first_imgThe costume competition this year will be “400 years of queer icons”, based on the Alternative Miss World competition, the recent Queer Icons exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and the celebrations of 400 years of Wadham. Jebb said the theme leaves students “plenty of scope for some original and amazing costumes.”Costumes suggested in the proposal include James Dean, Oscar Wilde, Dusty Springfield and Joan of Arc.One student’s response to such suggestions was less than welcoming. “All their examples of possible costumes are fully clothed, where is the fun in that? No vulgarity? That sucks.”The current Wadham Student Union President has encouraged students to accept the changes or risk cancelling the event. “As students, we do not want to abuse the trust that the college has given us to have a well-run event that is safe, celebrates LGBTQ issues, and is lot of fun for everyone. If it seems that we cannot, Queer Festival will not happen again.”Criticism has not been universal. OUSU’s LGBT rep, Jasper Minton-Taylor, argues that the proposals will help to clarify what Queer Bop is all about. “In recent years… it would seem that the nature of the party got slightly out of hand in matters such as the nature of the costumes. What was unfortunate were the connotations attached to ‘queer’ as a result. Thus I fully commend the queer bop committee for creating some guidelines”Another Wadham student argued many of the changes were positive, saying, “I think it’s a good thing that there is much more emphasis on LGBT themes and it being an all-day event means more partying time…a lot of work and effort has been put into the event and it looks really good – if a bit less debauched. Time will tell.”Jebb confirms changes were made in conjunction with OUSU Queer Council and LGBT Soc and said they had been “extremely supportive of [Wadham’s] efforts.” He also said one of Wadham’s Fellows is also on the committee for Queer Festival and that Wadham have been “really supportive” of the event. The decision of the Queer Fest organisers to ban “inappropriate” costumes as part of efforts to distance the event from what they describe as a “salubrious reputation” has sparked outrage amongst the student body.Wadham’s infamous Queer Bop has been completely overhauled this year and rebranded as Queer Fest.The changes come after a report last year by Will McCallum, the then Student Union President, who identified a number of damaging incidents at former Queer Bops, including a homophobic attack, hospitalisations of attendees and the attendance of strippers.In a move angering students, Queer Fest organisers have asked those attending not to wear “nappies, fig leaves, nipple tassels, G-strings or anything you wouldn’t be happy to have your mother send you off in.”An email warns attendees that they must know “where to draw the line” and that anyone wearing something “deliberately offensive” will be turned away.A Wadham student commented, “I don’t like the fact that it is being made to be tamer than any normal bop, with all these regulations and threats of being kicked out… you can’t wear anything ‘inappropriate’ – I mean what does that even mean?”Angry students have been sharing their frustration with the plans on Facebook. Emily Ludolf, a 3rd year, said, “I am advocating a mass-strip half way through, if everyone does what can the man do?”The status of David Roberts, another 3rd year reads, “Queer Festival- another nail into the heart of fun.”Further changes include making the event longer, serving food and erecting tents where students can rest if they feel unwell.Ciaran Jebb, one of Wadham’s Entz reps, confirmed that Queer Bop has been reinvented as Queer Fest this year and insisted it would be “a brand new exciting, inclusive and innovative celebration to provide a fantastic culmination to Wadham’s Queer Week.”last_img

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