By Katelyn Jacobson
Gender/Sexuality Reporter

Make it. Wear it. Work it.

Queer Fashion Show, 2008.

The jam-packed show, taking place Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, will feature three student fashion lines, a spoken word piece, poetry, interpretive and hip-hop-inspired dances, and a scene from “The Vagina Monologues.” The events are strung together by an underlying superhero theme.

Co-directors third-year Hannah Mamont and Shandrah Lopez have high hopes for this year’s show, which has become one of the cornerstones of UC Santa Cruz student culture.

“It’s fashion, but fashion with a story and a message,” Mamont said.

The three student-created lines challenge stereotypes by following them to the letter, and one designer chose to parade queer patterns of dress such as butch, metro and drag. A second fashion line is cut from similar cloth, but specially tailored to fit women’s clothing trends and stereotypes.

Lopez is excited about the clothes and the messages they carried, she said.

“They’re showing something that is usually covered up, things that aren’t usually showcased,” Lopez said.

Over the last few years, the focus on fashion has morphed into spotlighting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the issues surrounding it. In addition to managing the show, Mamont is also directing and performing a piece of her own: an interpretive dance that deals with mental illness in the LGBT community, an effort at visibility that is echoed throughout the event.

“I didn’t know I could tell a story with dance,” Mamont said. “Not everybody will understand it word-for-word, but everyone will be able to interpret it in their own way.”

As one of the few settings for large-scale LGBT expression, Mamont stresses the value of the Queer Fashion Show as more than a simple matter of entertainment, and gives the title of this year’s show “Out Loud and Super Proud” real meaning.

“It’s very important to represent the queer community and keep it visible on campus,” Mamont said. “[The show] is a glimpse of what it’s like to be queer here.”

In addition to the social emphasis, the entertainment aspect has been promised to hold up its end of the performance as well. First-time participant Lilia Sandoval shared her excitement at being in two of the show’s scenes.

“I expect the show to be really fun. The pieces this year are funny but they also serve their purpose, which is to spread queer awareness and acceptance,” Sandoval said. “Gay pride all the way!”

_Shows run May 2 and 3 and begin at 8 p.m. at the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall. Tickets are on sale for $6 today and tomorrow, 12 to 4 p.m. in front of the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall._