The Allies Club hosted the Sex and Candy Rave in Laird Hall on Friday, April 21, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., heralding the end to the Day of Silence, a day dedicated to bringing awareness to the silencing and bullying of the LGBTQ+ community.
While the Allies designed this event to be informative about safe sex and social stigmas, it was still a party. The Sex and Candy Rave offered an array of activities such as a DJ to provide music and a dance atmosphere, while board games such as “Dirty Minds” were available for people to play if they did not feel like dancing. There was also an area where children could play while parents socialized. When asked what his favorite part of the Sex and Candy Rave was, Rashaun Kuehl ‘20 says, “It’s a tie between the glow in the dark stuff and the chocolate fountain.”
Kirsten Lehman ’18 comments that the party was fun and informational with drinks, food, and cool posters. She also stated that female condoms are few and far between and that so far she has only seen them at Wilson.
In regards to whether the Allies hopes the Sex and Candy Rave will decrease the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding the LGBTQ+ community and STIs, President of Allies Aurora Ortiz ’18 states, “I definitely think so. Sure, there is somebody there to educate you, [but] I think it’s more of an opening to the conversation like ‘Hey, this can be fun,’ rather than have you sit in a classroom and get lectured on it.”
In response to the negative stigma concerning the LGBTQ+ community and sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STI/STD) and wanting to inform the campus about safe sex practices, the Allies invited representatives from Keystone Health services to provide information. Keystone Health community outreach representative Desiree Ortiz states that there has been an increased need for STI testing in Franklin County, which may or may not come from the lack of the community’s incentive to discuss sex openly and honestly, causing many people to go misinformed about sex and sexual orientations.
One thing that Desiree Ortiz wants people and students to remember is that awareness and preparedness is a personal responsibility. The fact of the matter is that STIs and STDs can happen to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or preference. It is one reason why the Allies work to bring awareness to the stigmas and bullying of LGBTQ+ individuals during the Day of Silence, as the lack of conversation allows these stigmas and false attributes about the community continue, despite research that proves otherwise.
The Sex and Candy Rave encourages a fun atmosphere for people to celebrate differences and uniqueness while providing information to keep people safe. It also allows individuals from all backgrounds and sexual orientations to interact and have fun while learning more about each other without fear or pressure and one way to learn and discover new things about topics that are normally censored due to prejudice.
For more information about the Allies, please contact Aurora Ortiz at email@example.com, visit the Allies Facebook page, or visit one of their club meetings held every other Thursday. For more information about Keystone Health and the free/low cost services they offer, please call 717-261-4913.