Students of all walks of life gathered in the basement of Gannett Hall on Wednesday to play this year’s first game of “Guess Who’s Gay” put on by the University of Maine Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Services and Wilde Stein Alliance for Sexual Diversity.
Chelsea Barker, the LGBT community services coordinator is in her second year working on her master’s degree in counseling education. She believes “Guess Who’s Gay” has a strong impact on students for breaking stereotypes and helping students “to ask, rather than assume” about someone’s sexual orientation.
“Guess Who’s Gay” may sound slightly offensive, but the event is meant to break stereotypes and common misconceptions about people in the LGBT community. Wilde Stein president Chris Dubois addressed the audience about getting to know people for who they really are before putting labels on them. There are many stereotypes and categories for people to be easily pushed into, but “these don’t accurately represent someone,” Dubois said.
A panel of LGBT students answered questions posed by audience members throughout the night. In the first round, audience members were allowed to ask yes or no questions. After each question was asked, the entire panel consecutively answered down the line.
Round 2 consisted of short-answer and more open-ended questions. Audience members were encouraged to ask any sort of question, but not direct questions that would reveal their sexuality.
Questions ranged from “What’s your favorite color” to more personal questions like, “When was the last time you cried and why?”
At the end of both Q-and-A rounds, it was time for the audience to guess who was gay in the panel of LGBT students. A list of terms were read out loud to determine the different preferences some people may have had. The evening’s game show host read out the list which included gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, pansexual, asexual, cisgender, straight, heteroflexible and homoflexible.
Each sexual orientation or sexual preference was defined for the audience, as there were some less familiar terms being used during the event. For example, pansexual is the sexual attraction or romantic love toward any person of any sexual orientation, gender identity or biological gender.
Another uncommon term used was cisgender, which describes individuals who identify with their biological sex. On contrary to cisgender is transgender where an individual’s gender identity does not match their biological sex. Although cisgender may be a term that most people can identify with, it’s not commonly used and few of the students playing “Guess Who’s Gay” had ever heard the term at all.
If you missed last week’s “Guess Who’s Gay,” there will another, bigger and more exciting game coming Oct. 24 in the North Pod in the Memorial Union. There will be prizes for who can guess correctly on who is gay and who is not. “Use your ‘gaydar’ to win prizes,” said Dubois, encouraging all the attendees of the night to come again and bring their friends.
The next “Guess Who’s Gay” will be held during Coming Out Week, a big event for the LGBT Services and Wilde Stein alike. Coming Out Week is Oct. 19-27 and raises awareness for the LGBT community and all of its supporters. There will be shows, comedy, games and food. All events will be free and anyone is welcome to attend.