Written by: Sam Coulson
Festival Ballroom was a little bit shinier than normal on Saturday, October 5th. UPB and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) put on a Drag Show featuring the glamorous drag queens of Rhinestone Productions.
The ballroom filled up before the show started as students buzzed in anticipation. As they waited for things to start, students were able to listen to a DJ play some familiar pop music while treating themselves to free food, including dessert and a cheese plate.
“I’ve never been to a drag show before,” said Senior Graphic Design major Kathy Deloria. “It’s refreshing to see a show like this held on campus.”
The show kicked into gear with the MC, Sabrina Lawrence, the current Ms. Gay Harrisonburg titleholder. She introduced each performer’s set hilariously, spouting jokes and interacting with the crowd before welcoming everyone. She even performed two sets of her own, working in a costume change where she donned an elaborate rainbow costume, complete with a colorful headdress.
Along with Sabrina Lawrence, every performer brought something different to their set. Genesis Night performed to a Lady Gaga song while wearing a costume that was reminiscent of the cultural icon. Every entertainer interacted heavily with the audience by going from table to table and dancing with enthusiastic members of the crowd.
“The queens brought a lot of fun energy to the stage,” Deloria added.
The show, while exciting, was also a great way for students to get together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and think about gender. Drag is an accessible and fun means of starting conversations about this community.
“People tend to underestimate shows like this,” said Senior Communications Science and Disorders (CSD) major Lindsey Ray, speaking to the entertainment, fun, and unexpected inclusivity of drag shows.
This, and other drag shows, are a gateway to appreciation of the LGBTQ+ community. They allow for people to laugh, dance, and think in a safe space. This was the case for Christina Gedz, a Senior Earth Science major.
“It was so hype,” she said. “It really surprised me.”
The event was a wonderful time for students to let loose in a laid back, fun environment. If you missed this event, be on the lookout for other events from both UPB and SOGIE. Both routinely host events and programming throughout the academic year.