“The Future is Queer” was the theme of this year’s Pride Week, hosted by the UCSB A.S. Trans and Queer Commission (TQC.) The week spanning April 10-15 culminated in a fabulous Drag Show in Campbell Hall. The crowd was roaring from start to finish, with the audience of almost 500 students, alumni, staff and community members in attendance. The energy was electric, with LGBTQIA+ flags waving in the air and audience members jumping up in excitement. The show was stacked with fierce, talented and energetic drag queens, including UCSB alumni and host of the show, Coco D. Baucherry, also known as Brian Ochoa. Baucherry opened the show with a high energy performance — head to toe in glitz and glam — to Little Mix’s “Move.” She kept the energy sky-high as she introduced the next queens, all part of Queens of the Castro, an organization devoted to doing drag performances at different California schools and offering scholarships and empowerment for young LGBTQIA+ teens. SNJV, God’s Little Princess, and Lotus each performed, garnering excitement from the crowd and each and every queen was met with wild enthusiasm.

Sally Shapiro / Daily Nexus

The main event of the night was an appearance from “Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars’” season four winner, Monet X Change. Her fabulous entrance began with a video montage, showcasing her star moments from “Rupaul’s Drag Race” season 10. Eventually, she came out in a regal draped dress, later revealing a dazzling, sparkly mini dress underneath. She lip synced with intense emotion to the glee version of “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” The crowd was booming during her performance, and it only got louder after she took the mic and performed some stand up material. 

Change talked candidly and hilariously about “taboo” topics such as drugs, Grindr, white people and more. Laughs were heard throughout the hall as Change flexed her wit and charm while interacting with the audience. She then transitioned into her last performance of the night, entailing another outfit change into an ocean blue sequined gown reminiscent of a mermaid, perfectly complementing a remix including “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid.”  

When talking with Baucherry after the show, she expressed her love and admiration for the queer community at UCSB.“It’s been a great time coming back as a UCSB alumni, being able to feel the same energy and love is intoxicating and beautiful.” She explained that being a part of the queer community is special because it connects people so strongly, “If I’m meeting you for the first time, I feel like we’re family already,” she said.

TQC member and first-year biopsych major Allen Ai echoed these messages and emphasized the importance of drag. He said, “Back in the 50s, it was Drag that gave the whole LGBTQ movement power.” He went on to express his appreciation for the event and left with the ultimate goal of Pride Week, “It’s important to gather queer, trans, and straight allies in a single space to let them know they aren’t alone. There are queer people out there, there’s a community here,” he said. 

To become involved with the TQC and their events you can follow along their Instagram @ucsbtqc and check their linktree for links to their website.