion, Inc is a 501 c3 non-profit organization that uses a fashion-based approach to educate about sexual and reproductive health in queer Black communities. Their mission is to increase sexual health knowledge in people of color, Black, LGTBQIA, and nonbinary communities through fashion, advocacy, community, and education (F.A.C.E). The organization offers programming and services, such as the Affirming Fashion Program, The Sex Education Program, Social Justice and Fashion Program, and more.
ONE® partnered with Prevention Meets Fashion, Inc. to provide a variety of safer sexual health products, such as condoms and raffle prizes, for their upcoming 5th Annual Condom Fashion Show and Community Education event.
We interviewed the incredible Nhakia Outland, Founder and President of Prevention Meets Fashion, to learn more about the organization.
What inspired you to start Prevention Meets Fashion, Inc.?
Prevention Meets Fashion (PMF) began out of my frustration that BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folx were not getting culturally appropriate sex education and were being treated as "others."
I remember a physician coming to get me to talk to a gay Black male about the type of sex they were having. I was confused why a doctor would come and get me. The doctor said it was because they were uncomfortable asking about that "stuff." I knew I had to do something. It was not fair. What if I had not been there? That patient would have left uneducated and under-resourced.
The more that I thought about it, I realized that many of the organizations that already existed and that were receiving funding to provide these services were white founded and dominated organizations. BIPOC, especially Black and LGBTQ folx, were clients that were not authentically being themselves with these organizations and not represented at "the table."
PMF has been around since 2017 but in 2020 during the pandemic, PMF shifted to becoming a non-profit in order to address a greater community need for Black and LGBTQ+ folx. PMF received emails and calls from the community to look into these challenges, so we began to organize to meet the sexual health needs of the community (i.e., condoms and accurate, inclusive sex education).
What’s your favorite thing about hosting Project CONDOM?
My favorite things about hosting Project CONDOM is educating, myth busting and de-stigmatizing condoms. Also, collaborating with the community and community organizations.
Also, I enjoy working with the designers and seeing the faces of the attendees when the garments come down the runway. Many people do not expect to see condoms used in this way and others are shocked because they thought a condom fashion show was going to be explicit in nature.
What are some of the challenges you still see/hear about regarding sexual health?
As a social worker, sexuality educator and professor, I often see and hear the same thing regarding sexual health and that is: young children do not need to know about this "stuff" or that this information doesn't apply to me because I am in a committed relationship or I am not in the LGBTQ+ community. For some reason, the way sexual health has often been framed is to only target LGBTQ+ people. Therefore, many sexual health lessons are ignored because people do not see themselves represented. Sexual Health is health and should be treated as such. It is treated as this and/or situation – often even by medical professionals.
What is some of your top sexual health advice to people?
- Sexual Health is health
- Sex should not be hidden
- Sexuality changes throughout the lifespan
- Do not wait until puberty to talk to the youth
What’s your favorite hobby?
Shopping, of course!