SDSU advocates for the inclusion of drag culture

Amber St. James performs in front of Hepner Hall as part of Aztec Nights Dragstravaganza event on Sept. 4, 2021.

Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

Amber St. James performs in front of Hepner Hall as part of Aztec Nights’ ‘Dragstravaganza’ event on Sept. 4, 2021.

by John Paul Cavada, Staff Writer

With LGBTQ+ pride on the rise, San Diego State’s School of Journalism and Media Studies seeks to support the cause. As the spring semester comes to a close, drag-themed events have been springing up on campus in a wave. 

Of these events, SDSU’s School of JMS showed their support for drag culture through a Screening Circle

The School of JMS Screening Circle is an opportunity for students to engage and learn through media about social issues for a more progressive community, according to lead planner Lauren Farberman.

Within their signature Screening Circle, the School of JMS presented the Emmy-nominated series, “We’re Here.” This JMS Screening Circle was held at the Tula Community Center on March 16 at 4 p.m.

“We’re Here” stars renowned drag queens, Caldwell “Bob the Drag Queen” Tidicue, David “Eureka O’Hara” Huggard, and Darius “Shangela” Pierce. Presented within the Screening Circle, viewers are taken on a ride through drag culture with the overarching theme of self-acceptance. 

“We’re Here” is an American reality television series that follows these esteemed drag queens in their journey to recruit local residents as their “Drag kids” to participate in one-night-only drag performances to express their genuine selves, according to HBO.

These drag queens work with individuals who are struggling with insecurities that prevent them from fully embracing themselves. Through the power of drag, Bob, Eureka and Shangela work to unleash the individuality and self-acceptance hidden within their drag kids. 

As a surprise for the attendees, the starring cast of the show attended the Screening Circle in-person for a live drag performance and Q&A session. The live performance was led by SDSU Alumna, Amber St. James, a founding drag member of the Sisters of St. James Productions

Alongside the School of JMS, the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity has also advocated for drag culture through events on-campus.

SDSU’s Aztec Nights: Dragstravaganza, The Festival, was held by the Pride Center on Sept. 4, 2021, at the Campanile Walkway. 

The festival featured outdoor performances, pop-up tent activities and networking opportunities with world renowned drag artists, according to the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity.

SDSU’s Aztec Nights: Scream, Qweenz!, was held by the Pride Center on Oct. 30, 2021, at Montezuma Hall.

This Halloween-esque drag Show featured a performance and costume ball with an opportunity to meet a special guest from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Recently, SDSU’s Aztec Nights: A Night of Drag Pageantry, was held by the Student Pride Center on April 22, at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

This drag pageant featured a drag competition between seven SDSU students who would be judged by a prestigious panel of judges which included special guest Shuga Cain from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

For more information on potential drag events being held on-campus, click here.