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UMMA's Latest Videos are the Queer Sex-Ed Series You've Been Waiting For

UMMA's Latest Videos are the Queer Sex-Ed Series You've Been Waiting For

A new six part video series from UMMA promises to take you on a queer journey through sex, sex education, identity, and love. 

The project, “The Sex Ed Class You Never Had,” is available now on the UMMA website and YouTube channel, but... it’s likely not what you have in mind.

“Traditional sex education prioritizes the mechanics of idealized heteronormative bodies and erases the role of intimacy in our relationships,” creative lead and script writer for the project Mari Longmire explained. This series centers around intimacy and emotional discoveries, emphasizing how these are the driving and queering forces of “an education based in experience.” Topics of the videos range from a queer re-telling of the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, to whiteboard recreations of high school principals awkwardly telling students about their sex lives. 

The Sex Ed Class You Never Had

Read more about this project and view the all the videos. 

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Along with Longmire, the creative team includes UMMA program manager Lisa Borgsdorf, curatorial fellow Sean Kramer, and program assistants Jacob Ward, Emily Considine, and David Forsee, who each played various roles in production. 

The project was first discussed as virtual programming to coincide with Kramer’s current exhibition at UMMA Oh, honey… A queer reading of UMMA’s collection. It was during a UMMA Student Engagement Council (SEC) meeting, where students were mentioning all the important topics left out of formal sex education, and how much of learning about sex ed from queer perspectives comes from lived experience -- so, the idea for the series blossomed and the project’s main goal was created: to be a program that surfaced the real sex education queer individuals might be looking for.

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When asked about creative inspirations for the visual style of the series, project animator Forsee explained, “I wanted to make work that didn't claim to have answers, that asked questions we don't usually like to ask, and that didn't pretend we don't like pretending.”

The title of the series is not intended to be literal (the videos do not offer actual sex education advice), rather it showcases creative interpetations of stories about high school, love, coming of age, friendship, the universe, and queerness. Forsee concluded,“I hope people take a fresh look at art and world around them with an eye for the nonsensical, the irreverent, and the indefinably queer.”

In celebration of “The Sex Ed Class You Never Had” being launched, UMMA has installed a bowl of condoms outside of the Oh, Honey... exhibiton. They are free for all attendants, so come grab a few, and practice safe sex! 

The sexpartite video series “The Sex Ed Class You Never Had” is now avaliable to view on the UMMA website and UMMA YouTube channel. The videos were produced in conjunction with the exhibition Oh, honey...A queer reading of UMMA's collection on view until February 2022 in the Irving Stenn, Jr. Family Gallery at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Explore the exhibition

Oh Honey... A queer reading of UMMA's collection.

View Exhibition

Lynn Davis
Ken Moody, New York City (Dancer #31)
selenium-toned gelatin silver print on paper
20 in. x 24 in. ( 50.8 cm x 60.96 cm )
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Agah, Class of 1989 (BBA)