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LGBTA uses Jeopardy game to talk about sex and romance

What is: sex

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Musical chairs isn’t just for children’s parties or elementary schools – the classic game makes a pretty good icebreaker for college students gearing up to have a frank discussion about sex.

The LGBTA, or Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance, held a dating techniques and romance language meeting on Monday, where they discussed sex, romance and the situations college students find themselves in. The club’s goal was to have an open conversation about these topics. The group used a Jeopardy game to pose questions about relationships and sexual practices as related to the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer community.

“Social media portrays gay sex as glamorous and smooth, but it’s not always like that,” said Paris Canty, a senior psychology major and the president of the LGBTA. “The first experience can be really uncomfortable, and awkward, and painful. Neither of you really know what to do because it’s completely new … We talk about [sex] in this open place so people feel like they can ask questions, share experiences and get rid of the clichés.”

The LGBTA holds regular meetings on Mondays, where members not only talk about their feelings and experiences but also have fun with the friends they’ve made in the club. The meetings have an upbeat, friendly atmosphere with everyone chatting before the meeting and all throughout.

The open atmosphere is a comfortable setting to address issues that are faced by not only members of the club, but all college students. As Monday’s meeting continued, more intricate, situational questions came up such as what to do if your significant other decides to transition genders while you are still in a relationship or how to react if your crush likes your friend.

The room was split into three teams, each of which gave thoughtful responses to the questions. The club’s executive board analyzed the answers, then approved or disapproved with a “yaaas” or “nah.” The exercise allowed participants to enjoy friendly competition while learning about sexual terminology and different situations that can arise.

“It’s important to talk about sex because everywhere else, it’s taboo,” said Andrew Baumgartner, a senior nuclear medicine and psychology major. “Because it’s so taboo, the subject is avoided, and then there’s no way to get information about it. We keep the open atmosphere here so people can feel comfortable when they speak about sex.”

The club doesn’t just hold Monday meetings, but they also host regular events, sometimes with other clubs such as the UB College Republicans and even the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. They have movie nights, potluck dinners and life-sized pong tournaments. In addition to their own events, the group participates in school-sponsored events like Relay for Life and Oozefest.

The club constantly welcomes new members, no matter their sexual orientation. They work closely with groups on campus like the Christian Fellowship in order to exchange ideas and discuss their differences.

The meeting Monday began with a game of musical chairs, which broke the ice for newcomers and regular attendees alike. People stepped in and out of the meeting, greeting friends before running to class or staying to enjoy the program. People who stepped in without knowing anyone were greeted with enthusiasm and were invited to participate in all of the activities.

“This is actually my first meeting,” said Nick Backiel, a freshman accounting major. “I see why people come here, though. Everyone is so friendly, and I didn’t feel uncomfortable, even when we were talking about sex. I can definitely see myself coming back.”

Whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight, members of the LGBTA saw the importance of discussing sex and romance. Sexual orientation didn’t matter – many members left the meeting feeling informed.

The chatter was just as loud at the end of the meeting as it was in the beginning. Once discussion of new executive board elections and future events ended, the club meeting turned into a hangout for friends new and old. It wasn’t until a Student Association member approached the executive board – because the room was needed for another event – that people began leaving the room, taking their happy chatter elsewhere.

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