Drag, up close and understood

Free UWSA workshop on drag culture runs Feb. 8

On Feb. 8, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) LGBT* Centre is hosting a free drag queen workshop and informational session facilitated by local drag queen Cake. 

Steve Rogers, a coordinator at the LGBT* Centre, says that this is an opportunity to learn about what drag culture is like today, as well as drag history, make-up and music. The event will also include an open Q and A session. 

“Drag is a huge part of our community and you will see people in drag at most community events,” Rogers says. 

“Cake will be giving us a brief history of how drag emerged, what drag is like today, going over topics like etiquette, pronouns.” 

Rogers explains that workshops are rare in the drag community because participants perform outside their regular jobs and it is hard to find people willing to lead an informational workshop. Successful fundraising on behalf of the LBTQ* Centre and the participation of Cake helped make the event possible. 

This is the very first workshop that she will be facilitating, though Cake has performed as a drag queen for over two years. 

“Drag is one of the broadest forms of art. It can empower, educate, liberate, provide expression, entertainment, joy, and provoke. The meaning of drag is subjective, and personal to each individual,” Cake explains. 

She says that the drag queen culture often involves the gay community but that straight people do drag too. In fact, there is a long history of straight people performing as well, such as comedians Eddie Izzard and members of Kids in the Hall. 

As an active member of the local LGBT community in Winnipeg, Cake volunteers for a non-profit organization that fundraises for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, and queer communities (LGBTTQ*). 

“I am looking forward to sharing my personal experience in drag with everyone in the workshop,” Cake says. 

The LGBT* Centre is located on the concourse level of the Bulman Centre in room 0R13 and is an accessible and inclusive resource space for LGBT* people and allies, according to their website. 

It also offers free resources, including free condoms (external and internal), lubricant, dental dams and a library on LGBT* topics. The Centre also shares job postings and volunteer opportunities for its members. 

Rogers says that the centre aims to represent a diverse community who may or may not identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two spirit, intersex, GenderQueer, GenderDiverse, queer, questioning, asexual or allied. This variety of identities explains the asterisk in the LGBT* acronym. 

Cake’s Drag Queen workshop runs Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at The Hive in Lockhart Hall. Rogers encourages everyone to attend. 

“Invite your friends, we will all be hanging out at the end of the workshop and eating complimentary cake!”

Published in Volume 70, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 4, 2016)

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