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Drag show (and more!) return for Pride Week

As we say our final goodbyes to the summer sun, we look forward to our favorite fall traditions here on campus. Though Pride Month, a celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, is celebrated each June in the United States, Michigan Tech hosts its own Pride Week each September, to celebrate and raise awareness for the local LGBTQIA+ community. This year’s Pride Week starts on Sunday, Sept. 19 and ends Saturday, Sept. 25 with the annual drag show, a beloved tradition in and of itself at Michigan Tech. 

Hosted by Keweenaw Pride, the event boasts a week filled with activities celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. Keweenaw Pride (KP) is a student organization at Michigan Tech “for LGBTQIA+ people, their straight allies and friends who seek to provide a safe place for those in need of support,” according to their Involvement Link page. 

Having organizations like KP is super important on college campuses because it helps make people feel like they are wanted and included,” says Jordan Zais, Vice President of the organization. “It already can be pretty intimidating to attend college, so having organizations like KP is a great way to help students feel more comfortable and included.”

Pride Week kicks off on Sunday, Sep. 19 with ribbons displayed across campus. Students will not be able to participate in this event, but they will be able to enjoy it after the decorating has been done. KP members will hang brightly-colored ribbons patterned with the different color pairings that represent different identities found within the LGBTQIA+ community.

On Monday, Sep. 20, Keweenaw Pride will be hosting a game night at 7 p.m. in Fisher 129.  In addition to board games, activities like charades and the popular party game Mafia will be available for enjoyment. If you’re feeling crafty, join KP in front of the Hamar House (Center for Diversity and Inclusion) for some rock painting on Tuesday, Sep. 21 at 3:30 p.m. Bring your thinking cap and competitive edge to Trivia Night Wednesday, Sep. 22 at 7 p.m. in Fisher 129. LGBTQIA+ jeopardy and various Kahoot challenges will be available for participants. 

On Thursday, Sep. 23, Stefani Vargas Krause will speak on queer relationships at 6 p.m. in Fisher 138. Vargas Krause, who is currently employed at Northern Michigan University as coordinator of their Student Equity and Engagement Center (similar to MTU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion), previously worked in Michigan Tech’s Student Leadership and Involvement office. 

On Friday, Sep. 24, an ally pledge will take place at 12 p.m. near the Husky Statue. This is an opportunity for allies of the LGBTQIA+ community to sign a banner showing their pledge of support. 

A fan-favorite event for over 20 years, the annual Michigan Tech Drag Show returns in-person this year on Saturday, Sep. 25 at 8 p.m. in the SDC Wood Gym. Last year, the show was held virtually, but it’s back on-campus this year, with all of its usual glory and splendor as the energetic ending to Pride Week. “Drag shows are a truly unique piece of LGBTQIA+ culture,” Zais says. “We hope to be able to share the experience with as many people as possible!” 

For students familiar with the drag show, there will be a few notable changes. “After 20 years of putting on drag shows, we wanted to change things up in new and exciting ways,” Zais says. Instead of the show’s usual Rozsa Center location, this year the event will be held at the SDC, in the Wood Gym. “We think that this location change will allow the performers to interact with the audience a little more,” Zais explains. 

There will also be some new performers at this year’s drag show from the Chicago area. Queens Sasha Love, Aurora Gozmic, Doja Thee Kiki, Luc Ami, Siichele, and Vanda LaRose will take center stage this year! Some took part in the virtual drag show Keweenaw Pride held last year, but 2021 will be their first year performing live and in-person at Michigan Tech. Drag queens bring a contagious sense of energy to the stage each time they perform. It’s difficult to keep from dancing along in your seat as they perform! A common tradition at drag shows is to tip the performers, so bring cash if you would like to do so!

The drag show is free to all Michigan Tech students with their Husky Card. Otherwise, the cost is $3 for students that do not attend MTU (with a valid non-MTU ID) and $7 for all non-students (this includes community members, faculty and staff). 

Events like Pride Week are especially important in smaller communities like Houghton. “Small communities often are more isolated from the outside world, so having events like Pride Week and the drag show that help highlight minority communities are super important to help broaden people’s perspectives,” Zais says. “Houghton has the advantage of bringing in thousands of people from different places since it’s a college town, but it still is a different community than communities surrounding universities in larger cities.”

To contact Keweenaw Pride, email them at or attend one of their general meetings on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Fisher 129. You can also visit their Involvement Link page, where you can see more information about the organization and find contact information for their E-Board members. For more resources concerning the LGBTQIA+ community at Michigan Tech, contact the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) by email ( or visit their office in the Hamar House on campus. 


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