By Kelsey Jacobson
After three years of not having a Drag Show at Bemidji State University, the Phoenix Club, BSU’s gay-straight alliance on campus, has decided to bring back drag in an attempt to challenge students and the community. The goal is also to break down the stereotypes of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Community, while opening the discussion towards what it means to represent a different gender or identity.
The last drag show on campus that was presented by the Phoenix was in spring of 2013, which included performances by BSU students and three to four drag queen and kings. This year, the club was able to get the drag show up and running because of additional funding through SAFAC (Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee). With the end of the semester coming up, the Phoenix has decided to bring back their biggest event in hopes that it will increase awareness in Bemidji—where the LGBT community is not very well-known or talked about.
Three years ago, Vinesh Nair Mohan, a former member of Phoenix, put a drag show together for students and the community of Bemidji. In Mohan’s country, there are zero LGBT rights. Thus, he decided to make it a tradition at BSU to hold a drag show to raise funds towards the Trevor Project, which was started in 1998 as an anti-bulling campaign to show support towards the LGBT community, offering a hotline for individuals who are suicidal or who lack support.
“It doesn’t get celebrated here,” said Hallie Olsen, Vice President of Phoenix, when asked about why the Phoenix has decided to bring the drag show back to BSU.
President of Phoenix, Zach Hanson believes this event is “something different and exciting at BSU.” While Olsen sees this event as a way to accept other people for who they are. “It will open people’s eyes,” she said.
For those unaware of what The Phoenix does, they are a social group on campus, creating a safe environment for students to be themselves. They accept anyone who is willing to promote healthy human sexuality in the LGBT community. “We are on campus, we are doing things,” said Hanson.
The event will take place in the Beaux Arts Ballroom on Wednesday April 28th at 8pm, doors open at 7:30. The event is free with a student ID, but don’t forget to bring tips for a night of fun and entertainment.