3rd annual UT Sex Week reaches out to transgender community

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The third annual “Sex Week” kicked off Monday at the University of Tennessee. UT is one of the first public colleges in the country to offer the program aimed at teaching students more about sexual education.

Organizers say they’re trying to include the LGBT community more this year.

Organizer Zack Plaster
Organizer Zack Plaster

Student volunteers started the day by handing out fliers on campus. Organizer Zack Plaster says this year is going smoother than in the past.

“Last year we were condemned, the year before that we had funding pulled, and this year it’s kind of been almost an eerie silence, but we decided to embrace it and just keep going and talk about Sex Week,” Plaster said.

Plaster admits it can be awkward passing out things like condoms, but he says it’s a way to start conversations with students.

“I think everyone realizes that they’re not as educated as they should and that willingness to learn kind of moves into the place where awkwardness was,” Plaster said.

He says they focus on three topics: health, empowerment and pleasure. They’re also focused on including the transgender community by sponsoring a legal issues workshop later this week.

Zack Plaster admits it can be awkward passing out things like condoms, but he says it's a way to start conversations with students.
Zack Plaster admits it can be awkward passing out things like condoms, but he says it’s a way to start conversations with students.

“I think it’s really important for people to be able to make educated decisions to know how to be safe and to know if they’re being discriminated against, what is in their legal power and what their rights are,” Plaster said.

“I think reaching out to them is great because I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it and I would like to and for them to put that out there I think is really cool,” student Kayla Ingle said.

Organizers say the budget for Sex Week 2015 was about $15,000.

More online: UT Sex Week events

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