Two hundred and fifty students attended UCF’s LGBTQ’s second annual “Drag Divas: United” fundraiser at the Pegasus Ballroom Tuesday for Orlando’s Zebra Coalition, a local nonprofit aimed to benefit LGBTQ youth.
The event featured drag performers Axel Andrews, Sassy Devine, Mr.Ms. Adrien and Jazell Barbie Royale. Each drag queen was able to take the stage and strut their stuff for cash tips.
“This money is going toward a great cause,” Axel Andrews, the first diva to open the show, said. “It’s an amazing program, and it really does great work.”
After their introductory performances onstage, the drag divas discussed gender identity, sexuality and the importance of being able to be yourself in a Q&A.
“When you have a connection with a human being, it doesn’t matter physically what you all have,” Royale said. “It’s all about your physical and emotional connection with that person.”
“I think we’re moving toward that,” Devine added. “Just love yourself, love each other and take care of each other.”
Students had an opportunity to take photos with the drag queens and chat with them one-on-one.
“In the community you have different identities, and I feel like it’s really important to recognize them,” freshman pre-law major Nicole Brok, 18, said. “I think the performers gave a lot of comfort to a lot of people at this event.”
Orlando’s Zebra Coalition was established in 2011 and has since provided support and housing for LGBTQ+ youth. From 2015-2016, the Zebra Coalition provided outreach and training to 307 students and 72 teachers and administrators from schools across Orange County.
“The name Zebra Coalition comes from the fact that life’s not always black and white,” development manager Earl Johnson, said. “There is no clear line. People come from different stories [and] different backgrounds; they are all different, and that’s what we love.”
The Drag Divas United raised $300 overall, LGBTQ services coordinator Justin Andrade said.