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United we stand

Candra Ummna

Sophomore Danielle Brown wasn’t ‘born’ a man, but on special occasions, she dresses like one—for example, at last Tuesday’s LGBT Celebration at the library plaza.

In honor of the official Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) month, a few organizations on the Georgia State campus have joined forces to create events in hopes of informing and entertaining the masses. Not only was the event a way to kick off LGBT month, it also gave students a sneak peak of what to expect at the Fall 2012 Drag Show. Brown, a psychology major, was a part of that sneak peak performance.

Candra Umunna | The Signal
When attending a Georgia State Drag Show, be prepared to be stunned and surprised as these Drag Queens and Kings perform, embrace and celebrate what makes them unique.

Performing as a drag king for the third time in a row, she’s grown to enjoy every minute of it. She says she receives mostly positive feedback, not only about her interest in performing as a drag king, but also for her same-sex preference.

“I have my friends, I have my people who support me, and that’s all that really matters. A lot of people come out to support and it’s a big crowd today,” Brown said of the crowd at last Tuesday’s event.

Brown said she’s accepted by the majority of the student body and commends the University’s only two major organizations dedicated to the LGBT community— Blackout and The Student Alliance—for their hard work. However, she said there is still room for improvement.

“I feel like they can do much more than what they’re doing, but… [these organizations] are very well-rounded,” Brown said.

While both organizations have essentially the same mission and are open for anyone to join, they differ slightly. Blackout is targeted towards black students in the community and The Student Alliance, the older of the two, is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary. Music Director of Campus Events’ Sha-Mara Reeves decided to reach out to the LGBT organization to create events like the LGBT celebration in the plaza.

After thinking of possible event ideas for Fall 2012, Reeves, a sophomore, found out that October is LGBT History month. This bit of information instantly gave her an idea.

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“I was like, ‘well, [the] LGBT community needs more shine, they need more people to know about them,” Reeves said. “ …[A lot] of people don’t understand the LGBT community.”

Reeves contacted Taylor Trimble, the president of Student Alliance, to come up with an event to jump-start the LGBT History Month, which eventually gave way to the LGBT Plaza event.

“We [the Student Alliance]…collaborate with several GSU departments and groups to put on some of the most diverse, entertaining and theatrical events at Georgia State, which includes the 2012 Drag Show,” Trimble said.

Besides entertaining students, Trimble said it’s also important to educate those who may not understand, or are afraid of the LGBTQ culture.

“I’m giving everybody a pretty entertaining show and [a] taste of the drag show,” said Trimble of Tuesday’s plaza event. “[But] most importantly…a look into queer history, which really isn’t taught inside mainstream schools and colleges.”