Mustang Daily Staff Report
Glitter, glamour and a gold bodysuit illuminated Chumash Auditorium on Friday, as people dressed as magicians, lion tamers, puppets and Siamese twins came together in support of transgender awareness.
A group of recreation, parks and tourism administration students planned a fashion show as the grand finale to a series of events celebrating Transgender Awareness Week at Cal Poly.
One of the coordinators, recreation, parks and tourism administration junior Emily Seropian, said they had been working for seven weeks to organize and promote the show put on by the Pride Center and Gender Equity Center.
The hosts — dressed in drag — defined transgender as “anyone whose gender identity doesn’t exactly match up with their biological sex.”
“Gender is something that’s very fluid; it’s not defined by boxes,” Patrick Fina, the Americorps member for the Pride Center and one of the models in the fashion show, said. “It’s not defined by societal expectations.”
Despite the earnest message behind the event, there was an air of acceptance in the auditorium as the audience applauded and cheered for males in dresses and high heels, as well as females with painted-on facial hair.
“It’s a really good thing that people can actually support this and have a lot of fun,” said theatre arts sophomore Gage Greenspan, who stumbled down the runway with rehearsed purpose in a dress and lipstick as a ventriloquist dummy.
In the spirit of the carnival theme, a model dressed as a magician pulled a stuffed rabbit out of a hat, and tightrope walkers in tutus swayed their way down the catwalk. The event also featured a juggler, a face painter and free appetizers donated by The Cliffs Resort.
Carly Rickards contributed to this article.