By KEVIN MILIAN
Known in recent years for its extravagant budget and huge turnout, Filthy/Gorgeous, an annual event to promote awareness of the LGBTQ community, will be scaled down this spring, its organizers say.
Although the event has previously been hosted in Duffield Hall and Noyes Recreational Center — spaces that accommodated about a thousand people — this year, it will be hosted in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room, which has a room capacity of 300 unseated students.
Noyes has refused to host Filthy/Gorgeous due to a number of medical transports that occurred when the event was held there in 2012, and increased safety regulations have made holding the event in Duffield again too expensive. Jadey Huray ’14, president of Haven: the LGBTQ Student Union, noted that last year’s Filthy/Gorgeous made safety-related improvements that resulted in no medical transports.
Even then, the event’s organizers say that they are optimistic about the choice of the Straight as Filthy/Gorgeous’ venue this year. Daniel Petralia ’15, one of the event’s organizers, said that, prior to 2012, the event was regularly held in the Straight.
“We decided to go back there for its natural feeling. Everything is sort of laid out for us since it’s been done there for years,” Petralia said.
Echoing Petralia’s sentiment, Huray said that Filthy/Gorgeous is returning to its roots this year.
“[It] is being reformatted from its current state and returning to the original format from years ago — a sort of throwback, if you like, to years gone by,” Huray said.
As in previous years, the event will host a performer and possibly include go-go dancers. Previous headliners have included drag performers Chi Chi La Rue, Manila Luzon and rapper Cazwell.
Other parts of the event, however, will change with the organizers’ efforts to reduce the cost of hosting Filthy/Gorgeous, according to Huray.
The increase in the cost of holding Filthy/Gorgeous last year became an “unjustifiable” expense on Haven’s budget, Huray said. It also “vastly changed the nature of the event, which has previously been far more accessible to the LGBTQ and wider Cornell community, and made us question the sustainability and reach of the event to the student body that we serve,” she said.
With Filthy/Gorgeous’ smaller scale, the event organizers hope that they will be able to rein back expenses to a more manageable level.
Huray added that she thinks that, over time, there has been a shift in the campus climate regarding LGBTQ issues that will facilitate the change in Filthy/Gorgeous this year.
“Filthy/Gorgeous was established at a time when LGBTQ students were uncomfortable and did not have any, if not a few, safe spaces on campus to celebrate their array of identities in a social [or] party setting. Hence, Filthy/Gorgeous stood as a capstone event, once a year, that allowed these students to feel at ease and occupy a space that they could truly be themselves in,” Huray said. “I believe that more informal and formal events or initiatives have been created that have led to the formation of such spaces beyond Filthy/Gorgeous and any other Haven event.”
Matthew Carcella, director of the LGBT Resource Center, echoed Huray’s sentiments, saying Filthy/Gorgeous will be “in a different form than before to make sure that we are keeping the event relevant.”
Petralia said he hopes Filthy/Gorgeous will be a successful event again this year and on part with “what people have experienced in the past.”