A drag queen takes the stage in Clement auditorium Lillian Hyde

Tonight, Austin Peay’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) and The Peacemakers hosted a drag show featuring queens Vivica Steele, Virginia Tea, Shelby LaBanks and Leimomi Lay-mome. 

This event was a controversial move from the organizations due to the recent bill that was passed in Tennessee making it a criminal offense to perform in “adult cabaret performances” under the circumstances that it is performed on public property, or it can be viewed by minors. 

Due to the bill, students had to be enrolled at Austin Peay and over the age of 18.

The Peacemakers’ president Andrew Fowler ‘Flowers’ said, “This semester, with the recent bills taking effect soon and with Dr. Eichhorn having passed, it felt vital that we make sure it happened and it happened right.”

The show had a large attendance and multiple people walked away from it with a positive attitude.

Freshman animation major Anna Foutch said, “I haven’t had much interaction with a local queer community as a young queer person myself until recently… it felt like such a fun and safe environment and it was so refreshing to see.”

The SAGA and Peacemakers’ leaders were invested in the drag show from the beginning, and it was more than just that to them.

Carl Button, the vice president of SAGA, said, “honestly this drag show meant everything to me. It was an experience I never thought I’d have. The amount of joy I felt not just from myself but from everyone else in that auditorium makes this all worthwhile. This drag show means happiness and survival to me and so many others.”

Flowers said, “I am hoping for people to see the sense of community that drag shows can bring to the people. I want people to know that Drag is not inherently sexual, and that it can be a family event and can be a beautiful expression of LGBTQ+ culture.”

Students attend drag show in Clement auditorium Lillian Hyde