The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

81° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CatWalking to cure

    Lady Ashley performs in the drag queen fashion show at Howl at the Moon sports pub on West Prince Road. The show was a fundraiser for the Walking Names Project, which sponsors students to participate in the annual AIDS Walk, taking place this Sunday on campus.
    Lady Ashley performs in the drag queen fashion show at Howl at the Moon sports pub on West Prince Road. The show was a fundraiser for the Walking Names Project, which sponsors students to participate in the annual AIDS Walk, taking place this Sunday on campus.

    The UA Women’s Resource Center collaborated with the Walking Names Project Monday night in a drag queen showcase at Howl at the Moon Sports Pub to raise money for Sunday’s Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation Walk.

    The audience of about 50 students and community members enjoyed a show highlighted by singing and dancing drag queens dressed based on such iconic actresses as Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and Mae West.

    “”The Walking Names Project started after my godfather passed away in 2007 from HIV/AIDS-related complications,”” said Jai Smith, founder for the Walking Names Project. “”So the project is just to honor those individuals living with or having passed away from the disease.””

    The event held a silent auction put together by the Women’s Resource Center, as well as seven different drag performers, three of whom were amateurs.

    “”I’ve been doing drag for over 12 years,”” said Bunny Fu Fu, host and performer for the event. “”I have a biweekly show here in Tucson, so I’m no virgin to this.””

    Smith performed to “”U + Ur Hand”” by musical artist Pink and wore a red sequined dress in honor of his godfather Jimmy. Smith will wear a dress made of HIV/AIDS awareness ribbons on Sunday for the AIDS Walk.

    “”The dress is going to be worn in the 2008 annual AIDS Walk and consecutive AIDS Walks until it is filled with ribbons,”” Smith said.

    The ribbons have names of individuals fatally inflicted with AIDS written on them.

    After the walks, the dress will be made into a panel for the AIDS quilt, which is made to honor those who have those who have passed away from the disease.

    “”This is the first event that’s happened for it, and this is also the first year that the project has been going,”” Smith said.

    “”I think it’s a good idea,”” said Catherin McLarnan, a family friend of Smith and audience member. “”A lot of people have misconceptions of how you get AIDS or HIV.””

    These kinds of performances get AIDS awareness out to teens and young audiences, McLarnan added.

    The Walking Names Project showed their hard work, after much preparation.

    “”I’ve been sitting and watching them sewing for weeks,”” McLarnan said, referring to the dramatic fashion of the performers. “”Especially this day and age, it’s hard to raise money with the economy.””

    The inspiration for the event came easy to Smith, who has also taken part in previous shows.

    “”My godfather Jimmy was actually a drag queen here in Tucson,”” Smith said. “”So I felt that it was very appropriate in a way to honor him like this.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search