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UNC rings in homecoming with drag and comedy shows

An unusual combination of events, a drag show and a comedy show, are on campus for homecoming week. 

The Carolina Pride Alum Network is hosting its first ever drag show on Saturday. 

Hogan Medlin, a representative for North Carolina on CPAN’s national board, said the idea for a homecoming drag show came from the absence of an event that a broader, diverse community could identify with. 

Founded in 2017, Medlin said CPAN was created in part due to the lack of an organization for LGBTQ+ alumni. Despite its short existence, the organization has been hard at work in establishing an inclusive network for LGBTQ+ alumni. 

“We wanted to create an event that will make those who come to homecoming, who maybe have not felt as included in homecoming activities in the past, and this event will hopefully will get them something out of homecoming,” Medlin said.

The performers will be from the House of Coxx in Durham and the performance itself will primarily feature lip syncing. However, there is an element of surprise in their shows. 

“Who knows what they’re going to perform?" Medlin said. "I certainly don’t know. But, having been to a few House of Coxx drag shows, I know that Vivica and her family (the drag performers) all come out and do individual performances. It is meant to be a fun way to engage the audience in an inclusive manner so no matter how you identify, what you look like or want to look like you can feel included in that safe space and have a good time." 

Shawne Grabs, the senior regional development officer and director of CPAN, agreed that the event will be exciting. 

“It’s just fun, that’s all I can say," Grabs said. "It’s always a great, high energy performance.”

Grabs estimates 100 to 150 people will be in attendance for the show, which is open to everyone. 

The other event that took place Tuesday was a stand-up comedy show featuring the Lucas Brothers, seen on a Netflix comedy special and "22 Jump Street," with NC native Jourdain Fisher as the opening act. 

Both acts are familiar with the area. The Lucas Brothers are twins whose ambition to pursue stand-up comedy led them to drop out of law school at New York University and Duke University. Jourdain Fisher was born and raised in North Carolina and is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro. This connection to the area led the Carolina Union Activities Board (CUAB) to seek out the two acts.

“During his (Jourdain Fisher’s) performance, we just died laughing," TJ Wallace, the entertainment co-chair of CUAB, said. "He just made jokes North Carolinians would get. So, since he’s from Greensboro, he joked about the crime rate there and we understood what he meant. We just thought him coming to UNC where most people are from North Carolina would allow students to connect with him on a comedic level.”

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