Belial B’Zarr on the Importance of Community

Belial B’Zarr, who you may recognise from RUSU’s Disco Inferno event, is a Melbourne-based drag king and self-proclaimed ‘psychedelic lizard wizard’. Their shows encompass creative self-expression. However, at a youth event in Moonee Ponds last Friday, Belial’s performance was halted when a group began marching and chanting hate speech towards them.  

Catalyst thankfully spoke to Belial about their experience of the event, to which they expressed that:

The targeted nature was the most shocking part. Unfortunately a lot of the [media] reports have not even mentioned my name, or the fact that it was targeted at me.

What is concerning, is that these groups feel empowered to do this at all. By having their faces on the front of newspapers, you’re empowering them. We can’t let them go unchecked, but adjusting angles and talking about community response and community care instead ensures they’re not getting the attention they want. ‘

Belial notes that the subsequent outpour of love from the queer community and beyond has been reaffirming:

A lot of people have been commenting their support, checking in and just making sure I’m getting on safe.

Belial notes they’ve always had a creative flare, immersing themselves in visual art, sewing, dancing and learning how to play and compose classical music from a young age. However, through uni procrastination in 2017, they discovered the drag community on the internet. 

I got really invested in this idea of creating my own characterisation and being able to use it as social commentary.

From their extravagant look to their exuberant energy on stage, Belial B’Zarr has since become one of Melbourne’s most adored drag performers. Continuously at the forefront of their career, is an appreciation and advocation for the queer community they are a part of and that has supported them from the start: 

I would be screwed without community. I wouldn’t have a job without them. I’m someone who doesn’t have connections or biological parents or anything like that, so actually having a chosen family within that community has been so important.

Photo by Oscar Saunders

We’d like to extend our gratitude to Belial B’Zarr for their words during a difficult time. You can keep up to date with them and upcoming performances by following their Instagram @belial.bzarr  

Header image by Jayden Byrne

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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