Beauty and brawn blur at Gender Bender
SAMRU Pride Week hosts event celebrating sex and gender diversity
Bustiers, boas, beers and buzzing give-a-ways were all featured at MRU’s Pride Week star event, the Gender Bender. On Oct. 16, The Hub was packed with people from every sexual orientation downing drinks, watching performers and celebrating diversity.
“For someone who has no idea what it’s about, or maybe has a sense of apprehension towards going to events like this, you just don’t know how amazing it is until you’re here,” says Pride Centre Coordinator, Melanie Carroll.
Both students and pros took the stage for drag, burlesque, juggling and more. Students shined with performances by Stephanie Kindrat & Bobbie Keding, guitar and singing; Spirit River Striped Wolf, juggling; and Violet Envy, burlesque.
“I love the party aspect of it and seeing people perform in ways both in and outside of the school,” says Andrew Knaut, second-year child care student at MRU. “Pride Week is a time that we can all get together and enjoy our individuality, but also share our community in our gender and sexuality.”
The drag queens stole the spotlight featuring acts from the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch (ISCCA). If anyone could pull off a mesh net dress and sparkly green lipstick, it was them. The stars included: Misty Meadows, Felicia Bonné, Frigid Air and Smother Theresa. MRU student, Alex Gysen, also known as Alexandra Le Straight, held their own with their hilarious and raunchy drag/comedy show.
Eva Angel, from The Garter Girls and Fake Mustache, also put on a seductive show during their burlesque performance featuring tassels and high energy moves.
The night wouldn’t have been the same without the delightful and slightly cheeky — in more ways than one — master of ceremonies and performer drag empress, D Frost.
Part of the great success of the event is that it creates more opportunities for open dialogue about love, sex and sexual preferences.
“To see people in switched or drag clothing creates an open and curious conversation piece for people. It was a fun crashing of worlds,” says Zoe Slusar, VP of Student Life at SAMRU.
“Gender Bender is our key event, and Pride week is an opportunity for the Pride Centre to showcase what we do all year round, but pride means supporting and celebrating all forms of sexuality and helping people find themselves all year round,” says Carroll.
The Pride Centre is a space for anyone and everyone.
“Whether you are wondering about your own sexuality or just wanting to be more comfortable in talking about sexuality in general, the Pride Centre is a very neutral place, like a safe zone, to meet people and chat,” says Slusar.
Knaut says overall, from his experiences, MRU is a diverse and accepting space.
“Acceptance here is pretty high. I personally do my makeup in the male change room, and I haven’t had any negative lash back. I feel safe in this school and free to express who I am on any day, no matter what day it is, whether it’s Pride Week or not. I also feel the people here are willing to learn about alternative lifestyles.”
To learn more about the Pride Centre, call 403-440-5604 or visit the centre on the second floor of Wyckham House.