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USM to host panel discussion, “Other-Sexual: Beyond Gay and Straight”

There will be a free panel discussion at USM’s Glickman Family library in Portland titled “Other-Sexual: Beyond Gay and Straight. The panel will run from 6 - 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, October 17, in the University Events Room. Light refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Susie Bock, 780-4269, bocks@usm.maine.edu.

The event will be a moderated discussion featuring five panelists who self-identify in diverse ways with regard to both sexuality and gender. Each panelist will make an opening statement, followed by open discussion, with audience participation encouraged.

The terminology of sexuality is evolving at a rapid rate today. This is partly because of the Internet's ability to bring together communities of like-minded people, but it can also be traced to other causes. One is a growing desire among people who identify outside of male/female to find words for their sexualities, which avoid false implications about their own gender. Self-identifying words used by the panelists include: pansexual, asexual, bisexual, and queer.

The panel is sponsored by three USM organizations: the Gender Studies Student Organization, the Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity, and the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.