By Katie Knowlton
Katie Flanagan stood in the SAC plaza last Wednesday barking like a carnie. She made promises of free food and asked of passersby to “step right up and test [their] gaydar.” She vowed “shocking revelations” and that the audience could ask any question they wanted.
Katie was imploring people to come to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance’s (LGBTA) annual Guess the Straight Person Panel.
This year’s event, held in SAC Ballroom B, managed to get a sizeable crowd, filling most of the seats in the ballroom with individuals attracted by free pizza or curiosity as to who was straight and who was queer.
Guess the Straight Person takes six to seven individuals, male and female, straight and queer, and puts them in front of the audience to answer questions. These questions, asked by audience members, are used to deduce who on the panel is straight and who is queer. And any questions were allowed; as long as they did not reveal what gender the people on the panel were attracted to.
All the people on the two panels were funny and willing to answer any and all questions that were asked of them.
When asked what fetish they would like to try on their partner, one panelist, Mike Oldrey, a senior, tried to think of something weird and creepy just to say it. He came up with Pyro-necro beastiality, which earned quite a few laughs and groans from the audience.
Another panelist, sophomore Catie Southard, when asked if she could take it (she could) and where she would take it, replied, “To Funkytown.” All the other panelists echoed her statement, deciding they would all take it to Funkytown.
After questions were asked, the audience was allowed to vote on who they thought was straight by a show of hands, and they were fairly accurate in their predictions.
When asked why they thought one of the panelists, Kyle Manley, a sophomore, was queer, one audience member responded with, “He’s too funny to be straight.”
However, the audience was thrown by a couple of the panelists. One, James DiMeglio, a junior, was thought to be straight because, as one audience member put it, “he is hairy.” Mike Oldrey was thought to be straight as well because he had a beard and was wearing an I-Con t-shirt.
After the two panels were over, Hazel Wodehouse, one of the co-presidents of the LGBTA, spoke about how the panel was supposed to show that relying on stereotypes to identify the sexual orientation of someone was not always accurate.
“We do this to fight stereotypes,” she said. “You can’t always tell who a person is by how they look or act.
Despite the fact that relying on stereotypes helped the audience correctly identify the majority of the panelists, the sentiment still resonated with people.