PRISM hosted a drag show Saturday, Oct. 22, in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom to raise money for the Pride Resource Center. The show began at 7 p.m. and ended around 9:30 p.m.
The show, called Queerly Ever After, featured many different costumes and routines from professional drag performers as well as student performers. There were over ten performances that took the stage, and all of the performers volunteered their time and energy for free.
The show was able to raise $1,075.46 thanks to the enthusiastic audience who were encouraged at the start of the show to throw money on the stage when they thoroughly enjoyed a performance.
The two hosts, Kendall McElhaney and Torrey Jay, kept the audience entertained and laughing with their political jokes and their Spongebob references.
The overall tone of the show was to encourage members of CSU’s queer community to embrace their gender and sexual identities while also keeping the audience entertained through each drag performance and the comedic bits by McElhaney and Jay between each performance.
McElhaney said the drag show and CSU’s queer community has played an important role in her time at CSU.
“This event holistically includes every single marginalized identity on campus, which is something that’s very important to me and very important to my queer community,” McElhaney said. “Being able to host the show for the third time, right before I graduate, was monumental, and it made my senior year because this is my family. We all share something, and this is my home.”
The word “drag” is an acronym for “dressing to represent another gender” as Jay explained at the start of the show. The two hosts did their best to make sure that the audience understood this term and encouraged them to stop assuming someone’s gender when it comes to the gender binary.
Senior geology major and co-chair of the drag show, Andy Auer, said the show brings more awareness to PRISM and CSU’s queer community.
“It’s a great way to start conversations with people, and I know sometimes students who aren’t aware of our student organization will come to our event, and thereby learn about the existence of our student organization,” Auer said. “We gain new members that way and we build a better sense of community, so it’s really exciting.”
Auer also talked about the impact drag shows in the past have had and continue to have on them.
“It’s very cool, and it can be very emotional,” Auer said. “There are some performances that have made me cry in the past, and then there are performances that’ll get the entire audience on their feet, clapping along, cheering. It is very community-based.”
Several people showed up to the event showing their pride and love for their community.
One student, Julie Dauer, brought a large trash bag filled with popcorn to share with her fellow audience members. She described the show as “inspiring, energetic, amazing, eye-opening and encouraging.”
Junior art major, Brittany Kiehl, said the drag show is an important event for CSU to have because it lets people in the queer community know they have a space to receive support.
“It allows those who struggle with gender identity issues to have a safe space that they can come and enjoy themselves.” Kiehl said. “I think it’s cool that, not only PRISM, but (CSU) allows a safe space and a place where those who are struggling can come have fun and enjoy themselves and not worry about being judged by other students, other peers, other people.”