Flo Oliveira (they/them) is a caring, motivated sex-therapist-to-be whose passion for changing the world impacts everything they do. They continuously exude love and compassion.
Flo is a student-athlete at the University of California Davis, graduating this spring as a track-and-field star and they’re in the process of getting a sex education certificate and is Rachel Wright’s Therapeutic Marketing Intern.
Flo is originally from Brazil. They lived there until the age of 3 and then moved to the United States.
Flo’s family moved back to Brazil but came back to the states at the age of 8.
During this time, Flo’s love for track and field really began.
“I had gotten really into running track and field. So, I started with my elementary group and then middle school group and kind of just ran throughout that time. [And] I also played a little bit of soccer of course, cause Brazilians,” tells Flo.
Flo received a full-ride scholarship to UC Davis after running track all four years of high school.
However, they were unsure what to major in when entering college.
Flo originally wanted to be a surgeon but soon discovered that they were interested in something else.
Flo explains, “I wanted to help people, and I wanted to do things that changed the world and affected people. But, it didn’t look like going through medical school and like killing myself to get there kind of thing.”
Their college career soon reflected their love for changing the world.
“I switched my major to gender, sexuality, and feminist studies,” they say.
Outside of being a student-athlete, Flo became very active within their campus community.
Flo shares, “I became really involved with an organization that I co-founded, which is called the Coalition for African Diaspora Student-Athletes. We started that [the Coalition for African Diaspora Student-Athletes] at the end of my sophomore year, and it really picked up traction as being the only black organization for athletes on campus.”
The members soon realized a large issue facing their community in their first year — housing & food shortages on campus.
The organization surveyed the majority of the athletic teams on campus to understand the scope of the issue. Then, they started to plan how to approach the problem.
The organization then teamed up with Aggie Compass. Auggie Compass an organization on campus whose mission is to mitigate the effects of food and housing insecurity on students.
Flo also focused their efforts on the campus food pantry to combat the housing and food insecurity student-athletes, especially those of color, were facing.
Flo describes, “That [the Coalition for African Diaspora Student-Athletes] inspired me to join my other feminist organization called the Revival Zine, which I wrote some articles for, and also running as a Vice President there.”
Flo had a sex education series for Revival Zine where they interviewed people about their sexual habits, lives, and anything involving sex.
“I got to talk about vaginismus and then also, like, drugs during sex and traveling,” explains Flo.
Flo also runs their own sex activist Instagram account, @LifeWFlo.
When asked what inspired them to start the Instagram account, Flo said, “Honestly, what started was just my passion for sharing sex education, and I kept getting a lot of feedback from people that they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, I never knew this.’ Or like ‘the posts that you re-shared were amazing.’ And I would just kind of direct folks to the resources they needed.”
Flo realized they were having a lot of fun and it inspired them to get more involved in the sexuality field.
Another large reason Flo decided to get more involved in the sex education world was due to the lack of representation.
“I think it’s really, really important to have black and especially queer black representation in the sex education spaces because I didn’t get any sex education when I was younger and especially not from people who looked and felt like me,” Flo shares.
Flo will be graduating from UC Davis this coming spring with a degree in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies.
They will then attend San Diego State University this fall to pursue a counseling degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Flo has recently joined a sex education certificate program and will become certified as a sex therapist after graduating from their Marriage and Family Therapy program.
Their passion for changing the world and helping others is evident in everything they do.
Flo’s dream, which they hope to get one step closer to with their new position with Rachel Wright, is to be a sex therapist who is welcoming and understanding, thus creating a space for all patients. to help them grow and heal.