On Dec. 1, the University of New Mexico LGBTQ Resource Center held a fashion show to help raise awareness for World AIDS Day.
“Passion for Fashion” was a competition at the Student Union Building between a team from the Provost’s office and a team from the Women’s Resource Center.
The teams were required to create an outfit out of expired condoms and various materials in a strict time limit of 20 minutes. The Provost office’s team, who went with a look inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz, was named the winner of the competition.
“Passion for Fashion” is an annual event that has been running for several years.
“We once had a contestant make a dress, purse and shoes in twenty minutes,” host Lola LaVerne Roxxx said.
“I think it’s a lot of fun for a serious topic,” said Queer Student Alliance member Melanie Foucault. “The more fun events like these are, the more interest it will bring to share the message.”
Roxxx announced the instructions of the contest, facts regarding HIV and AIDS awareness, along with the winner at the conclusion of the event.
“According to the National AIDS report, there were approximately 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV or AIDS in 2016,” Roxxx said. “Of these, 2.1 million were children. That’s why it is so crucial for everyone to get tested.”
On the team representing the Women’s Resource Center, Sarah East said she was excited to be a part of this event.
“I’m here, because I work for the Women’s Resource Center, so I’m here participating in ‘Passion for Fashion’ as this team’s model,” East said. “I think this helps raise awareness, and in this case, it raises awareness for World AIDS Day.”
The event was a way for the LGBTQ Resource Center to approach the topic of the dangers of HIV and AIDS as well as showcase the resources available to students at the LGBTQ Resource Center, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We have testing every Tuesday at the LGBTQ Resource Center. It is confidential, free and it only takes 20 minutes,” Roxxx said. “It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight or bisexual...if you are having sex, you need to get tested.”
Rebecca Brusseau is a news and culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers the LGBTQ community. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or on Twitter @r_brusseau.