By Greg Hernandez
RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Gia Gunn is teaming up with the Trans Wellness Center (TWC) to make a splash at this year’s DragConLA.
“It’s time we all get excited about being trans,” Gunn said to a roomful of clients during a visit to TWC to announce her participation. “My mission is to bring joy, happiness and inspiration and to get our allies and people on the outside excited about transgender people.”
Gunn is known for competing on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the second season of The Switch Drag Race, and on the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.
Part of her journey has included embracing TWC, which has put an array of services for trans people under one roof for the first time.
“I’ve never been to a place like this, ever, in my life,” Gunn says. “The feeling when I come here is not like anything that I’m used to. It hits close to my heart walking into a place filled with other people like me who share the same experiences and speak the same language. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m really looking forward to a long-lasting relationship with the Trans Wellness Center.”
TWC Program Manager Mariana Marroquin welcomes Gunn’s support and positive attitude.
“A trans person can also be a drag queen—that’s the message,” Marroquin says about the DragCon partnership. “We want the community to know that we belong in any space. We have the right to be there and be ourselves.”
Marroquin adds: “We will make a big presence at an event that in the past has not been very welcoming to the trans community. But we are going to show them that we are fun, that we have a lot of love and so much to give.”
DragCon LA will take place May 24-26 at Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition to a plethora of booths on the convention floor, there is a full schedule of programming including lip sync contests and panels with drag stars and icons chatting on such topics as fashion, make-up, styling, and pop culture.
“It will be a lot of great, inspirational fun,” Gunn says. “DragCon is the place for individuals, however you identify, to just come, be yourself, have fun, and meet places like TWC that can give help and support to those who are in need.”
TWC is a partnership between lead agency Los Angeles LGBT Center, APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team, Bienstar, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), Friends Community Center, and [email protected] Coalition.