It’s time for UF and the Gainesville community to show it’s creativity, uniqueness, nerve and talent.

 

The UF queer community is preparing to celebrate at the pride parade on Friday and throughout the weekend.

 

In preparation of the weekend, UF LGBTQ Affairs prepared two events for UF students to engage in and show support for the queer community.

 

On Thursday, UF will have its own drag race event in the Rion Ballroom at the Reitz Student Union.

 

Students with little to no drag experience had the opportunity to enter the competition. Thursday, 10 of those students will perform one number each to be judged by drag queens from the local bar, University Club.  

 

Supporting students can come and cheer on their peers from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Each participant will be given an award, but there will be an overall winner announced. The highlight of the evening will be a performance from special guest and host Malayka SN.

Malayka SN is a Brazilian drag artist who, through the center of Latin American studies, has spent the past week at UF providing workshops for young people who have never experienced drag art.

 

The performer was found by the LGBTQ faculty adviser while conducting research.

 

“Our faculty fellow, Dr. Tanya Saunders, does research in Brazil focused on art as activism, and that is where she met Malayka SN.”

 

Students will get to experience even more from Malayka on Friday.

 

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, students will get a chance to hear about LGBTQ opression and liberation as Malayka speaks on "Monstrosity, Drag and Human Liberation" in Reitz Union G310.

 

The celebration of life and rights will extend into the weekend as the Gainesville Pride Parade and Festival takes place on Saturday.

 

At noon Saturday, residents can join or watch the pride parade which begins at Seventh Street and West University Avenue and will proceed east to South First Street.

 

The festivities begin in the afternoon and go through the night.

 

From 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. pride goers can gather at the Bo Diddley Plaza and surrounding streets to enjoy local music artists and over one hundred vendors.

 

The event is free to the public and also plans to have a space for kids to interact as well.

 

More information for any of the upcoming events can be found on the groups Facebook pages.