QTPOC ball brings community together
- Post Authorby News director
- Post DateFri Dec 16 2022
By: Lexi Spevacek
UW Madison student organization QTPOC held a Drag and Vogue Night for students. WSUM News Reporter Lexi Spevacek attended the event and spoke to QTPOC's president, Abdullah, about the importance of the event.
LS: Friday December 9, UW Madison's Queer and Trans People of Color, or QTPOC, held their Vogue and Drag Night at the Sett in Union South.
LS: The event began with vogue and drag performances from Lola Lue, Baylee I.J. Diamond, and UW Student Wynter Da Bratt. Two ballroom houses, House of Mizrahi and House of Alain Mikli, came from Milwaukee and put on performances that wowed the audience.
LS: Beyond a celebration of queer and trans culture, education was an overarching theme of the night. In introducing the event, QTPOC president Abdullah gave a brief history and overview of the differences between drag and vogue, and reminded the audience why it was important to show up for these events
Abdullah: And I think at times like these– It's times like these where we're supposed to speak up. It's times like these where we're supposed to go to these spaces that are centered around drag, that are centered around vogue, that are centered around nonbinary and trans people of color, and we need to come out and support these people. So I think it's really important and it's really beautiful and I'm so thankful for all of y'all for coming out today.
LS: During an intermission, Host Tee Tee Mizrahi gave an overview of how HIV has affected their community, as well as how ballroom events have helped give out free tests and raised money.
LS: During the ballroom section of the night, audience members were encouraged to participate and walk down the runway. Mizrahi wanted people to educate themselves, rather than appropriate.
Mizrahi: Alright next two let's go!
(Music, audience cheers)
LS: Abdullah what this community means to him.
Abdullah: Growing up as a brown, Muslim queer kid I never had anyone to connect with, I never had any friends, and I don't really like have a family because it's hard to communicate with your biological parents and stuff as a brown queer kid. And so having this community where I can interact with people that share my background and understand what it means to be queer and brown, what it means to be queer and black, what it means to be Asian and queer, and growing up as Muslim and queer and things like that. Having that similar understanding, I just feel like I have a family bond.
LS: And why it matters to the rest of Madison.
Abdullah: And people do resonate with this community. They do resonate with voguing, they do resonate with POC drag queens and they have come out and they're still coming out, and so I think it's extremely important to have this in this community. Especially in Madison where it's predominantly white. So it's extremely important for the wellbeing and the mental health of these queer POC students on campus to have this space and I just hope that it continues.
LS: Thank you to Sarah Kirsch for helping with this story, and for WSUM News I'm Lexi Spevacek