Drag show emphasizes creativity, inclusivity

Vada Shelby, News Contributor

With performances ranging from poetry, to singing, to dancing dressed as Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants, last Saturday’s drag show aimed to inform and entertain the audience in an environment supportive of all identities. 

Oregon State University’s  Rainbow Continuum’s Spring Drag Show was hosted at Lasells Stewart Center, and featured a competition portion and a showcase portion of the event, where performers of all skills and experience levels could show the crowd their talent. All the performers were there on a volunteer basis, but many earned money throughout the night with tips thrown onto the stage as they did their routine. The winner of the competition portion, Drag Queen Giardia Dharma, was crowned this year’s Beaver Royalty. Giardia Dharma’s set featured songs by Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor, and a Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants-themed costume. 

Drag Queen Black Cherry Gin, who previously held the title of Beaver Royalty, had two performances, and hosted the show. They have been doing drag for one and a half years. 

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“Everyone is dedicated here. A lot of people have so much passion for this little college town and we have one of the nicest crowds ever,” Black Cherry Gin said. 

Some of the people at Lasells Stewart Center were first-time performers. The showcase section after intermission provided a time for some new performers to test out the waters. 

Performer Wicked Scarlett gave her first performance to Christina Aguilera’s “But I’m a Good Girl.” 

“I had gone to the fall drag show, and I just loved the energy and everything about it. I like doing Burlesque so I decided to come to do my thing,” Wicked Scarlett said. “I told myself ‘Well I’m scared, but I’m just going to do it.’ Then it was signing up, picking a song and putting together an outfit, and now I’m here.”

During each performance, audience members would leave cash on the stage or hand it directly to the performers as per drag show etiquette. Many performers were met with standing ovations as well as bursts of cheers throughout their routines. 

Audience members Lily Butler and Clark Chesshir enjoyed the show.

‘It’s so wonderful, it’s awesome, I love it,” Chesshir said. “I love watching all the costumes and performances. It’s so cool they come up with it, practice it, and put so much time into it.” 

Chesshir had been to drag shows before, but it was Butler’s first time. During intermission, Butler was considering leaving a tip on the stage for the second act. 

“It’s a really cool experience,” Butler said. “I knew a little about how drag shows worked before coming, but it’s so fun.” 

Backstage, there was a big sense of community and friendliness between the performers and contestants. Drag Queen Thotti Dujour said the dressing room atmosphere was very welcoming, with people helping one another with body paint, eyelashes or other frustrations. 

“It depends on the dressing room because some of them are a little more lively and some of them are more independent and quiet,” Thotti Dujour said. “I think it’s very fun to be able to dress up and have this personality and go do something and still be able to take it all off at the end of the day and go back to being myself.”

Thotti Dujour has been doing drag for about one year, and said getting started is a risk worth taking for those considering it. 

“If you’re scared of doing drag, just do it. We are all super welcoming. You can also perform instead of competing if you are scared,” Thotti Dujour said. 

The drag show lasted from 7-9 p.m., and performers mingled with the audience members for a bit after the show. Details on how to sign up for future drag shows can be found at the Rainbow Continuum or Pride Center website.