We envision a world where all people can talk safely about sexuality and engage in healthy relationships with themselves and others:
Conscious individuals. Connected relationships. Thriving communities.
As humans, we each have our own way of thinking. This is a product of our experiences, our education, our access to information, and the influence of the people around us… and most of us are very set in our ways.
But often, when we speak to someone else, when we truly listen, reflect, analyze, and empathize, our way of thinking may change. Conversations can shift people's perspectives. So can education. And stories. And games.
That’s where TabuTabu comes in.
Our programs and workshops nudge and provoke conversations, and aim to shift people’s perspectives beyond their usual frame of reference. Shifting perspectives is key to dismantling socialized and internalized taboos — and integral for social change.
TabuTabu’s story begins in Latin America, where our European founder Laura found her passion for social development through education. She worked at the intersection of poverty, lack of access to quality education, and gender- and social inequalities with survivors of trafficking, sex workers, and youth and young mothers living in social vulnerability. As Laura focused on how to work for social change without perpetuating white saviorism, she also strived to understand the root causes behind gender-based and sexual violence.
More specifically, TabuTabu materialized from a series of very meaningful exchanges that inspired Laura to examine the role of taboos in the relationship between knowledge, social norms and inequalities: the conversation with a 12-year-old who had just gotten her first period and anxiously believed this meant she was now ready to be a mother; the look of a young boy who was acting up in class as a way of coping with the sexual abuse he was enduring at home; the surprise of a sexually active twenty-something-year-old vulva-owner when she found out that her urine did not come out of her vagina; the emancipated explanation of a sex worker who had recently learned that even as an undocumented immigrant, she has human rights and the police are not entitled to take advantage of her. These, and many more impactful insights, led Laura to understand the far-reaching impacts of (lack of) comprehensive sexuality education.
In 2020, Laura launched TabuTabu with our first sexuality education project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then, we are working on a further three projects, including two in Honduras. Our Impact initiatives center around the input and guidance from the communities we partner with to tackle their most pressing sexual and reproductive health and rights concerns. Through our Impact work we see how conversation can create major shifts in perspective and lead to social change.
But the need to tackle taboos goes well beyond communities living in social vulnerability: unhealthy dynamics around sex and sexuality exist across social class and geographies. We believe that normalizing safe and brave conversations about sex and sexuality can dismantle the forces that uphold unfair, unconstructive, and unsustainable social dynamics. That is the driving force behind all programs and products we develop: Conscious individuals. Connected relationships. Thriving communities.
“No matter how our realities might differ, being human connects us all. If we normalize talking to each other empathetically –about anything– we will become more accepting of our differences.”
-Laura Ramos Tomás, Founder of TabuTabu
Follow our Impact Journey
Subscribe to our Impact Newsletter to see how we are tackling sexuality-related taboos with NGOs in Latin America and their communities.