At the City of Santa Rosa’s Earth Day festival on 22 April 2012, Intact Sonoma had an information and outreach booth. Our theme for the day was “Mother nature is smart, for-profit medicine is NOT.”

We had a good day reaching out to the community and successfully raised awareness among hundreds of people who saw or stopped by our table during the Earth Day festival. This awareness consists primarily of simply introducing the idea for the very first time to many people that the indiscriminate and routine practice of circumcision is a problem. We also provided honest information about how circumcisions are performed on baby boys, what is taken from the boy and the man by this unethical procedure, and the ramifications for both the circumcised man and his intimate partner.

By the mere presentation of framing for the general public that there is an intactivist (anti-circumcision) movement in the area helps to plant the seed of dissent in people's minds regarding this issue. Encouraging folks to question the use and need of circumcision in the first place is a big step forward in raising awareness. People with critical thinking skills can begin to contemplate whether or not they want their baby boys circumcised or to tolerate this harmful practice in their community. Many thinking people will not want to after analyzing the question after we presented it to them on Earth Day 2012.

We will return to Earth Day next year and every year to plant the seeds of doubt about a barbaric practice that most people, who uninformed, take for granted is a "necessary" medical procedure. One young mother of two boys, one of them only 6 months old, was on the verge of tears after visiting Intact Sonoma's table, saying “I wish I had talked to you before my boys were born.” She made it clear that she would not want to circumcise either of her sons now. But she reiterated that her husband was very insistent on it being done and that she figured that because she was not a guy then she deferred to her husband that fateful decision.

This was a sad moment as well as a successful consciousness raising moment as well. And this also helps to illustrate, painfully, what one of the most important obstacles is in the fight against routine circumcision. People coming to grips with the grim reality that either they themselves or their children have been unnecessarily mutilated in such an important part of their bodies. And that this physical alteration is irreversible, permanent and that it has had a substantially destructive effect on their health, their sexuality, and other areas in their lives. A mother's powerful maternal instincts are trampled upon when she realizes that her children have been harmed and that she was in some way a complacent part of her children's injuries.

Confronting this obstacle to raising awareness against circumcision is not easy, it is uncomfortable, and it is essential that we learn to console people, parents and individuals, regarding their bitter realization that they have been seriously harmed. Everyone who approached Intact Sonoma's table was positive and receptive about our message against routine circumcision. No one expressed opposition to our message, and that is a very good and encouraging sign indeed.