With fall semester comes another new set of classes, another round of midterms, and thankfully, another drag show. Saturday’s QASU-sponsored event filled the Ballroom with plenty of laughter, amazing outfits and unforgettable performances. Saturday’s Drag Show was not only well received but also very well attended, breaking all previous attendance records for a UMD drag show. As soon as the doors opened, throngs of people flocked to grab a good seat along the catwalk, although the mirrored ceiling and booming speakers ensured that everyone could get a piece of the action.
Kyle Watson hosted this semester’s show, and he made sure to involve the audience as much as possible. There was a cheering tutorial, a tipping lesson, as well as a surprisingly professional-looking model-walk-off. In addition to these crowd-pleasing moments, there was the traditional condom demonstration as well as a shout out to the group of people selling, “Gay? Fine by me,” t-shirts in the back of the Ballroom.
Some of the highlights included a show-stopping performance by drag show virgin Fantina Delux, with a Bride-of-Frankenstein dance to “Turn Me On,” which elicited more tips than she could pick up with her long, pointy black fingernails. The dance troupe Funk-SOUL Patrol also got into the drag spirit by dancing to mash-ups of “It’s Raining Men” and “Call Me Maybe.”
The biannual performance is put on by QASU and features a variety of performers from the UMD community. Unlike some previous shows, this year featured a very even number of drag queens to drag kings, giving everyone an opportunity to express their gender identity however they please, and giving the audience a wonderful glimpse into the wide spectrum of gender expression.
As board member and performer Mayson Longley said, “I hope that people can feel like they have found a space or a forum to feel comfortable with however they identify, especially related to gender. I hope they can feel acceptance while they are at these shows, and even after.”
The increased attendance as well as the overwhelming enthusiasm of the audience suggests a trend of curiosity and acceptance about the way other people choose to identify themselves. With each drag show comes another opportunity for the performers to express themselves and for the surrounding community to get in on the fun and the freedom that comes with it.
BY ABBY ROSEN firstname.lastname@example.org