Photo by Mariah Wilson

Queers on Campus gear up for annual Gender Bender

By Ashar Memon, March 22 2018 —

Gender Bender, an annual event complete with a drag show and raffle prizes hosted by the student club Queers on Campus, will return to Dickens Pub on March 31.

Queers on Campus co-chair Priya Lalwani said while the event’s main attraction is the drag show, it’s also a chance for people to “mingle, date and meet new people.”

“For me, it’s like a big social gathering — like a party, cause we’re having it in a bar — and it’s just for people to enjoy, watch the show and party,” Lalwani said.

Gender Bender was previously held at The Den before a fee-hike by the Students’ Union forced the club to move the event off campus. Despite the change in location, last year’s Gender Bender drew over 200 people last year, making it the club’s most popular event, according to Lalwani.

“During Clubs Week, when we had our table set up, a lot of people would come in just asking when’s Gender Bender,” she said. “Even if they’re not queer at all and are not affiliated with the community, they love Gender Bender because drag shows are awesome.”

Lalwani added that the drag show isn’t limited to gender binaries and that anyone can perform regardless of identity. She said that beyond entertainment, the show aims to challenge traditional ways of thinking about gender.

“It’s making fun of stereotypes that are associated with gender — like girls should have long hair, look pretty, meet up to societal standards of what a woman should look like — it’s making fun of that specifically,” she said.

Lalwani said the club, wanting a fairytale-esque atmosphere, chose ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as this year’s theme. However, Lalwani noted the theme is optional.

“I never follow the theme personally,” she said. “Everybody is entitled to have fun so they can come in whatever they feel comfortable.”

Gender Bender will be held on Saturday, March 31 at Dickens Pub on 9th St. SW and has a $10 cover. The event’s Facebook page can be found here.

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