UArizona advertises 'Drag as Therapy' workshop as 'kid-friendly'

The event description specifically noted that the event would be "open to youth."

An event hosted by the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies focused on assisting students through the "cathartic experience" of drag.

The University of Arizona hosted a workshop Saturday to help “guide” individuals through the exploration of the “cathartic experience” of dressing in drag. 

In a news release obtained by Campus Reform, the university specifically noted that the event would be open to children. The workshop was conducted by a local drag queen by the name of “Piranha.”

Titled “Drag as Therapy,” the event was hosted by the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies. The institute’s email invitation described Piranha’s visit as one meant to “provide space for exploration of gender and art through drag” at an event where the drag queen would “guide” attendees “through the cathartic experience of creating wearable art, makeup looks and more!”

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”We also encourage workshop attendees to bring any makeup, costumes, or other supplies they already have and would like to work with,” wrote the Institute, adding that “free makeup pallets, art, and other designing supplies will be available for use during the workshop.”

”This is an all ages event and is open to youth,” notes a Facebook listing for the event, which contains the tag “kid-friendly.”

”Drag for me is therapy. To provide that cathartic experience for others, I would encourage the group to create wearable art and makeup looks,” Piranha told Campus Reform before the event. “I will show examples of costumes I created related to my gender, mental health, and activism and show important pieces I have seen by other drag performers that I see as therapeutic.”

“I will help people illustrate their designs, select or create materials, and provide additional support as needed. Participants will be encouraged to dig deep and create something that will be healing for them. I will encourage the use of unconventional materials,” said Piranha. “With this workshop, we will build a space to promote creativity, explore new mediums, and stretch people’s ideas of what drag is.”

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”I want to give all types of art an ability to be incorporated, Drag to me is expansive, and I hope I can help people bring all they have to the table, from music, to poetry, to all forms of visual art. I want to provide a messy, uncensored, supportive and vulnerable community work space,” Piranha added.

In an interview with student newspaper The Daily Wildcat, Piranha claimed that “a telepathic message from my alien drag queen family next galaxy over or something” probably spawned the drag queen’s name. 

”Piranhas are just spooky and violent and I like that,” Piranha added.

Piranha also expressed to the Wildcat that drag has helped not only to “cope with body image issues,” but also to “release government-induced rage,” adding that it allows Piranha “to go into a pop-princess world when everything else is too hard.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan