Drag queens will be coming out for a good cause tonight at Downtown Brew.
Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men presents the Dollhouse, the first annual drag show raising money for the AIDS Support Network in San Luis Obispo.
The 17 member fraternity received its charter in February.
“We wanted to create a fraternity that would provide an outlet for gay men to feel included and have a brotherhood of gay men that they can relate to,” Delta Lambda Phi president and graphic communication senior Brad Purpura said. “And to bring awareness to campus; just the fact that we are now a part of the greek community on campus does so much for the progression of gay rights, it is saying it’s OK to be gay, and it’s OK to be gay and greek.”
The Dollhouse is the fraternity’s first big philanthropic event and while a portion of the proceeds will go to the AIDS Support Network, Purpura thinks that the show itself will benefit the community.
“I feel that drag shows help break down gender role stereotypes,” he said. “Those stereotypes of how your gender is supposed to act perpetuate people staying in the closet and homophobia in society.”
Architecture freshman and incoming president of Delta Lambda, Phi Lanz Nalagan explained that drag shows are a prevalent fundraiser event for the other Delta Lambda Phi chapters.
“It seems to be a tradition for the chapters to present some sort of drag show,” he said.
Purpura said that the name Dollhouse emerged from a brainstorming session.
“At one point we had ‘Poly Dollies’ and that evolved into ‘Dollhouse.’ It was just classy enough and just gay enough,” he said. “When you hear dollhouse you know it’s not going to be a baseball game.”
Purpura and Nalagan both stressed the importance of AIDS and HIV as an issue.
“The reason why is because AIDS awareness is important to the entire community, gay or straight, because the number of new HIV and AIDS cases is rising on the Central Coast,” Purpura said. Nalagan added, “We just feel that by introducing this social event we can raise awareness for the gay community and most importantly our philanthropy, and how important AIDS awareness is around the world.”
The event is for ages 18 and over and will feature professional drag queens from Las Vegas, Sacramento and San Luis Obispo. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Boo Boo Records, the Downtown Brew box office and ticketweb.com. They are $10 at pre-sale, $12 at the door and $10 if you come dressed in drag.
The Dollhouse isn’t going to be like other Downtown Brew events. Purpura said to expect different.
“It won’t be your typical DTB club music, it’s going to be ‘gay’ music,” he said. “The whole night is going to be different, and fun.” He added that there is a good chance Lady Gaga will be blaring at one point or another. “Lady Gaga for the gay community,” Purpura mused. “I was listening to her last summer, and when she became popular six months later everyone was like ‘oh my God Just Dance,’ and I was like umm yeah eight months ago.”
Purpura clarified that when he uses the term “gay” he means it in a positive way.
“We are trying to reclaim the word gay so it doesn’t mean stupid,” Purpura said.
Nalagan is excited about the Dollhouse event and hopes to see the fraternity expand and have an increased presence in the community.
“I really hope that our guests and visitors leave with awareness,” he said. “I hope that they see that we have a lot to offer.”
Both men said that they felt welcomed by the greek community on campus.
“When we received our charter we were very well received,” Nalagan said. “At the Interfraternity Council meeting they clapped and applauded for us.”
Delta Lambda Phi is open to all men but has no heterosexual members yet.
“We currently don’t but it would be amazing if we did,” Nalagan said. “We hope to see some pledge next fall.”
Purpura encourages those who have never been to a drag show and are unsure about the event to be open to it and have fun.
“College is a time to expand your horizons and learn about other cultures,” he said. “This is an opportunity to expose both the greek and Cal Poly communities to an event that they would normally not see. In (a) fun way that is for a good cause.”