LGBTQ+ group holds ‘Queer-a-palooza’ at MUN

Organizers of ‘Queer-a-palooza’ say the event is meant to create a safe social space for people of all ages in the LGBTQ+ community.

Margaret Harvey

For those in the LGBTQ+ community, it can be difficult to feel safe in public spaces. Queer-a-Palooza is an event designed to be a safe place for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

MUN’s Sexual and Gender Advocacy group (SAGA) will be hosting its annual Queer-a-Palooza Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. The event is for all ages and will be held at the Landing in the University Centre building of Memorial University.

The event is a combination of social intermingling and a show that will include spoken word and amateur drag performances.

Queer-a-Palooza posters have been hung all over MUN in an effort to draw a crowd to the event. Margaret Harvey/photo

An event for all

Queer-a-palooza will largely be for people who could not attend SAGA’s recent “Queer Prom.” That event was only for people over the age of 19, whereas Queer-a-palooza will be open to all ages.

Although the annual event is for all ages, said SAGA board member Allison Anstey, Queer-a-palooza organizers haven’t seen young children in past years. She said the youngest people they see attending are early high school students.

“That is sort of what we’re going for,” said Anstey. “Part of the goal with Queer-a-Palooza is to sort of bridge the gap we have between the university community and the high school community. The main demographic we serve is high school and university students, but everyone is welcome.”

Jamie Rigelhof identifies as non-binary and is one of the drag performers this year. They had attended Queer-a-Palooza for the first time last year and they wanted to attend Queer Prom, but Righelhof was underage and still is.

“One of the things that I’ve always found to be a bit of a bother to me is that there’s a lot of events that I would like to go to but because they serve alcohol, I can’t go,” Rigelhof said. “So, it’s really nice to see something where I can enjoy the kind of atmosphere I want to where I can get to see local talent. I get to support my performing friends, knowing that it’s legal.”

All kinds of performances

Drag performers from pose under the balloon umbrella at Queer Prom. From left to right, Johnny Diamond, Evelyn J Tudor, Dr. Androbox, and Fashionista Jones.
Drag performers from pose under the balloon umbrella at Queer Prom. From left to right, Johnny Diamond, Evelyn J Tudor, Dr. Androbox, and Fashionista Jones. submitted/photo

“The acts were great,” Rigelhof said. “They had everything. There were, like, poetry readings. There was some music; there were drag acts and stuff like that. It was all just really good.”

At Queer Prom, the drag performances were put off by the East Coast Drag Company, and there will be someone from East Coast Drag Company at Queer-a-Palooza. However, the drag show will focus mainly on the amateur performers.

Rigelhof plans to perform under the name Liezel Hues, and they are very excited.

“This is going to be my first official time performing in drag. I did a little thing for, like, a school event, but this will be my first real time going for it,” Rigelhof said.

There are characteristically a wide range of performances at Queer-a-Palooza. Two years ago, a girl performed a cello recital and this year there will be spoken-word performances.

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