Drag Show performers strut their stuff

Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter

Dancers clad in fishnet stockings, black lingerie, leopard-print leotards and even a Billy Idol lookalike all made their way around the U-Club, dancing and showing off for students Wednesday, April 11. They were performing in the Pitt State Drag Show.
“Many people never get the chance to see a drag show because they usually take place at a gay club or gay bar,” said Holden Kraus, graduate student in math and president of the PSU Gay Straight Alliance. “We wanted to bring this to a place where all are welcome and give everyone this experience.”
The drag show was one of the various activities taking place during Pride Week, a celebration of diversity among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community. Kraus says this is the second year the event has taken place and there are plans to host another one next year.
“Given the turnout, we might be doing one in the fall as well,” Kraus said. “The turnout for this was excellent. We had friends here from Missouri Southern State University’s Equality Alliance, and a large turnout from our group and the campus overall.”

Victoria Kennedy dances during the drag show at University Club on Wednesday, April 12, in Overman Student Center. Photo by:Srikanth Korlapati/Collegio

Victoria Kennedy dances during the drag show at University Club on Wednesday, April 12, in Overman Student Center. Photo by:Srikanth Korlapati/Collegio

Four professional performers danced at the event, two men dressed as women and two women dressed as men. Jade Dior, Victoria Kennedy and Dyman Marshall are from Joplin and regularly perform at the Pla-Mor lounge. River Wilde, who also performed, is from Springfield, Mo.
“They’re all three pretty popular, but Victoria and Jade are doing most of the announcing for us,” sad Kraus.
Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Dior’s drag career. She says she became involved in performing drag as a way to open up and be creative.
“It’s a good way to be who we want to be,” Dior said.
This is the first school where Dior has performed. She says she typically performs at Pla-Mor lounge, where more radio music is played. Dior says she enjoys the atmosphere at the university over performing in a club all of the time. She says there are some differences.
“Here, (PSU), you can have more fun, but it has to be more clean fun,” Dior said. “There’s a lot of people our age, from our generation here and a lot of them haven’t seen drag performers.”
The U-Club was packed with students intrigued by the performances. They clapped in unison during a variety of the performances. The performers came around to various tables where students were sitting and interacted with them. Some even placed a hand on the shoulder of a student, or sat down with them on the couch to keep their interest. Toward the end of the show, Dior and Kennedy gave students an opportunity to learn to strut their stuff. They reminded the males who were participating that they couldn’t do the “straight boy swagger.”
“It’s a new experience for me,” said Timothy Holden, freshman in music education. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The Gay Straight Alliance will also have a booth in the Oval today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where it will distribute LGBT history information and candy. Pride Week concludes Friday with a Pride Prom in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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