Pride Week, drag show gives students chance to express themselves

by Zoe Seiler, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Simpson College Pride continued its tradition Tuesday of hosting an annual drag show, which featured four Simpson students performing along with three guest performers from Des Moines.

The performances allowed students to express themselves and try something new. It was also a way for students to express themselves in a way that may not be possible with social norms. This portion was judged by faculty and staff, and Tim Palese walked away the winner.

“Drag has historically always been a part of the LGBT community,” Pride President Cecilia Martinez said. “Drag has always been a space for individuals to express themselves and live as their authentic selves. We want to continue and honor that tradition here at Simpson.”

All proceeds will be donated to One Iowa, a nonprofit organization working for full equality for LGBT individuals in Iowa by educating the community and ensuring safety for LGBT youth.

Last week, Pride brought many issues to light on campus by hosting events every day to make the organization available and visible and educate the Simpson community.

“Pride Week is a celebration and it allows us to be more visible on campus. It lets people know that we do exist,” senior Emily Ortiz said.

It is easy for organizations to go unnoticed with many opportunities to get involved and with busy schedules. Pride Week aims to combat this and make time to connect with campus and be seen.

“I think it is always important to set aside specific time to focus on issues important to the LGBTQ+ community,” Martinez said. “It’s also important for the Simpson community to have an opportunity to interact with our organization.”

Members of Pride hosted several events last week, such as making pins of the identity flags, hanging informational posters and handing out Mish Mash donuts with information about the way the LGBT community is represented in the media. Students had to opportunity last Thursday to meet Simpson’s Caterina Pompadour and other drag queens.

Pride hosted a panel discussion last Tuesday about coming out, which allowed students to share their personal experiences. The panel provided a safe space for students to share their stories and hopefully inspire others.

Sophomore Bobbi Fogle, a panelist, said it is important for her to share her story to let others know they are not alone in their journey.

“Coming out is an important part of developing a queer identity, and there’s a lot of different aspects most people don’t think about,” Fogle said. “It’s almost empowering to be able to share your story. I enjoyed being able to talk about my experiences with fellow members of the community and allies.”

These stories can help others come out or learn how to be an ally.

“It was a good as an ally perspective because they talked about how to be a good, supportive ally,” senior Kay Fee said. I also thought it was helpful to go to kind of understand their life experiences and how being a part of today’s society is different for them, even though sexuality isn’t something that you can control.”

The panel also educated people about the LGBT community, since most don’t understand that community and about coming out.

“It’s important to remember that coming out is a process. It’s not something that just happens once,” Fogle said. “Members of the population have to not only come out to their parents, but to their extended family, workplaces, their landlords, etc.”