PRIDE hosts third annual drag show


Karrington Bradley

Genevieve, drag performer, dances for PRIDE’s third annual drag show.

People Respecting Identity Diversity for Everyone  hosted a drag show on April 9 as part of Inclusion Now! for about 60 audience members and 12 performers. The pre-sale price was $5 and it was $7 at the door.

Teneshia Gold, exercise physiology freshman and PRIDE member, said, “I’ve never been to one [drag show] before. It was good. I was nervous that someone was going to come to me and I didn’t want to be awkward and not know what to do because I’ve never been to one before, but it was fun.”

PRIDE offers students the opportunity to attend LGBTQ+ events they may have not experienced before college.

Paige Champagne, PRIDE secretary and computer science sophomore, said, “It’s fun. I’ve never really seen drag performances until I came to college and it’s really something else.”

Drag queens and kings performed lip syncs, dancing, live singing, and even a screenplay as part of the drag show.

Herbert McCullough, political science graduate and performer, whose drag name is Tulsi, said, “It was fun, I really enjoyed the screenplay. My screenplay was really good. I wrote it in 2015ish and it was a social commentary on the Syrian refugee crisis since it was becoming a huge issue in Europe during that time. The story itself is kind of a parody of the Cinderella story with the lead being a male character. It’s actually from the point of view of a Syrian refugee and he’s in an abusive family with evil stepbrothers and an evil stepfather. So the gender roles are kind of reversed instead of the fairy godmother it’s the fairy god-friend, named Oscar.”

As part of the intermission, Danni, drag show host, let two volunteers from the audience have a lip sync battle. The first volunteer lip synced to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. The second volunteer lip synced to Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears and ultimately won the battle, but there was no grand prize.

Joselin Flores, general business freshman, said she would have never been that confident to perform in front of everyone.

Drag queen in orange dress and black belt dancing down walkway between audience members
Karrington Bradley
Genevieve, drag queen, dancing after the brief intermission of the drag show.

The drag performers interacted with the audience, an audience that included members who got lap dances and who participated in playful antics.

“Don’t sit in the front or on the sides because you’re not safe there, you’re going to get touched and things are going to happen. It’s wild,” Champagne said.

PRIDE is a student organization that aims to provide a supportive environment for LGBT+ students on campus.

“It’s like a safe space. We need more of those. Even though people might be an ally there are not many safe spaces so it’s good to have one,” Gold said.

Although PRIDE is a LGBT+ focused organization, they welcome people of all sexual identities to come and discuss the various issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

“The drag show was very important because I realized how important it is to have the freedom to express yourself and challenge gender norms as well as stand up for human rights. I’m a cis-gender, heterosexual dude in a dress and there is nothing wrong with that,” McCullough said.

PRIDE continues to make efforts to make campus a judgment-free zone and offer support for transgender individuals.

“I just became an officer this semester and I joined last semester and I feel like we’re doing more stuff than we’ve ever done,” Champagne said, ” We have this clothing closet that’s geared for trans people and we do that every other week. We’re doing this and we just had our first gala the other weekend, so we’re doing a lot more stuff. We even talked about expanding the closet.”