Darcelle XV

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Pacific University’s Rainbow Coalition, Actives and Cultural Events Board, Alpha Zeta fraternity and Delta Chi Delta sorority will help host Darcelle XV and their show that will take place on the Forest Grove campus in early December. Darcelle is the owner of the Darcelle XV Showplace, a tavern that they purchased in 1967 and then 
flipped into a performance spot for drag queens in the Portland area. 
Darcelle, who was born and raised in Linnton, Ore., had always been interested in acting and at the age of 37 wore a dress for the first time, thus becoming Darcelle XV. Soon after, Darcelle announced that they were gay. Drag queens are men who dress as women for entertainment, artistic expression and or performance. Drag queens wish to be seen as women while they are performing. However, they do not necessarily feel like women. Men who participate in drag do not always identify as transwomen. Drag queens also participate in putting on drag shows, complete with musical numbers and dance, similar to the type of show that Darcelle XV will put on in December for Pacific. 
However, Darcelle’s show at Pacific will be more than just another fun night for students. According to president of the Rainbow Coalition senior Mat North, Darcelle’s visit and show will bring up bigger pictures of drag, identity and gender. “I think it’s important to have people like Darcelle come to campus because it offers a perspective of gender identity we don’t often see,” North said.  
“As far as creating a safe atmosphere goes, being mindful that you can’t always tell what someone’s gender identity is at a glance is very important and crucial,” North said. “Particularly concerning non-binary gender identities, though this honestly applies to anyone, you can’t assume what that person’s pronouns are or their specific identity.” 
Rainbow Coalition emphasizes creating a safe space to discuss gender identity as well as sexuality. However, as far as platforms for drag queens go, Pacific does not have any more events planned for the year. North explained that this is a result of the idea never having been brought up. “Rainbow Coalition could of course plan something if there were people interested in being involved,” North said.
“For example, if there were students interested in performing in one, it could be fun to have a student drag show in the future.” Darcelle’s show will be on Dec. 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the University Center.

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