The WVoice
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The WVoice

Throwing Shades: A Film on Identity and Colorism in the Drag Community of Los Angeles

An empathy to action film campaign spreading awareness on the issue of colorism and finding your people.

BY Women’s Voices Now


A look at colorism and the stigmas faced by the underground drag performance community of Los Angeles, California. This film is one of four short social-impact documentaries co-produced by GlobalGirl Media + Women’s Voices Now, summer 2018.

CREATED BY: Phalaen Chang, Catherine Gudino, Imani Nahale-Salazar, Lalah Nicholson, Jackie Ramirez

Meet Jean.



  • What is your exposure to or interaction with the drag community?
  • What is your knowledge of “colorism”?
  • Why is it necessary to be aware of these issues and the challenges faced by those in the drag community and those who deal with colorism?
  • Is it necessary to have some awareness and education about the concept of gender fluidity?
  • How do you self-identify? Are you aware of your multi-layered identity and how often does your identity positively or negatively affect your experience of the world, and/or how people accept or reject you?


  • Through their discussions of complex identities, what are some of the universal, humanist messages you receive from Nubia and Jean?
  • Jean states, ”My queerness and my latinidad are intrinsically connected.” What kind of impact, both for Jean and her audience, does exploring indigenous past through drag performances have?
  • Nubia talks about the problem of colorism in drag culture and beyond. How does colorism play out in other communities and environments? Have you experienced it yourself?
  • Jean talks about the power of having an amorphous and ephemeral identity. What does that mean to you? Where does your identity come from and how do you express it?
  1. SHARE THIS CAMPAIGN, copy/paste:

On Twitter and Facebook:

#ThrowingShades on #colorism. WATCH a short doc by #femaleyouth on being a #queen of #color in #LosAngeles, defining #identity & #inclusivity. #DefyHate, join the #empathytoactionfilmclub #womensvoicesnow #bethechange @WomensVoicesNow @globalgirlmedia

On Instagram:

#ThrowingShades on #colorism and #dragqueen #life, WATCH a short doc by #femaleyouth on being a #queen of #color, living and performing in #LosAngeles, defining #identity & #inclusivity. #DefyHate, join the #empathytoactionfilmclub #womensvoicesnow #bethechange @Womens_Voices_Now @GlobalGirl Media

2. HOST A SCREENING OF THIS FILM using this screening guide:

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3. Check out and support the LGBTQ advocacy organizations in the RESOURCES section below.

4. SIGN UP for the Women’s Voices Now newsletter to receive monthly updates and #empathytoactionfilmclub campaigns (click on Sign-up on the homepage.)

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Women’s Voices Now (WVN), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, advocates women’s rights by using the power of social impact film to influence media and culture. We carry out our mission with a free streaming archive of international women’s rights based films, our annual online film festival, educational programs, screening events, our digital publication, multimedia workshops and trainings, and a film fiscal sponsorship program.

As a non-governmental organization with special consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2017, our work is internationally recognized as impacting the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs): increasing good health and well being (SDG3); providing quality education (SDG4); promoting gender equality (SDG5); working toward reduced inequalities (SDG10); establishing peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16); and establishing partnerships to achieve the SDGs (SDG17).

To republish an article from The WVoice in its entirety or as a derivative work, you must attribute it to the author and Women’s Voices Now, and include a reference and hyperlink to the original article.

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