Ahmad Akkaoui/Courier - VP for Cultural Diversity Elena Pierce discusses an action item with the Associated Students Executive Board on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
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The Associated Students (AS) is planning to put on a drag show in April and with the help of the Queer Alliance (QA) club, the AS has discussed how to bring a fun and educational event to the PCC community.

Elena Pierce, AS vice president for cultural diversity, is in charge of planning the drag show and collaborating with QA for ideas and help.

“They’re asking the right questions,” said Megan Prough, QA president.

One of the things Pierce has discussed with Prough and the QA club members is how to appropriately put on a drag show to make sure it is an educational experience for students.

“I think it’s one thing to see RuPaul’s Drag Race and I think RuPaul’s Drag Race has done great things for the drag community and allowed people to see different aspects of it,” said Pierce. “But I think actually experiencing someone and seeing a person that’s genuine, that you can tell really love their art I think really gives some perspective.”

“We discussed how they felt the student community could be helped or reached out through the event,” Pierce added.

Pierce’s budget for the drag show is a little over $5,000, the majority of which will go to the drag queen who will be coming to the event. Originally, Pierce was looking to hire Miss Mayhem for the event, but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts.

“I was able to go through Say What Entertainment to get CoCo Montrese,” said Pierce. “She will be our drag queen.”

CoCo Montrese held the title of Miss Gay America 2010 and was in Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, a TV show where drag queens compete to win the title of America’s next drag superstar.

Pierce wanted to bring a professional so that they could help make students feel comfortable and help with the educational aspect of the drag show.

The rest of the money will go to scholarships or prize money for students that participate in the drag show.

Pierce and Prough were quick to emphasize that the drag show would not be an opportunity for students only looking to win the money and not interested in the learning experience.

“We don’t want someone that’s not really interested in being educated about it to be getting money for something that’s not about the education process,” said Pierce.

Prough added that the “judges will see right through that.”

Some of the ideas Pierce has to eliminate those who only want the money is to have judges who have judged the event before, such as assistant mathematics professor Jay Cho, or having students who want to participate fill out a form before the day of the event declaring what they plan to do.

Pierce is also debating whether to give out scholarship money to individuals or clubs so that they could start with a decent amount of funding next semester.

Prough wants everyone to feel comfortable participating in the drag show and if they have any questions to contact her or other QA members.

“So if you want to dress up in drag it’s fine,” Prough said. “You’re not going to insult somebody, but make sure it’s something you want to do or is something you think you can have fun with.”

Without a cultural diversity committee, which is against AS bylaws, Pierce has had her work cut out for her, but according to her, the support of other AS members and QA has really made the experience better.

“Having QA as a source to bounce back ideas has made me feel more comfortable because I have definitely been more exposed to the culture than I have ever been before,” Pierce said.

AS president Irving Morales has voiced his support for Pierce’s drag show and plans to make sure she has a committee to help her real soon.

“Yes, it is something I’m working out with Elena,” said Irving, who also mentioned that there were some viable candidates who were being considered by the AS.

Ultimately, Pierce and Prough hope students at PCC have fun with the experience.

“Hopefully [students] take away a little bit more knowledge and they have fun with it,” said Prough.

The drag show will be April 22 at 7 p.m. in Harbison Hall.

 

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