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January 22, 2013

"Identity and Drag Performance: The Intersections of Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality"

By: Kim Fountain, Executive Director

On the evening of January 18th, RU12? was the beneficiary of an amazing, campy, sexy burlesque event that drew one of the more diverse crowds I have had the pleasure to be part of since taking my position as Executive Director a little over a year ago. I talked with people from across the state, of a wide range of ages, genders, and races. We were all there to have a good time and from all the clapping and cheering, overall, it was clearly a great night.

On a personal level, being among people of color was particularly soothing and comforting. As a woman of color who recently left New York City for the first or second whitest state in the country, depending on the year, the adjustment has been difficult. And yet, on Friday night, I was heartened to witness the crowd at Peep Show hold the emcee responsible for two racially charged comments and the next day, to read her apology to the community. I was also very pleasantly surprised to hear the co-producer of the event step in as one of the comments was made, and make clear that the ad-libbed direction of the routine needed to be redirected toward a celebration of racial diversity.

Still, the racially charged comments were made and people were deeply affected. There is a need to discuss our feelings and concerns around the comments. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to collaboratively host an open forum addressing personal and social politics at the intersections of identity and drag performance. If you would like to be part of planning this forum, please contact me, Kim Fountain, at 802-860-7812 or


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