By Kendra Jones |
A stage and runway occupied the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center’s field house as professional and amateur drag queens and kings showcased their talents to a packed house March 19.
YCP LAMBDA, an organization that provides support for LGBTQ+ individuals, has hosted drag shows before, but this was their first show within the past two years. Jessika Roberts, a sophomore psychology major and a member of LAMBDA, said that “the drag show is a great way to bring the LGBT community and supporters together to enjoy a performance.”
“This event is aimed for the public to see these [performances] in real life to understand that there’s more to LAMBDA,” said Roberts.
“We thought we would get 15 to 20 people, but over 100 showed up,” said Sarah Sindelar, a senior theatre major and member of LAMBDA.
Dylan Myers, a junior psychology major and member of YCP LAMBDA, said that not only students came out; residents of York County, friends and family of the performers, the 2012 Miss New Jersey drag queen and some students from Accepted Students Day enjoyed the event.
LAMBDA brought in professional drag performers Maxwell Treats, Jade DeVere, Jessica Lynn Fox and Felicia O’Toole from the York and Harrisburg areas, and YCP students, Imara Ashton, Reva Thompson and Kelly Hartigan, participated in amateur hour.
The audience could stay for a question and answer session held after the show, where topics such as drag transphobia were discussed. “Doing drag was the first time I had a space to be exactly who I wanted to be in front of people,” said Treats, suggesting why transphobia is unfair. Treats said that drag is a way to explore his own gender and other genders.
“It’s a performing art—it’s so exaggerated that it’s not even what you would consider walking down the street,” said Treats. “Like, I don’t wear a clown suit every day.”
When the performers were asked how they develop their personas, O’Toole said that she bases them on feedback from the audience, what she is comfortable with and what she enjoyed doing in previous shows.
“Everyone develops their own style,” said Treats. In this particular show, he appeared on stage in different costumes, including being “nailed” to a cross, in a clown outfit complete with a cone hat made entirely of pom pom balls, and with hamburgers stuffed in his socks. Treats said that he always comes up with a visual image and then builds a four to five minute number around it.
With many unique performances, exposing the audience to the lip syncing and acting of drag queens and kings, those hosting the drag show hope that people see drag in a more positive way. “This shows that [York College] is a really diverse campus and a welcome area,” said Myers.
Featured image: photos by Joseph Rogers.