Three students were awarded scholarships in the Queer Excellence Talent Show held by the Multicultural Student Center Wednesday night.
The talent show took place in the Live Oak Event Center and included interactive entertainment such as an MC and a live DJ from Knights of the Turntables.
The event was put on by MSC Pride Director Fausto Cardenas. “The purpose of having the Queer Excellence Talent Show was to showcase LGBTQ+ identities,” Cardenas said. “I really wanted to highlight that we have talents as well.”
The talents showcased included singing, guitar playing, poem and monologue recitals and a drag show. After every performance, audience members were able to cast their vote on who they thought should win first, second and third place. The three winners won a scholarship of $200, $150 and $100 respectfully. The scholarship money goes towards their tuition at the University of Central Florida.
The first place award was given to Jamonté Bruten, a Musical Theatre major who sang ‘A Song For You’ by Donny Hathaway. The second place winner was Johanna Gonzalez who sang ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ from the musical Hairspray and Dwight Stewart II took home third place for singing an original song titled ‘Please, Please, Please.’
“This was a good way to showcase the talents of LGBTQ+ individuals without them being judged based off of their sexual orientation” said Jonathan McNelis, a Junior majoring in Public Administration. This was his very first MSC event as he was there to support his friend who performed a monologue. “I was just excited to see everyone come out and perform.”
“I think it’s really cool that these LGBTQ+ events are available because we didn’t have them at my high school,” said Vilma Portocarrero, a Freshman majoring in Creative Writing. “So, I try to come out and support as much as I can.”