University Press

Drag show turns up the flair for seventh consecutive year

From Lady Gaga-like entrances to movie reenactments, the annual event proved it gets bigger and better each year.

Drag+queens+from+the+Haus+of+Ungodly%2C+a+drag+queen+group%2C+perform+before+the+show.+Joshua+Giron+%7C+Staff+Photographer+
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Drag show turns up the flair for seventh consecutive year

Drag queens from the Haus of Ungodly, a drag queen group, perform before the show. Joshua Giron | Staff Photographer

Drag queens from the Haus of Ungodly, a drag queen group, perform before the show. Joshua Giron | Staff Photographer

Drag queens from the Haus of Ungodly, a drag queen group, perform before the show. Joshua Giron | Staff Photographer

Drag queens from the Haus of Ungodly, a drag queen group, perform before the show. Joshua Giron | Staff Photographer

Victor Lopez, Contributing Writer

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“Who’s ready to draguate, bitches?” was the opening line to this year’s Homecoming Drag Show, where hundreds of students packed the Student Union auditorium ready to see the drag queens slated for the annual fall performance.

The show kicked off with a pre-show performance in which the Haus of Ungodly, a drag queen group, performed a musical dance number. Queens lip-synched and danced to “Dreamgirls” from the movie by the same title, “Lose My Breath” by Destiny’s Child, and “BO$$” by Fifth Harmony.

Queen Ariel Rimm, who MCeed for the seventh year in a row, mirrored Lady Gaga’s halftime show arrival at the 2017 Super Bowl. Just like Gaga, she descended from up above, but on a platform instead of being suspended, down to the stage where she continued her performance strutting up and down.

“Girl we have a lineup for you, we have a lineup for you!” Ariel said following her performance while the crowd cheered and clapped. “We have iconic TP Lords in the house, world famous Lisa [Limbaugh] and Rubber Child, Rianna Petrone, and a new queen to the set this year: Miss Tayanna Love!”

Following Rimm’s introduction, the show continued with various drag queens performing, each with their own style, flair, and dance moves.

The “Dancing Diva of the Palm Beaches” Rianna Petrone did flips and fast-paced dance moves to Ariana Grande’s “Problem” and “Break Free.” Rubber Child’s performance resonated, with messages related to body image as she performed to Flight Facilities’ “Crave You” and RuPaul’s “Supermodel” flanked on both sides with images and clips of morbidly obese people and fattening food.

The drag queens didn’t limit their performance to the stage. They danced through the aisles of the auditorium as the spotlight followed them and as members of the audience offered up cash.

Many weren’t shy and interacted with the crowd either as they danced with or on audience members, encouraging even more cheers and claps.

Between each performance, Rimm would come back on stage with a new outfit and more jokes to share with the crowd.

“OK, this is my, I want to say, eighth or seventh year doing drag,” Ariel said. “I didn’t always look this good, ask my mom or my sister. I was wearing a Dorothy costume with a blonde wig and I looked like a hooker on Dixie. And not the good kind for $20, like the dollar kind, you know what I mean?”

After an hour of performances, the show broke into an intermission where free soft drinks, pizza, and other food was provided by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, which sponsored the event.

The office worked to make this an educational experience by having a PowerPoint presentation both before the show and during the intermission that provided some history on drag. The history of the LGBT movement and terms that attendees may not be familiar with, such as “sexual orientation,” “pansexual,” and, of course, “drag” were touched on as well.

Many students that attended last year’s drag show returned again to see what this year’s show had to offer.

“Last year’s one was really great and I really loved it, so that’s why I came here,” Myra Fuentes said. “I had never been to a drag show, last year’s was my first experience of it. It was live, you know? They weren’t just on stage, they interacted with people.”

The University Press reached out to the director of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Artie Jamison, and Andrea Guzman Oliver, the associate vice president for Student Outreach and Diversity, for comment as to how many students were in attendance, but did not receive a response as of publication time. Jamison said the office anticipated close to 1,200 students for this year’s show, an increase of 300 from the 2016 event.

Following the intermission, drag queen TP Lords came on stage dressed as Bruno Mars, dancing to his hit songs “24K Magic” and “Perm.” Rubber Child then put on a “Scream”-themed performance, in which she dressed as Casey Becker, originally played by Drew Barrymore, and had a back-and-forth reenactment of the phone call scene between Ghostface and Becker.

At the end of the night, Rimm thanked everyone for attending and invited anyone in attendance to a meet-and-greet with the drag queens at the front of the stage.

Many audience members took up this offer and a line formed down the aisles as the drag queens spoke with and hugged their fans.

Victor Lopez is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].

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