Published Jan. 10, 2013
By Eleanor Cummins Tri-City Herald staff writer
When the drag queens finally arrived on stage, 20 minutes after the scheduled start time, the crowd erupted in laughter and cheers.
Many of the students didn’t know what to expect at the event, which had been widely publicized on campus as a “Don’t Be a Drag -- Just Be a Queen” event.
Some students went for extra credit for a class, others went for free entertainment and popcorn.
Morales and her divas perform in costume, lip synching songs by Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, at events all throughout the region.
The Associated Students of Columbia Basin College brought the group to campus. The group is funded by a services and activities fee paid by each student each quarter.
The event was organized by ASCBC’s current president, Ruben Zecena, 19, of Pasco, with the belief that a “good educational environment” is due, in part, to “people being free to be who they want to be.”
Initially, Zecena was met with some resistance. Several students were offended by the event when it was in the planning stages and voiced their concerns to the ASCBC leadership.
However, Zecena said events like these are in ASCBC’s job description. “We serve the whole student body,” including lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual (LGBT) students, he said.
While the mood at the event was, in the words of Olivia Davies, 17, of Pasco, “mellow and positive,” there were some derisive comments and laughter from the crowd.
Kasey Markland, 20, of Finley, said the show reflected “society’s obsession with sexuality” and that the audience was there “for the novelty.”
Many students said they had never attended a drag queen show or participated in a gay pride event before.
In the end, the event was a success, Zecena said. The drag show had “the highest student turnout” for the school year so far.
“Everyone was having a great time,” he said. “Some looked uncomfortable” at first, but “by the end everyone was cheering.”
He hopes to further the momentum by founding a Gay-Straight Alliance at CBC this spring.
“We really brought the (LGBT) community to campus,” Zecena said.
Published with permission of the Tri-City Herald. Additional news stories can be accessed online at the Tri-City Herald.
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