This week, April 4-7, is Pride Week on Drake University’s campus. This is a week filled with gay pride related activities, such as a Drag Show and a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” For some, this is a week to embrace their sexual orientation, but for others, it is to show their support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community through the awareness events.
“Pride week is about raising LGBT awareness on campus and allowing those individuals, who are a part of the LGBT community, to express themselves in a more accepting environment,” said first-year advertising student Kayli Mernka.
There are four main events being held by the student organization Rainbow Union. Each event is aimed at raising LGBT awareness and a chance to get all of campus, regardless of their sexuality, involved with the gay community.
The EXPOSED! Faculty Roundtable on Monday will be an opportunity for students to ask faculty members, including Joan McAlister and Sentwali Bakari, questions about queers in the media, sexuality, stereotyping or to just listen to their discussion about the community. This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about how gays are portrayed in the media and community as well as to ask the faculty and fellow students gay-related questions.
Guest speaker Shane Windemeyer will be giving his “Time Is Now” speech on Tuesday. This is focused on how “time is working in the favor of the LGBT community.” He will be discussing the campus issues that members of this community may face, the different campus advocacy strategies to be conducted and the changes that are occurring throughout the country for the members of the gay community.
“The importance of these events are that they allow the gay community to come out and enjoy life with little discrimination,” said sophomore Kylie Cin. “It gives them the freedom to be themselves and be with other people that have the same lifestyle as them.”
One form of expression is a Drag Show. Drag Show’s are typically seen as a transgender or gay man act, however, that is not always the case. There are performers who are straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, sexually confused and so on that perform. This year, there will be performers, professionals and a few surprise queens who will be strutting their stuff down Pomerantz Stage Wednesday night. It is a free event, but donations are highly recommended!
Another form of expression is the midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” This event will include pretzels, popcorn and pop. It is also highly encouraged that audience members dress-up, in very crazy and unique outfits or lingerie. For those “RHPS virgins,” this movie is very out there with its humor and catchy songs, and has audience involved moments throughout the film.
“During this week, I am able to see my friends that are a part of the gay community go out and have fun without fear,” said Cin. “It gives them hope that the future is going to be filled with acceptance and love compared to the current life they endure now in some parts of the country which are not so accepting.”
Monday, 6-8 p.m., Medbury Lounge
“Time Is Now”
Tuesday, 8-9 p.m., Bulldog Theater
Wednesday, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., Pomerantz Stage
Midnight Showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
Friday, 12-3 a.m., Bulldog Theater