Taking a drag with Pitt State Gay-Straight Alliance
Luke Pryor Collegio Reporter
Men wearing pink dresses, matching make-up, knee high boots and wigs, women with facial hair, wearing baggy shorts and bandanas lip sync to music from Shaggy and Justin Bieber. For many, it’s not a common sight, but that was the scene at the Pitt State Gay Straight Alliance’s drag show, one of the organization’s events for Gay Pride Week, on Wednesday night, April 6.
Despite the novelty of the occasion, the crowd seemed to be enjoying itself, clapping and cheering loudly. Holden Kraus, president of the PSGSA, says this was only one of the intentions the organization had in mind when planning the event.
“Tonight is all about acceptance, showing that we’re not all black and white,” Kraus said. “There’s many shades and different colors in between. It’s all about accepting people for who they are, and not judging them.”
Matt Blunt, a performer in the event and winner of the Audience Favorite Queen award, said that the audience seemed to be receptive of this message of acceptance.
“As a cross-dressing performer, or as a drag queen, or even a transvestite, transgender, to feel welcomed, and to feel like you’re normal, and to feel like there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing, that’s all you can ask for,” said Blunt, who has been participating in similar performances for about six months.
Blunt, who performed to the song “S and M” by Rihanna, says that not only was the audience receptive, but they also appeared to be having a good time.
“You want every person in the audience to be in the piece with you,” Blunt said. “So getting them involved as much as you can is part of it.”
Randi Tucker, member of the PSGSA, said that she was also pleased with the turnout at tonight’s event, especially since this was the first year the organization held a drag show. Prizes were given to participants for “best dressed king,” awarded to Elizabeth Rix, who performed under the moniker “Seamus O’Malley”; “best dressed ‘queen,’” given to Sam Holsinger as “Lola Bell”; “audience favorite for king,” given to Madi Ebbs as “E Money”; and “most outrageous,” given to Miranda Steele as “Stevie D.”
Apart from the performances, the event also featured literature promoting safe sex, information on sexually transmitted diseases and free condoms provided by Gorillas in Your Midst. Kraus says that this was also an important message the organization wanted to convey at the event, and the week as a whole.
“We want to highlight these different things, and make sure the literature is there for people to take,” Kraus said.
PSGSA Gay Pride Week wraps up Thursday, April 7, with gay history trivia from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Oval.