The UWG’s Queer Student Alliance (QSA) held its 11th annual Drag show, featuring talent from professional drag queens on April 22. The Drag Show featured nine drag queens from Atlanta, each lip-syncing to a song of their choice with a choreographed dance accompanying it. The show was titled “Dragzotic” and was hosted by MC Destiny Brooks and featured DJ McIntosh.
The event was created by QSA, the University’s LGBTQ student organization, for the purposes of entertainment for students on campus. It allows students to attend and learn more about queer culture as well as see what a real drag show looks like.
“We advocate for queer students on campus, educate the university population about LGBTQ issues, and provide safe space for members,” said QSA President, Christopher Brackett. “We intend to make UWG a welcoming, supportive environment for everyone associated with the queer community, including those of us who are trans, non-binary, asexual, intersex, pansexual and allies.”
The QSA has two events that they host every year, one being the Drag Show in the spring and the other being Pride Week in the fall. Due to the pandemic last year, the Drag Show was broadcasted virtually for students to attend. This year, students attended in person while complying with COVID-19 regulations or virtually through a Zoom link.
“Normally we expect in excess of 300 people to attend,” said Brackett. “However, this year we are scaling back and only allowing just over 100 people to attend due to the ongoing pandemic.”
The COVID-19 guidelines are mandated by the University System of Georgia and include mask wearing as well as social distancing by separating the chairs six feet apart. The show was held in the Campus Center Ballroom to accommodate the social distancing required. The drag queens also wore face shields when in the audience to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
During the show, the drag queens have complete control over what happens. The show consisted of solo acts as well as duets and coordinated dance numbers. Many of the performances featured hit songs, such as “Rain on Me” by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga and “Don’t Call Me Angel” by Arianna Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. Not only did they perform these songs, but they also coordinated their apparel to look like the actual singers. Along with lip-syncing, the queens also went into the crowd and interacted with the audience.
The entirety of the evening, the audience could be seen singing along with the drag queens, as well as going up to the stage to give their praise. The queens created a comradery with the audience, much like a comedy show where they would make jabs at audience members. The audience played into the performance, finding the interactions entertaining.
“This was the first time I’ve been to a drag show,” said attendee, Mary Ellen Masters. “I did not know what to expect, but overall had an exciting experience and thought that the performers really engaged with the audience.”