The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

LGBT Week drags awareness out of the closet

Awareness marched on campus and it wore stilettos. Beginning Oct. 21 with political information and closing Oct. 25 with professional drag performers, LGBT Week made it clear that “closets are for clothes.”
Code Red Entertainment began LGBT Week with A-frames around the quad containing facts about LGBT history before diving into movie nights, pixie sticks and pride parades.
“We really hope that students, even though they were just passing by, read the A-frames and they got to see and read information that they didn’t know [about] the LGBT community,” Jose Legaspi Ledezma, coordinator of LGBT Week, said.
Though the campus finale was the Pride Parade themed “Closets are for Clothes,” the crescendo for the week was the drag show that took place on Friday night performed by Dan Gore’s Carnival Cabaret.
“There’s a lot of gender roles in general that we just surpass and we don’t really analyze,” Lagaspi Ledezma said.
“Through drag, which is an art, we get to see that those roles get bent. You get to see a guy or a man or a transgender person transform themselves through makeup and outfits and put on a show.”
And what a show it was.
“Tonight we decided to surprise everybody,” emcee James “Gypsy” Haake said, opening the show with a white tube dress, four-inch heels and by calling out every man in the crowd. “The biggest surprise is that at 81 I’m still above ground.”
When Gypsy was not on the catwalk showing the crowd that “fabulous” is not just for females, an impersonator of Lady Gaga and Cher gave a powerful performance that had the crowd clapping and screaming.
After dancing in platform heels with impressive ease, Gypsy met Cher on the stage, introducing him as Andrew Raymer. If the audience had been impressed by the makeup and countenance of the performances before, it was nothing to the discovery that both characters had been performed by one man who had done his own hair and makeup between sets.
“Most of the shows we do are for straight audiences – for heterosexual audiences – so they come to see something of the unknown, which is men dressing up as women,” producer Dan Gore said, explaining that he likes to have the men close the show by dressing in male clothing.
“Then this heterosexual audience or prejudiced audience gets to see that these guys are just like your brothers, just like your sons, just like your uncles. There’s nothing freaky about them. They’re still men, and that’s what is important to me as a producer.”
Gore, Haake and Raymer were completely open after the show, inviting and answering all questions ranging from how their career started to if Raymer’s boobs were real.
After a hilarious performance celebrating self-expression, audience members lined up to take pictures with the cast and thanked them for attending.
“It’s awareness for students who don’t know,” Lagaspi Ledezma said, “but it’s also a celebration for those who enjoy it and just love to have a good old time watching a great performance from drag.”

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LGBT Week drags awareness out of the closet