» By RAVEN JACKSON – rjackson@my.apsu.edu

The Clement Auditorium was roaring with music, laughter and good times during the Gay/Straight Alliance’s “First
Annual Drag Show” which premiered with a bang and brought a large crowd to fill the seats of the auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17. The event, part of Equality Week, included performaers Antifreeze, CoCo Gazel and Toy Divine, lip synching and dancing to musical numbers throughout the night.

“A drag show is a show of guys who vary in sexual orientations that dress up in ‘drag’ or exuberant female attire. The female alternative is females who dress in male attire,” said Ryan Whipkey, President of Gay/Straight Alliance.

The creators of the event not only aimed to host an unforgettable night for students and the community to enjoy, but also hoped to bring diversity, acceptance and equality to campus. “Our hope was that the students who attended the show or saw the fliers for the show would recognize the diversity of the LGBT community and the Straight Allies,” Whipkey said.

APSU juniors Frederick Allen and Dio the Doll had the crowd on their feet with their rendition of Beyonce’s “Party.” “Last year, I was introduced to drag by my roommate and it actually brought out the true side of me. I don’t want to be a woman, but drag is something just so wonderful. It’s just to have fun [and] to perform in front of lots of people,” Allen said.

“When you first get on the stage, your thoughts are ‘I hope I don’t get any negative feedback, I hope no one calls me names, I hope everyone claps.’ It’s just really amazing to be in front of a live audience and see how people take to your art, because that’s what drag is. Drag is definitely one of the greatest art forms of our time,” Dio said.

A portion of the proceeds raised from the show will be donated to the Oasis Center, an organization based out of Nashville that assists middle Tennessee youth as they move into adulthood. “The donations raised from the show are able to provide many survival backpacks for the homeless youth that the Oasis Center supports, and about 300 canned-food items for the center,” Whipkey said.

For more information on GSA or to request more shows, contact the organization at gsa.apsu@gmail.com or like their Facebook page at Facebook.com/APSUGSA. TAS