Show brings 'the talk' to Taos

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 3/29/18

It often can be difficult to talk about issues, such as sexual assault, consent and healthy relationships, but one Taoseño is striving to change that …

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Show brings 'the talk' to Taos

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It often can be difficult to talk about issues, such as sexual assault, consent and healthy relationships, but one Taoseño is striving to change that with a new take on the tough topics.

After leaving Taos to play college hockey in Maine, Shane Diamond began his journey to starting the nonprofit Speak About It, which brings a theater approach to discussions and essential relationship topics for teens and adults alike.

For the first time, the show will stop through Taos and invite community members to share in the discussion of sexual consent and spread awareness of the various issues in the nation surrounding the topic.

"Everyone has a story," Diamond said. "We all want to share our stories about how to make this better and teach our young people how to have better relationships."

The discussion takes a theatrical approach to serious topics and includes jokes, banter and comedy to keep the audience's attention. According to Diamond, it is a "PG-13" show that focuses on sex and how to approach healthy communications and relationships.

Since 2010, Diamond has been heading Speak About It as the executive director and has taken the show to more than 100 schools and to thousands of students. Based on a need for the conversation, Diamond said his show is a different way to approach sex education than many people are used to.

"All the rhetoric around sex and health was 'you will have sex and die,'" Diamond said. "Get ready for jokes."

Following the recent surge of discussion on sexual consent, Diamond said every school and community can benefit from the lessons learned in the show. Even those well-versed in the topic can stand to learn a thing or two by attending.

"It's not just a person giving a lecture," Diamond said. "Our hope is that everyone can relate to some part of the show."

Returning to Taos is something that Diamond said was special him. He is glad to finally be bringing his show to his hometown. As a Taos High School graduate, Diamond is hoping to gather some students from his old stomping grounds and teach them a bit about the birds and the bees.

The show strives to include LGBTQ+ identities and stories in the performances and focuses on several different types of relationships and proper communication.

Based in Portland, Maine, Speak About It advocates for sexual consent and sexual assault prevention with high school and college students. The show has been showcased internationally to students and is traveling to New Mexico for the first time in its eight-year history.

Sponsored by the KTAOS Solar Center and the Taos Community Foundation, the show is free at 6 p.m. Monday (April 2) at the center. For more information on the event or Speak About It, visit speakaboutitonline.com.

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