Tag Archives: queer

A Queer Monologue

Written by Nicole Miao

I had seen a role of drag queen, Angel, in a musical named RENT before I saw this performance. I thought I knew the drag queens very well and I suppose them to be positive, bold, not afraid of gender obstruction, and brave in pursuing love and freedom. However, I didn’t really get to know them until I saw Sasha Velour.

I was inspired by the enthusiasm of people as the show started and it is clear that Sasha Velour has lots of fans here. At the moment she appeared, the screams of the audience drowned me. The first thing that surprised me was her style, a white robe, like an angel. But soon when Sasha Velour spoke, I was shocked by her apparently trained opera aria, and even began to speculate whether she had sung in the opera house. Unexpectedly, however, the transition between angel and demon was only a few seconds. When Sasha Velour picked up her white robe and revealed the red flash tights below, the whole theatre was boiling. After completely removing the white robe, she was red with the whole body, just like the real devil. This powerful contrast shocked me a lot.

Waiting for the performance to begin

After each scene was finished, Sasha Velour would take the microphone out to talk to us. It has to be admitted that Sasha Velour was very humorous and infectious. The audience naturally loved her very much and always gave enthusiastic responses.

During the break, I walked out and heard someone saying, “This is a wonderful design, isn’t it?” In fact, I have been thinking about this issue as well. Sasha Velour had incredible art talent. She turned the dress into an art, so that the performance was full of dramatic tension, and the stage background was like an unruly illustration. All of Sasha Velour’s dresses were exaggerated in color and full of transsexual style, unlike the stereotypes worn by people in the past. I believe that she must be a person who was deeply accomplished in the visual arts.

Intermission (while I was recalling the performance of the first half)

In fact, my favorite aria in the performance was that Sasha Velour’s projection on the stage screen drew a beautiful makeup, wore a waist and a red dress, put on monster ears, and appeared at the entrance of the theater in the next moment, singing “I want to fly, I am alive” and stepping down the steps to the stage. The shock of my heart at that moment could not be described in words. Everyone started to scream but I was moved to say nothing but almost wept. I really fell for this song and until I was out of the theater, I still tried to recall it.

My mind was filled with different screaming music and scenes, but I could not forget the emotion of Sasha Velour when she talked about her mother who died of cancer. Several viewers around me began to wipe their tears. When Sasha Velour sang “If you go away”, I finally couldn’t help to cry. In the last scene, she took a bite of an apple. When the light was dark, I found that the apple had moved away from her hand and went further afield. I enjoyed the quality of even the most insignificant details of this performance.

The whole performance was over

This was a performance of a drag queen, but was more of a queer monologue. Sasha Velour opened her mind, showing us her past and inner journey. She constantly emphasized that we could live more beautifully, more uniquely, and more freely. To live a true life, we should learn to love, to have our own strength and know who we are.

To Be Continued

James Boyd wears a shirt that says, "UNARMED" in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

James Boyd wears a shirt that says, “UNARMED” in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Up until this point, every journalism class I had taken at UIUC was easy. It all came naturally so I never felt much pressure to get my assignments done. However, this class challenged me from the start and by the end I think it truly humbled me. Continue reading

It Happens Queer – Reflection

Poster at the LGBT Resource Center that says, 'ROPES' an acronym for Respect/Risk Oops/Ouch Pass Educate Safe Space.

Poster at the LGBT Resource Center that says, ‘ROPES’ an acronym for Respect/Risk Oops/Ouch Pass Educate Safe Space.

Assignment five was by far the hardest assignment so far in JOUR 215, but after completing it, I also think it was the most satisfying. My original topic was going to be about the Chinese Students & Scholars Association and the basketball tournament that they run every year, but after running the idea past Dr. Collins I decided to choose a more impactful topic.

My topic was called, “It Happens Queer,” and it’s about domestic violence in queer relationships and I honestly think it was a gift from God that the Women’s Resource Center held a “Lunch On Us” event about it. I knew I wanted to do something related to domestic violence, but addressing that in the LGBTQ community was a learning experience for me and Dawn Brown was a great help.

Getting my sources were pretty easy because I think the Daily Illini has helped me get past the fear of someone turning me down. Now I could care less about who says no, but having the people I used in my video be willing to come forward and talk about this issue was great. I made sure to thank each and every one of them.

As far as logistics go, I felt very comfortable about the my interviews, but where I struggled was finding B-Roll. I think I missed out on a few LGBT events on the Quad this week that would have made for excellent B-Roll, so I think as a journalist I just have to be more aware of the events taking place on campus. I also missed the deadline to turn in my script, so in the future I really have to pay attention more in class and reach out to my classmates just to make sure I don’t miss anything.

Regardless of that, I did make sure that every part of my assignment was done before class today and I was very proud of my finished product. Dr. Collins gave me so great ethical and practical tips on what to use and not use in my videos for the future, so I’m really looking forward to applying that knowledge to the “How To,” video.



It Happens Queer


Poster at the LGBT Resource Center that says, ‘ROPES’ an acronym for Respect/Risk Oops/Ouch Pass Educate Safe Space.

October is widely known as breast cancer awareness month, but it is also LGBT history month and domestic violence awareness month. The LGBT community has come a long way in the past several years, but there are still research areas in which a lot of work has to be done. One of those ares is domestic violence in queer relationships. Often times when people hear about psychical abuse, the narrative is always a man and woman. In reality however, queer men and women are more likely to be a victim of domestic violence. I did a short video piece to denounce some of the stereotypes and make people realize that domestic violence within in the LGBT community is an issue for everyone regardless of what you identify as.