`Manly Tales' bring sexuality out of closet for students

by Hilary Thomson
Staff writer

When they weren't hooting and howling, almost 300 Totem Park residents sat in hushed concentration as they listened to sketches about love, sex and stereotypes in a recent presentation called My Dick and Other Manly Tales.

Brought to campus by Residence Life administrators, the Alma Mater Society, the Women Students' Office and the Equity Office, the show aimed to address issues around homophobia.

"We are always interested in inviting speakers to campus that take a different approach to covering the important issues of sexual health and tolerance," says Totem Park Residence Life Manager Chad Hyson.

"Norman's show attracts students who might not normally attend a presentation covering these issues and hopefully they take away the message that he is delivering."

A six-foot talking penis, a comic sex educator and a tearful father who had rejected his gay son are some of the 14 characters in the one-man show performed by Norman Nawrocki, an educational comedian.

"The show works because it speaks to students' issues," says Nawrocki, who has given 20 performances of My Dick at campuses across Canada this year. "Because a lot of the show is parody, it breaks the ice and gets people thinking and talking about homophobia and sexual behaviour."

The show was created after audience members suggested he cut out a male bisexual character he had created for his show about violence against women.

"The whole point is to reach the un-reachables. You won't reach those people if you say `come see a show about homophobia.' But they will come to a show called My Dick," says Nawrocki.