The campus has been awash in rainbow flair since Sunday night, when 300 students turned out for UCSB’s 3rd annual student-run drag show at I.V. Theater.
The event kicked off the Queer Student Union’s annual Queer Pride Week, which has offered educational workshops and social programs for queers, allies and the “queerious.” The 19th annual Queer Wedding – Pride Week’s symbolic finale — is slated to start hitching happy couples (or threesomes) in Storke Plaza at noon tomorrow.
Bayardo Ortiz, a fourth year dramatic art major played Host Diva at Sunday night’s festivities and introduced the nine featured acts, flaunting a dazzling new ensemble each time he took the stage.
“This is like the Academy Awards of the UCSB Queer Community,” Hassan Naveed, a fourth year political science and history major, said.
Sevasti Travlos, a second year global studies major and President of the Vagina Monologues, co-organized the event, which she said was a complete success and the perfect way to start off Pride Week.
All glitz aside, event organizers said the focus of the event was fostering open-mindedness within the local community and putting on a great show in the process.
“I hope that people had fun but also came away with a little more acceptance,” Travlos said. “It would be great if people enjoyed the performances with no biases and were able to appreciate the drag show for its entertainment value.”
The Queer Pride Week festivities continued with an opening ceremony on Monday that included a keynote speaker, a water balloon fight and a pie-eating contest. Open mic and coming out monologues hosted by the QSU took the stage at the MultiCultural Center Theater on Tuesday, and a Queer Bombing event exploded at the University Center Panda Express yesterday at noon.
Gloria Schindler, co-chair of the Associated Students Queer Commission, said queer bombing is designed to making queers visible on campus.
“Originally, queer bombing was a way to protest military recruiters on campus because of their anti-gay policies,” she said. “Now it means a bunch of gay people get together in one area to make themselves noticed. It has turned into a way to make the queer community visible.”
Queer Music Night is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight in the MCC and includes queer hip hop artists Last Offence and Julie Potter from Los Angeles. The concert is sponsored by the QSU, MCC, the Sociology Dept., the Feminist Studies Dept., the Chicano Studies Dept., as well as Professor Nikki Jones and Professor Mireille Miller-Young.
Friday night, a professional drag queen show, with four drag queens hailing from the 801 Cabaret in Florida, will grace Campbell Hall for a free show from 7 to 9 p.m.
Schindler said that the popularity of the week’s events demonstrate the progress made by the queer community on campus in recent years.
“Queers on campus weren’t organized and didn’t have much funding until about two years ago, when the student’s initiative was passed and the queer resource center emerged, and is now flourishing,” Schindler said. “More and more groups have formed based on sexual identities and racial identities for both social and political reasons.”