[Wildcat Online: News] [ad info]





Natural Woman


Sarah Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Celine Dion provided the inspiration for Kenneth Blake as he performed yesterday on the UA Mall to kick off National Coming Out Week. The concert is one of several diverse events the BGALA is providing to raise on-campus awareness throughout the week.

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 13, 1999

"Work - shake it to the left!"

"Work - shake it to the right!"

It may not be RuPaul, but Bunny Fu-Fu and Kenneth Blake definitely shook the University of Arizona campus yesterday.

Men dressed in feathers, stiletto heels and glitter spiced up the Old Main fountain area in the ninth annual Bisexual Gay and Lesbian Association drag show.

Bunny Fu-Fu performed in the Associated Students-sponsored show for the second straight year.

"Besides the heat, it's a lot of fun," Fu-Fu said. "We try to put on a good show."

Kenneth Blake, Ms. Gay Tucson of 1997 and Ms. Gay Arizona of 1998-99, also performed for the third straight year in the University of Arizona show.

He has been a performing drag queen for the last 11 years.

"I love what I do, or I wouldn't do it," he said.

Blake said he tries to keep the same enthusiasm whenever he performs.

"I have a policy, whether it be five or 500 (people), I give the same show," he added. Yesterday's show gathered about 100 onlookers.

Zach Downing, a theater junior, is the co-director of UA's BGALA. He has been involved in the organization for the past three years.

"I think it's (the drag show) a great way to bring the community together," Downing said. "This year we wanted to make it a little more well-rounded."

Downing said the week's main attraction last year was the drag show, but this year BGALA has organized more serious attractions. The new events include a Day of Silence and a poetry reading in the Cellar today.

Kira Mauro, first year graduate student and BGALA speaker panel coordinator, has been involved with the organization for the past five years.

"Every year we get a big pull from the drag show," Mauro said.

Mauro said the drag show and the rainbow closet door - to symbolize "coming out" - placed on the Mall always occur during National Coming Out Week.

As a symbolic gesture, students electing to "come out" can walk through the door.

Overall, Mauro said the university is accepting of the week's events.

"The most threatening thing we've had is frat boys running through the door on a dare," she added.

During the drag show, BGALA provided other homosexual-supportive organizations the chance to address the campus.

Nick Ray, one of the directors of Wingspan - the Tucson Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center - took advantage of the opportunity.

Ray said the center has legal advice, youth programs, free anonymous HIV testing and a lending library.

"We have books about issues in 'coming out' and books to give to your parents," Ray added.

Many students took a moment out of their day to watch the show.

Mari Zang, an astronomy and physics freshman, said the drag show was interesting.

"It was weird to see men dressed as women dancing in front of Old Main," she said. "(The show) is really interesting. It's like 'welcome to college.'"

Amanda Hensal, a business freshman said she was shocked watching the show.

"Wow, it's interesting," she said. "I come from a really small town, and I've never seen anything like this. It's completely socially unacceptable where I come from."

Daniel Long, an anthropology senior thought the show was great.

"I think it's fun, but it doesn't necessarily represent the whole gay community. I think the rest of the week's events will better portray it," Long said. "I wish they were on the other side (of Old Main) dancing with the gospel singers."

[end content]
[ad info]