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Sexuality Month Brings NFL Player to Campus Next Week

Ryan Russell, currently a free agent in the NFL, will speak on Tuesday, February 4 at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. Photo provided by Keppler Speakers.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Jan. 28, 2020) – A keynote presentation by Ryan Russell, the first active NFL player to identify as bisexual, will kick off the University’s annual recognition of Sexuality Month.

Russell, who has played for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is also a published poet, writer and artist. He will speak on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom, with a reception and book signing to follow.

Russell had dedicated his life to football until recently, when off the field he began to take his studies more seriously, write long-form creative pieces and discover his sexuality. In August 2019, he came out to the world as the first active NFL player to identify as bisexual. Currently a free agent, he speaks about how living your truth is “essential not only to survive, but to thrive.”

This year marks the 38th year that UAlbany has hosted Sexuality Month, established to support students facing concerns in the areas of gender and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, relationships, identity and reproductive health.

The month's observance, running Feb. 3–26, is coordinated by the University’s Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research, Student Association, Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, and Counseling and Psychological Services, with funding from University Auxiliary Services. The New York State Writers Institute is an event co-sponsor.

“Sexuality Month was established 38 years ago at our University to recognize the importance of a number of key themes related to sexuality, broadly defined,” said M. Dolores Cimini, director for the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research and Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program and Sexuality Month planning committee co-chair. “Through our educational programs, we aim to meet the needs of our students as well as provide a retrospective and prospective look at the issues and challenges they are facing.”

In addition to Russell’s keynote presentation, numerous Sexuality Month exhibits, film screenings, lectures and workshops will be offered, including:

  • Exhibits by Project Shape, Sexual Health and Peer Education Program, Lecture Center Concourse, Feb. 3-26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Performance by comedian and activist Hayden Kristal, Campus Center Ballroom, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.
  • Middle Earth Exhibit, Lecture Center Concourse, Feb. 3-26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Campus Forum: A conversation with the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, University Hall 306, Feb. 6, 3 p.m.
  • Presentation: Understanding Consent Through Pop Culture & Reinforcing "Yes Means Yes," Campus Center 375, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.
  • Presentation: Everything You Want to Know About Birth Control. Campus Center 375, February 20, 7 p.m.

View the full schedule of events in the 2020 Sexuality Month brochure.

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