Throwin’ it back to drag: Student Drag Show set for Friday in Union

Rylee DeLong, Contributing Writer

Wigs, makeup, dancing, lights and costumes are what students will find in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union this Friday.

Every semester the LGTBQ organization, PRIDE, puts on The Student Drag Show, which will start at 7 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. The doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

The Student Drag Show has been going on for three years and this year will include new performers, dance moves, makeup and costumes.

From lip-syncing to choreographed dances, some Eastern students will be performing in full drag. This semester’s theme is throwbacks.

Some performers will be doing a throwback theme with various songs.

The audience is encouraged to dress up and come in any decade attire.

Blu Howard, PRIDE social chair and performer and a sophomore psychology major, said they will be dancing to 90s music along with others who are performing to other songs from different decades.

“My favorite part of the drag show is being able to express a part of yourself that you might not have even known it was there in the first place,” Howard said.

Ceduxion Carrington, a drag queen from the Champaign/Urbana area, will host the drag show. General admission is $3 at the door, but tips are optional and “appreciated,” said Hunter Levingston, PRIDE president and senior biology student.

Profits go to the Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service (SACIS) and anyone from the Charleston community can come and watch, Levingston said.

One challenge that comes with planning the show is how to set up the ballroom, Levingston said.

“One of the biggest challenges of planning the drag show has been the set-up of how were organizing the ballroom,” Levingston said. “We ran into some problems with stage issues.”

Howard said the drag show gives students, both in the show and in the audience, a fun chance to express their individualities.

“(What) I want the audience to take away from this show (is) that not only is it just a show, but you can express yourself however you want just in your own lives,” Howard said. “You don’t need to be in a drag show to do whatever you want, I mean within legal limits. You can be who you are.”

Levingston said the event helps bring the drag and LGBTQ communities together with the Charleston community.

“I think it’s a good event because it’s bringing that community to the Charleston area which is something that we haven’t really had before. The only exposure that people can get sort of like this is if they traveled to nearest Champaign or Chicago,” Levingston said.  “It’s a good local way to bring this out and about and to bring awareness to the queer community, too.”

The members of PRIDE and the performers ask audience members to be respectful and to not touch the performers.

Screaming and cheering is welcomed, as well as dancing with the queens if it is consensual. There will be more instructions at the event of what is acceptable.

Levingston said he hopes the audience gains a better understanding of the LGBTQ community while also having a fun time from attending the drag show.

“I just want (the audience) to have a fun time and to see that there are so many different facets to the queer community and just continue to explore those,” Levingston said.

Those interested in helping to set the event up can contact Levingston at [email protected]; set-up is at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday.

Rylee DeLong can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].