19th Annual Drag Show – Celebrating queer art – The Oakland Post

Photo+courtesy+of+GSC+on+Instagram

Photo courtesy of GSC on Instagram

The 19th Annual Drag Show was held at the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms on March 19th. 10 drag queens captivated the audience during the three-hour event organized by drag queen Sabin.

In the lobby of the banquet room, various tables were found with infographics, stickers and free supplies to decorate the event. Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) staff and Alliance for Gender and SexualityThe staff welcomed around 400 participants.

Pride flags, glow sticks and cheers opened the stage for the host, Sabin. Sabin, who has performed at Oakland University eleven times before, introduced the cast of OU students and out-of-state queens, who each performed twice on stage.

“This is kind of like a question-and-answer format,” Sabin said. “Between the acts, I’ll be at the end and I’ll be talking to people in the audience and asking you different questions. You can also ask me questions.”

After Sabin kicked off the show with the 90s classic, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” Prince Marsalis danced to The Weeknd and heavy metal songs reminiscent of last decade’s slasher films, which were reflected in his costumes.

In rockstar outfits and glittering makeup, Burnout introduced synthpop acts and rock songs that synergized with Sir Guy’s performance of “Bye Bye Bye.” Both aesthetics recalled high school dances of the mid-2000s.

With humorous breaks after each act, Sabin engaged with the audience to answer questions about makeup expenses, costuming and their first time in drag.

Spine continued the show with contemporary hits like “Future Nostalgia” and acrobatic splits on stage, followed by Latifa Renee Hunter’s theatrical rendition of Whitney Houstion’s “I’m Every Woman.”

Dynamic ripped costumes and pop vibes characterized Amanduh’s performance followed by the emblematic country anthem “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” accompanying Bartholomew Frost’s performance.

Although not a comedy show, Sabini’s interjections kept the laughs flowing as gender identity, trans rights and difficult experiences during past shows were discussed.

Lady Angelica performed fluid choreography on dreamlike tracks, while Desmond Desire encapsulated the playful attitude of tracks like Bruno Mars’ “Chunky.”

GSC graduate assistant Joey Colby explained that he traded over $900 in single dollar bills to the audience to tip the drag queens while they performed.

Sabin closed the event by sharing some stories of their first time doing drag, bad experiences with other queens, and dating advice. “Firework” by Katy Perry and “Chandelier” by Sia were testaments to the cathartic nature of Sabin’s performance and drag as an art form.

“My favorite thing about drag is the sheer self-expression and sheer customization,” said Lady Angelica. “I had my own music, I danced and I had a great makeup artist.”

Like Lady Angelica, Bartholomew Frost is an OU alumnus who has only performed twice on campus. Both emphasized excitement and appreciation for the campus community that supports queer art.

“I’m a big supporter of the queer arts,” said Bartholomew Frost. “I actually run a club that celebrates queer creatives [RAINBOW]. It’s really important to get our voices out there and for students to see just the art form and see themselves and other perspectives.”

With an anecdote about a performance at Central Michigan University, Sabin highlighted the college students’ support of the drag community and championed it as a turning point in their careers and lives.

“An auditorium of complete strangers at the university gave me a standing ovation,” Sabin said. “Not for anything I’d ever achieved, but just for what I’d done on stage. It was at that moment that I realized that this is why we do what we do. Instead of counting dollars and doing all that stuff, the reason I show up is for you guys.”

OU Pride Month continues through April 11. For more information, visit GSC’s Instagram at @ou_gsc.

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