Cover for the board game, “Dungeons and Dragons.” In the LGBTQ* Center, the Tabletop Club and LGBTQ* Services hosted a lively session of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) on Oct. 15. PUBLIC DOMAIN

A plan to assassinate a greedy baron. One failed attempt to get them to drink the wine, a wine that is notably “to die for” and a toast that finally gets the poison into the villain’s system. It wouldn’t take much to imagine all of this happening and during a session of Dungeons and Dragons, it came to life. In the newly established LGBTQ* Center, the Tabletop Club and LGBTQ* Services hosted a lively session of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) on Oct. 15 to help students have some fun on the last day of Fall Break.

Although fun and relaxation were the main goals, they wanted to give students a chance to indulge in identities, something many LGBTQ* students struggle with. Dungeons & Dragons, as a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG), allows players to dictate their actions. This freedom leads to vivid storytelling that makes games like D&D a cultural staple. 

So, what brought the Tabletop Club and LGBTQ* Services together?

Rachel Meng, a junior majoring in business management and a concentration in finance, is vice president of the Tabletop Club. She found the Ga(y)me Day event to be a place where students struggling with their identity can immerse themselves in a world where there are no limits to who you can be.

“For many of our club members and experienced participants in the event, TTRPGs, D&D, in particular, have been a refuge for them to explore their own identities without any judgment by ‘being’ a character,” Meng said.

Identity is one of the biggest pillars of surviving as LGBTQ* youth, and there is a need for spaces to explore who you are and who you don’t want to be. In a world where everything is binary and youths are forced to make impactful decisions, spaces like the LGBTQ* Center give students a chance to learn who they are on levels they weren’t previously privy to. 

The LGBTQ* Center was established in 2018 to provide a space of refuge and fun for those within the LGBTQ* community. According to their website, the center helps people with “finding community, developing their understanding of LGBTQ* issues, and seeking support or advocacy for their needs.”

Alex Penney, a Graduate Coordinator at LGBTQ* Services, praises the center’s ability to impact the LGBTQ* community at Stony Brook. “Having this space gives us more flexibility in holding events and programs of different varieties.”

Most clubs and organizations are careful to only hold events during times when school is in session, avoiding long weekends and breaks. However, LGBTQ* Services saw it was important to make sure this event was held during Fall Break; not all students make it home for break, sometimes for reasons out of their control.

Penney understands this, noting that “this is especially tough for individuals in the LGBTQ* community, where home may not be a space of comfort.” Rather than the break being a fun time to relax, it’s just a reminder of the hardships one may face for living their truth. Events like Ga(y)me Day can change that.

While the event has many objectives, Meng finds that the Tabletop Club’s most important goal “was for every participant to have fun.” With new events happening often, there are always chances for students of the Stony Brook community to have fun.

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