Rupaul's Drag Race stars Jujubee and Pandora Boxx will headline this year’s Lambda Drag Show at Vanderbilt University. The 17th edition of the event will be held in the Vanderbilt Student Life Center Ballroom Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. 

Although organizers are offering an all-star lineup, the show is also a platform for amateur drag performers. All students are encouraged to present their artistic flair on stage.

"Lambda’s annual drag show celebrates a freedom of expression," says Luis Muñoz Sadeghi, Vice President of the Vanderbilt Lambda Association. "It provides a space where students and other members of the Vanderbilt community and surrounding Nashville community can come as they are, without inhibitions and worries, to have an enjoyable night."

The show's placement during Vanderbilt's Homecoming Week draws even greater awareness to the event. Social justice organizations and advocacy groups will host booths before the event to present information to students.

"The drag show will definitely provide entertainment, but it’s more than that," Sadeghi says. "It shows that there is a vibrant LGBT and ally community on campus and in Nashville and it helps to strengthen and expand this community."

Lambda is making a concerted effort to reach out to the Middle Tennessee community this year, collaborating with MT Lambda, Middle Tennessee State University's LGBT group. Nashville’s VJ Stretch, a staple at Play Dance Bar, will serve as the official DJ for the event.

The drag show is just one of the many offering from the Lambda Association, a student-led organization that hosts informational and social events throughout the school year. All are designed to provide programming and resources about LGBT issues.

"As an organization, Lambda strives to make the campus more open and accepting of all individuals," Sadeghi says. "For many new students, this will be one of their first opportunities to see how much support truly does exist at Vanderbilt. It can send a powerful message to those who may be closeted and are looking for some kind of affirmation that is okay to show their true colors."

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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