UCSB Pride Week kicks off today with opening ceremonies held in Storke Plaza from noon to 2 p.m. and will culminate on Saturday, May 4 with the Isla Vista Pride Festival in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park.

Today’s ceremony will be followed by a critical discussion on LGBTQIA Relationships and Homonormativity called “Who Wears the Pants?” from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Women’s Center Conference Room and a student-run drag show beginning at 8 p.m. in the Hub. Tuesday will feature a meeting with the Queer Student Union in the UCen’s State Street Room at 7 p.m., while Wednesday’s events will include a shirt tie-dye with FUQIT on the Annex Lawn and the “Undocumented and Unafraid, Queer and Unashamed” event at the Arbor, both at noon.

In addition, the Pacific Pride Foundation will be hosting a Safer Sex Workshop at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the MultiCultural Center Lounge and the documentary “It Gets Messy in Here” will be screened at the McCune Conference Room at 7 p.m.

According to Gillogley, Thursday’s professionally run drag show at Campbell Hall from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. featuring William and Detox of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be a headlining event of Pride Week.

“To get William and Detox, we had to put a lot of money for them to come,” Gillogely said. “That’s our main event. It took two months of contracting and all this other business to get them here.”

Friday, there will be a Queer Wedding from noon to 2 p.m. at Storke Plaza, a Queer Alumni Panel at 4 p.m. in the MCC Lounge, a Kink Workshop from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Loma Pelona Center and a Pride/Magic Lantern film screening of “How to Survive a Plague” at 7 p.m. and “Any Day Now” at 10 p.m. for $4 at the I.V. Theater.

Pride Week will conclude with the Isla Vista Pride Festival, featuring HIR BOIs Drag Kings, the alternative dance-rock band We Are/She Is, free popcorn and cotton candy, a jump house, DJs and music and free HIV testing. According to Gillogley, Pride Week and its culminating festival serve as an emblem for LGBTQIA advocacy from campus to Isla Vista and beyond.

“We will have a bunch of free food for the festival … snow cone machines, popcorn, a dunk tank and free STD testing sponsored by Pacific Pride Foundation,” Gillogley said. “Having these events on campus encourages people to experience new things and learn from others what it means to identify in that community, and also be an ally.”

First-year electrical engineering major Raymond Tsang, who is performing in the student-run drag show, said Pride Week provides the community with open access to the LGBTQIA community as well as an opportunity to participate in fun, safe activities.

“I think it just opens up the campus more to diversity and gets people aware that, yes, there are gay people on campus, and transsexuals, and lesbians, and that it’s important to be aware of that,” Tsang said. “Personally, I was never too into the Pride thing, but it’s just fun to go and meet people.”



A version of this article appeared on page 3 of April 29th, 2013′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.