Diva La Paz puts on 21st annual show

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File Photo | The Daily Wildcat

"Paris Hilton" performs at the Diva La Paz drag show in 2012. Diva La Paz has been carried out for 21 years now.

This Friday, the 21st annual Diva La Paz hits the UA campus hosted by the Colonia de la Paz Residence Hall staff and Hall Council. 

For this year’s edition, Diva la Paz will include a walkthrough of a newly-made pride room, a drag show with divas from Tucson and pre-performance set from UA clubs.

Jacob De La Cruz, a sophomore majoring in nutritional science, is a resident assistant in Colonial De La Paz and volunteered to become cochair of the event. 

He said this year’s event will be more interactive and enjoyable for guests.

“I think people should go because the entire show is just comical and energized,” De La Cruz said. “No matter if you are for the community or not, you will enjoy the show and appreciate the drag queens’ talents.”

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After the show, a Q&A will take place for those interested in learning about the drag and LGBT communities. De La Cruz said the drag show is both entertaining and a way to get educated about the LGBT and drag communities.

“It celebrates it in a fun and vibrant way and showcases the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light,” De La Cruz said. “Every day it is not celebrated and is not made a big show so that is why this event is meant to celebrate.”

Ernie Somoza | The Daily Wildcat

A performer at the drag show Diva La Paz interacts with an audience member on stage. Diva La Paz is held at Colonia De La Paz Residence Hall.

Diva La Paz was not always welcomed with open arms.

“I know Ajia Simone, who is the main diva, tells a story every diva show,” De la Cruz said. “The first year they did it, people threw things at them and it was not a successful show.”

According to Daily Wildcat archives, in November 1996, 150 people attended the event, but protesters threw eggs while holding up a sign with the Bible verse Romans 1:24-31

These verses explain that men engaging in sexual relations with each other were committing shameful acts.

Despite their initial show’s protest, Diva La Paz continued to put on shows and is expecting hundreds of attendees this year.

“Every year they did it again and again, and here we are with this extravagant event that hundreds of people attend,” De La Cruz said. “We are expecting to get 500 plus people, so it is crazy to see the change within 21 years.”

Cecilia Lisset Alvarez | The Daily Wildcat

Gregory "Jenna May" Lennon performs during Diva La Paz at Colonia de la Paz Residence Hall in 2014. This year's Diva La Paz event features pre-performances, a drag show, and a pride room.

De La Cruz said this event is great for those within the LGBT and drag communities as they can feel more accepted.

“As a part of the community, it makes me feel welcomed and celebrated,” De La Cruz said. “It creates a safe place and shows that the UA is supportive and is willing to create a welcoming environment.”

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De La Cruz said the best part of the event is meeting and interacting with the divas. 

“The divas are funny, flamboyant, animated; they will say what they want and just do them,” De La Cruz said. “They are the confident beings they can be, and that is inspirational to see because drag is not 100 percent accepted by society.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m.


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