I really thought we’d moved past the days when young people were tokens to a place where there is now meaningful participation (i loved that phrase). Yet sometimes I actually think it’s young people themselves who allow themselves to be tokens.
I just came back from a meeting with an organisation that has a network of young people all over the world, where we were having a conversation about a meaningful partnership. I was quite disappointed that they couldn’t identify opportunities that would work for both of us. It was almost like they couldn’t quite see what they could bring to the table – perhaps because they were too used to always being the ‘token’ young people for so long.
But I did meet this young HIV positive woman from Canada who was amazing! Now she knew how to talk about the life of a young positive in a different way than what you usually hear about – including her kissing parties.