BEING BEBE: Cross-Cultural Exchange & the Advancement of LGBTQI+ Human Rights

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Date(s) - 06/13/22
12:00 pm


Sometimes transformational cross-cultural exchange happens in academic and diplomatic settings. Other times, it takes the form of a song, a dance, and a lip-sync in 6” heels and a lioness wig.

In celebration of LGBTQI+ Pride Month and Good Docs’ educational release & academic screening tour of the award-winning new film BEING BEBE, this Fulbright Forum welcomes legendary drag performer BeBe Zahara Benet. Joining BeBe to discuss the film’s themes – challenging stereotypes, empowering diverse gender expression, celebrating creativity, family acceptance, faith, love, and LGBTQI+ human rights – are members of the filmmaking team, the Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad, and representatives from Fulbright Noir and Fulbright Prism.

Fans know BeBe as the iconic first winner of the worldwide reality show phenomenon RuPauls Drag Race. BEING BEBE not only features 15 years of intimate exclusive material, but also opens audiences’ eyes to the challenges that LGBTQI+ and gender non-conforming individuals in BeBe’s home country of Cameroon (as in many other countries worldwide) still face today.

BEING BEBE has multiple ties to Fulbright:  BeBe’s father Dr. Collins Ngwa – an esteemed Professor of International Relations in Yaounde who appears throughout the film – was a Fulbrighter from Cameroon (1986). Producer Jonathan Goodman Levitt and Advisory Board Member Natasha Johnson were also Fulbrighters to the U.K. After attending the film’s New York Premiere, Fulbright GNY hosted a reception with BeBe to continue the conversation and celebrate the cultural diversity & Black Queer Excellence that the film embodies.

BEING BEBE is now available for screenings and educational events nationwide, and we are very pleased to open this conversation up to the broader Fulbright community at this special event with support from Rainbow Railroad, Fulbright Noir, and Fulbright Prism.



Natasha Johnson

Fulbright Specialist (2011, U.K.)

Attorney, Artivist

BEING BEBE Advisory Board Member





BeBe Zahara Benet – Drag Performer, International Recording Artist, Protagonist of BEING BEBE Emily Branham – Director/Producer of BEING BEBE Kimahli Powell — Executive Director, Rainbow Railroad


This event has been made possible by Fulbright Association’s outreach partnership with BEING BEBE. It has been programmed by BEING BEBE’s Producers Emily Branham, Marc Smolowitz, and Jonathan Goodman Levitt (Fulbright Scholar, U.K., 1999-2000), with support from Rainbow Railroad and Fulbright Prism.

Learn more & license BEING BEBE for educational & library use here:

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