Students bring song, dance, drag to Grand Ballroom

Elizabeth Taylor, Campus Reporter

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*Editor’s Note: This story contains some profanity in the names of certain drag queens/kings.

Drag kings, queens and royalty performed in the Grand Ballroom on Thursday night.

There was a total of 14 separate performers: Mother Natwhore, Miss Behavior, Robin Hearts, Papa Cock, Apollo Device, Magic Mick, Dr. Frank N Style, Chanel Lanaé, Miss Ma’am Sir, Olivia Kay Boomer, PRUDEnce, Rebel Trebel, Lady Deviant and Ruby D. Luxe.

The emcee for the event was a drag queen who goes by MODE.

The performers lip-synced a variety of songs including All Star’s “Smash Mouth,” 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me,” and Todrick Hall’s “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels.”

This show’s suggested theme was movies, so some performers chose iconic musical numbers such as “Honey, Honey” from “Mamma Mia” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from “The Little Mermaid.”

The executive board of EIU Pride put on a special performance of “Jingle Bell Rock,” recreating the scene from “Mean Girls.”

EIU Pride holds a student drag show each semester to share a piece of LGBTQ+ culture with students and community members.

While some of the performers have had previous experience, others were making their drag debut.

One new performer was Tory Rose, freshman psychology major, whose only prior experience with drag was on TV.

Her drag persona is named Ruby D. Luxe, and she floated onto stage wearing a pair of incandescent wings and a neon pink wig.

Rose wanted to join the drag scene as a learning experience for the general audience as well as herself.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to open up more information about drag, that there are drag performers of all genders who personify all genders,” Rose said. “Also, just to boost my own confidence and encourage myself to put myself out there.”

Chanel Lanaé, who chose to just use her stage name, was also inspired by the chance to bring diversity into the drag scene.

“Apart from being within the LGBTQ+ community, I’m also part of the Latinx community, so I really want to represent that as well,” Lanaé said.

Lanaé is a fairly new performer as well; her only previous experience was last semester’s show.

She said drag is important to her because it is a form of self-expression.

“It’s a way to express yourself,” Lanaé said. “It is an art, and it’s a performance art, so it’s really fun.”

Sam Hennegan, sophomore philosophy and English major, has two drag personas.

As a queen, she calls herself Mama Hen, and as a king, Papa Cock.

She has performed before, making her debut at a student drag show last year.

Hennegan said she enjoyed receiving attention and making people happy.

“Drag to me is being able to identify as you want on a stage and having everyone enjoy it,” Hennegan said.

For this show, Hennegan used the Papa Cock pseudonym and made a surprise character performance: She entertained the crowd as movie character Shrek.

All of the performers received tips in the form of cash handed to them by the audience during or after the show, accompanied by a chorus of applause, cheers and laughter.

EIU Pride plans to hold another drag show in the Spring 2020 semester.

Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].