When you've been friends since 3rd grade you begin to realize what you have in common. That is definitely the case with Ayodeji Otunuga and Cooper Johnson. But the two seniors from Garland High School even found commonality in what is often unspoken.
"We just weren't afraid to talk about it. We weren't afraid to say we're virgins," said Johnson.
The two seniors are on a mission to start The Virgin Movement. It started with a conversation Otunuga had in April at school with friends around the table. He said his friends had laughed when he opened up about being a virgin. The pair soon realized virginity could be the subject of a movement.
"They've been friends for years. They've done all kinds of projects through the years," said Cooper's grandmother Peggy Tomberlin.
Otunuga said the campaign is about inspiring others to be confident in what they believe. In this case: sex only after marriage.
"I don't want to be pressured into doing anything I don't want to do," Ayodeji said.
The two even designed shirts that have the words "Virgin" across the front. They say their reasoning for being virgins is rooted more socially than religiously. They realize this will come at the price of ridicule. It is something they've already experienced and channeled.
"Nobody wants to sit down and talk about sex, but if you can start by laughing about it, it leads to a deeper dialogue," said Cooper.
The campaign hasn't hit school yet and neither have the shirts. Garland ISD says they'll need to talk with the principal about that. The district also says the general rule about clothes is it can't be disruptive or offensive.
"When I got married I was a virgin and so was everybody else I knew. That was the way it was," said Tomberlin.
But these two have their sights set beyond school. They hope their message goes global; that virginity is a choice to be proud of.
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