PRIDE sponsors annual drag show

Funds raised that night, Feb. 26, go to cancer research

Alissa Woockman, Staff Writer

Remember those days dressing  up your little brother as a girl? You probably got in trouble.

Soon you will get the opportunity to see some professionals and even some of your classmates dress as a different gender. Not just for your entertainment, but for a good cause with no risk of punishment.

PRIDE is emphasizing its mission to educate and provide a social network for LGBT students and allies involving sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Feb. 26, the group will host its third annual drag show to raise money for cancer research.

“We have five professional performers appearing on stage this year, along with other student performers as well,” Karen Granberg, co-advisor for PRIDE, said.

The group has been attending the Midwest GLBT Ally Collegiate conference for a number of years. There was a drag show at the conference one year and the students thought the idea of one at Wayne State would be fun. The first large-scale show was held during the spring semester of 2012.

“We were prepared for maybe 50 to 100 people and we ended up crowding out the Frey Conference Suite,” Granberg said.

A lot of professionals from around the area come and perform to raise money for different cancer organizations.

This event has also opened the floor for student performers to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Bringing students out of their comfort zones and stereotypes can really help people to open up.

“Our hope is that by looking at our binary gender system stereotypes on stage, students can recognize that many of us fall into that category,” Granberg said.

One of the aspects is social and professional networking. Awareness helps build bridges and make friendships. It also helps make the campus friendlier.

PRIDE offers many events on campus to help in its fight for equality.

Every homecoming, PRIDE hosts an educational discussion with psychiatrist Ron Holt, a WSC graduate. He discusses, as a sexual orientation minority, the biological and social aspects of being different in our culture.

“Hopefully, this event will bring some shock and awe on campus so people can see something different. By getting people talking, we are also raising awareness,” Kelsie Waldon, PRIDE member, said.

The organization expects to see additional changes to the college in the future by creating safe, friendly spaces for the gender, non-conforming students such as non-gender restrooms and housing.

“Being in PRIDE I’ve gotten to know more people that have different backgrounds but similar life milestones that I’ve had,” Waldon said.

Being able to share my story with other people so they can learn as well. Experience your chance to see a great show for a great cause. You may find out that those days of dressing up your little brother may come in handy.