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Michael Sam, the NFL’s First Openly Gay Player, Headlines Sexuality Month

A keynote by Michael Sam highlights the University’s 34th annual Sexuality Month programming.

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 30, 2017) – A keynote presentation by Michael Sam, an NCAA All-American football player and LGBT athlete, will highlight the University at Albany’s annual recognition of Sexuality Month in February.

Sam’s lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. It is free and open to the public. An autograph session and reception will follow the event.

About Michael Sam:

Sam is an American football defensive end who made history when he came out as gay ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft. Since his announcement, he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community.

Growing up in a tiny Texas town and the seventh of eight children, Sam endured a childhood of adversity, challenges and pain. He spent a portion of his early years living in a car with his mother and identified sports as his ticket out.

Sam earned first-team All-District honors all four years of high school and secured a football scholarship at the University of Missouri. While at Missouri, he was named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the NFL Draft, after coming out as gay during an ESPN Interview. He is currently an NFL free agent.

In 2014, he was named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

About Sexuality Month:

Sexuality Month has been in existence at UAlbany for the last 34 years. It is designed to support students facing critical issues and choices such as gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity, and reproductive health.

The program is coordinated by the University’s Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program and Counseling and Psychological Services with funding from University Auxiliary Services and the Student Association.

“Sexuality Month was established to recognize the importance of a number of key themes related to sexual and reproductive health,” said Dr. M. Dolores Cimini, Middle Earth program director and Sexuality Month planning committee chair. “Through our programming, we hope to meet the needs of our students as well as provide a retrospective and prospective look at the issues they are facing.”

In addition to Sam’s keynote presentation, numerous Sexuality Month exhibits, film screenings, lectures and workshops will be offered from Feb. 5-22, including:

  • Safe Space: LGBT 101 Training, Campus Center 375, Sunday, Feb. 5, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Breast and Testicular Cancer Prevention Exhibit, Campus Center Lobby, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Film Screening: “The Last Taboo,” Campus Center 375, Thursday, Feb. 9, 1:30 p.m.
  • Workshop: “Coming Out Monologues,” Campus Center 375, Thursday, Feb. 9, 9 to 10:15 p.m.
  • Lecture: “Looking for Love as a Trans Person,” Campus Center 375, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
  • Meet the Author: Nancy Jo Sales, Campus Center 375, Thursday Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
  • Workshop: “Sustainable Development Goals and Sexual Health,” Campus Center 375, Monday Feb. 20, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.
  • Lecture: “The Empowered Bystander, We Need You to Prevent Sexual Violence,” Campus Center 375, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
  • Workshop: Canvas Painting Session, Campus Center 375, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 9 to 10:15 p.m.

Download the University’s 2017 Sexuality Month brochure to view the full schedule of events.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.