Alliance hosts Rainbow Rave

Kaleigh Dunn, Student Writer

The Alliance will host the annual all-day LGBT Conference and Rainbow Rave Nov. 16 to develop an understanding of the many gender identities associated with the LGBT community.

 

Later that night, they will celebrate the many identities with a drag show.

 

Students can attend many discussion sessions that will educate attendees on the LGBT community and train allies of the community.

 

“The general purpose is awareness for each of the different letters in the LGBT and the many other letters in the community,” Anna Rinaldo, public relations associate for the Alliance, said.

 

One of the sessions titled “Breaking the Binary” will discuss the fluidity of identity and show importance of such understanding.

 

“Not everyone fits into the genders of man and woman. Some people may feel more masculine and identify as a male, and then perhaps the next month they will feel different,” Rinaldo said. “It’s to say that you don’t have to fit into this binary, and it’s OK if you don’t.”

 

Deidre Dalsing, director of Counseling Services, will be heading safe zone training, which will teach attendees how to be an ally.

 

“This gives people the education and awareness to make your place of work, or for me, my dorm room, so that if a person has an issue and needs somewhere to go or someone to talk to, they can come to me,” Rinaldo said. “Also, they would know just by walking into my room that this is a safe zone and that I know how to deal with these sensitive issues.”

 

JAC Stringer, a “charming hurricane of glitter and big ideas” according to his website, is the keynote speaker this year who will lead a session called “Bending Desire.”

 

JAC identifies as “gender queer,” which Rinaldo said will “bring something new as compared to last year.”

 

The discussions on multiple identities and associations are also to help those with questions about their own identities and to obtain a sense of self-awareness.

“It’s also to educate those who are confused,” Rinaldo said. “It’s for those who didn’t know you could identify multiple ways, or are confused by transsexuals, or some people don’t even believe bisexuality is a thing. We’re focusing on awareness, education and support for groups of the LGBT community because there is a lot of bullying due to a lack of these. The big takeaway this year is that knowledge of the community is power.”

 

There will also be a discussion session on dressing in drag, where makeup, dress and showmanship will be discussed with speaker Kira Vitale, who is also the head drag queen for the Rainbow Rave.

 

While the conference is meant to be more serious and educational, the rave is a celebration of the many identities and differences.

 

“They want to have the rejoice,” drag queen Jazz Musique said.

 

Besides the high heels, Jazz Musique said that playing the character is one of the best parts of dressing in drag.

 

“I like that I don’t have to be myself; I can be whoever I want to be,” Jazz Musique said. “It’s a glorified version of the self. It’s cool to be able to say that you can dress as someone else for the night and no one would know that it’s you.”

Audience involvement is also one of Jazz Musique’s favorite parts of drag shows.

 

“I love it so much when queens get into the audience and make eye contact with people or touch audience members,” Jazz Musique said. “I’m really attracted to the motherly side of drag, and that’s what inspires me to dress up in drag.”

 

Drag shows also have a higher, symbolic meaning to Jazz Musique that speaks to not only the LGBT community but everybody else, as well.

“RuPual said it best,” Jazz Musique said. “You’re born naked and the rest is drag.”