Queer Voices: Entertaining and Eye Opening

Kelsey Leyva

Students at the Queer Voices event Tuesday enjoyed a night with a variety of entertainment and eye-opening topics.

The event was an open mike night performance with a total of six acts, including Roxie Patton, program coordinator for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Center. Performances included two spoken word acts, two stand-up comedy acts, one base player and one singer.

A majority of the acts related to LGBTQ topics such as transgender issues and gay marriage. Patton said the main purpose of the event was so create a place where students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ community would have a place to showcase their talents.

“The whole point of Queer Voices is to give LGBTQ students a place to have their voices heard and express their opinions,” she said.

“And I think, especially with the stand-up comics and with the spoken word artists, we got to hear a variety of positive and negative experiences that will hopefully help people’s eyes be opened to their own behavior and also to some of the environmental things that LGBTQ people have to go through”

Patton helped plan the program. She severed as master of ceremonies and performed the last act of the evening. She sang Cabaret from the musical Cabaret.

“That is one of my go-to karaoke songs,” she said. “I love that song. I’m a huge musical theater nerd, and I love Liza Minnelli.”

Emmett Drugan, graduate student studying art education, was one of the stand-up comedy acts. He said that it was his first time ever attempting stand-up comedy.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got some funny stories I’d like to share, so let’s see what happens,’” he said.

Drugan also said he enjoys the LGBTQ Center’s support of students and their interests on campus.

“Well, what I like is they’re very supportive of the arts,” he said. “I think that’s one way of healthy expression for a lot of people in the LGBTQ community that need to express themselves because they have negative opinions that are cast on them from society or from their family and it’s good for them to express themselves.”

Andrew Sheffield, senior economics major, said he was glad he attended the event. He remarked about the first spoken word performer, who wishes to remain anonymous, who unveiled the possible negative reactions that some people must face when they “come out.”

“It was pretty cool,” Sheffield said. “The first spoken word set — it was interesting to see that point of view. It was definitely informative.”

Patton said that she was very pleased with the students’ performances.

“I think the acts were fantastic,” she said. “We had such a great variety of amazing, talented students that just had you rolling in the aisles laughing and then some of the spoken word stuff had you on the verge of tears.”

Patton is also hoping to expand the event in the future.

“I just hope that this event will continue to grow and that more people will get involved,” she said.

“I think we could easily fill up a two hour set list with the amazingly talented students that we have.”

Contact Kelsey Leyva at [email protected].