All Hail The Kings & Queens
History hails countless kings and queens who have explored their identities as both people and performers for the purpose of Drag Shows.
The legacy of these kings and queens was celebrated at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s annual Drag Show last Saturday. The event was organized by The Queer and Allied Student Union.
“I spent all summer crotating my rainbow chaps,” Elizabeth Farley, sophomore at UMD said.
Farley went by the stage name of ‘Freddie Uranus’ on Saturday.
“I’ve been practicing my male walk for a while now. I typically put on a really bad looking mustache too. I look like my dad and it freaks me out a little,” Farley said.
Photos by Alex Ganeev/Statesman
While drag shows typically showcase Drag Queens — men impersonating women, the Drag King phenomenon — women impersonating men, has been gaining momentum.
“I began questioning my identity in 7th grade and I discovered RuPaul’s Drag Show in 8th grade. I thought that the gender performances on the show were really interesting and magical. It wasn’t until college that I was able to try Drag myself,” Farley said.
Farley’s performance consisted of three songs. These included: “Moonage Day Dream” by Bowie, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness and “Lesbian Vampires From Outer Space” by Scary Bitches
“I am still kind of figuring it out. I enjoy being a woman as much as I enjoy being a man. I dress the way that I dress depending on the day. It is fun to switch in and out,” Farley said.
As much as this event was a celebration, it is also educational. Drag Shows have long allowed individuals look beyond gender roles and sexuality.
“The Drag Show is especially important for new students on campus because a lot of them come from small towns and have never been exposed to something like this,” Sean Carpenter, Junior at UMD said.” We are hoping that the Drag Show will give them a positive introduction to Drag. We want to make our presence known and share our culture with campus,” Carpenter added.
According to Carpenter, the show usually has a pretty good turn out.
All of the funds raised go to QASU.
“ The majority of these funds pay for the two conferences that QASU attends annually. The first one is called the Midwest Out Campus Conference (MOCC) and it takes place in Morris, MN. The second one is called the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Trans And Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) and it takes place in Chicago, IL,” Carpenter said.
In the past, QASU was only able to take 10-12 students. This year, however, Carpenter predicts that they will be able to take 20-25.
Like Farley, Carpenter remembers feeling inspired by RuPaul’s Drag Show. Though he has attended many Drag Shows, this was the first one that Farley has participated in.
“It is hella expensive,” Carpenter said. “Especially when you are 6’5 with size 13 feet.”
Also like Farley, Carpenter chose a stage name. His was ’Sascha Hottie.’
“Doing something like this is definitely a statement. You are putting yourself out on the line. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. I certainly don’t take their support for granted,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter’s performance consisted of two songs. These included: The Fame by Lady Gaga and Fergalicious by Fergie
Adding to the excitement of the event, this year is the first year in a while that UMD hire a professional Drag Queen, Minneapolis-based Esme’ Rodriquez to host the event.
“I love that the community at UMD has come together to create and enjoy Drag performance art. We convene to stand together and to grow brave spaces, and it is in those spaces that we can be authentically who we are,” Rodriquez said.