On Wednesday, April 16, the offices of Student Activities and Diversity and Inclusion sponsored an event called “Divas of Diversity.” Drag queen Raja Gemini, former makeup artist on America’s Next Top Model and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s third season, and graduate student Aaron Sims, winner of Queens’ Miss Panhell contest, performed in drag. Gemini, whose real name is Sutan Amrull, discussed his life experiences and took questions from the audience.Gemini, who is touring the world, takes it as his mission to inspire others to “be themselves no matter the opinion of others, because that is the only way to find true happiness in this world.” Raja talked to members of the Queens community about being comfortable in their own skin and being proud of who they were despite their unique individuality.
Gemini attributes much of his success to the full acceptance of his identity.
“People were going to label me a freak no matter what, so I decided that I was gonna be the best damn freak that they had ever seen in their life,” he said, coming from a “place of confidence.”
He said he does not see others’ negativity towards himself because he knows who he is and is proud of it.
Gemini also talked to the audience members about bullying, a problem he feels will always be prominent in schools. To him, the word bully is like the name Voldemort in Harry Potter – you should never speak the name, because by giving bullies a name, you are allowing them to exist. He explained that no matter what you do, bullies are always going to exist in this world. Even as people mature throughout their lives, he said, bullying never actually leaves. However, as you get older, you learn how to handle it better and you get stronger and tougher, no longer allowing what others say or their opinions on you to affect you.
He told the audience to be great at whatever you are doing wherever you are and not to wait for greatness. Live in the here and now, being the best you that you can be, he said.