Recently students at Utah State University celebrated diversity with a Rainbow Ball. With a drag show as the main event, the celebration supported the LGBT community on campus. The Access and Diversity Center uses events like this to create connection and acceptance between peers.
“Rainbow Ball is this big dance, gala themed event that we are putting on," said Macy Keith, program coordinator for the Access and Diversity Center at USU. "Where people can dress up however they feel comfortable - ball gowns, tuxedos, jeans and t-shirts - whatever you want to do. So we are going to have karaoke, drag competition, light refreshments, a DJ and music and it will be a really great time.”
For Keith, the event is much more than the glamor described above, she believes that the event can create a positive and safe environment.
“Rainbow Ball and events like it are very important for our LGBT individuals," Keith said. "As well as our allies that are out there. Because it provides a really great space for those who come to dress up as they feel they can express themselves. Everyone can get together of having a really great time with just socializing with like minded individuals. And feeling that support and love in a room that they may not get elsewhere on campus and in the community.”
Marcos Garcia was one of the participants in the drag show, a performance of individuals dressing up in a different gender than they usually identify with. Garcia believes that drag, as an expression, is all about connecting with the audience and having fun.
“The recent drag kind of takes pop culture and it makes light of a lot of things," Garcia said. "It blurs the lines. It’s really to just have fun so if you take yourself seriously while you’re doing drag, you're doing it wrong.”
Antonio Jacome was one of the organizers of the event and appreciates how events like this can create a connection within a community.
“I want people outside of the LGBT community to know, to be aware of who we are, what we do," Jacome said. "This is just a party to let loose and don’t view the LGBT community in one way. Don’t view people who may not conform to particular genders in one way, because you wouldn’t want someone to do that with yourself. We all have preconceived notions about things. If you can give an open space where the community can come together and they can just view gay culture, LGBT culture and I think it will be very helpful for them.”