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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

CSU drag show brings back energy, representation to community

Mx+Freudian+Slip+performs+at+the+annual+Colorado+State+University+drag+show+as+cash+thrown+onstage+by+crowd+members+rains+down

Collegian | Lucy Morantz

Mx Freudian Slip performs at the annual Colorado State University drag show as cash thrown onstage by crowd members rains down April 16.

Lee Medley

Katrina Leibee, Editor in Chief

Performers brought glitz, glamour and energy to the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom April 16 for Drag Show: Resurrection.

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, visitors finally packed the ballroom to cheer, dance and sing with professional, staff and student entertainers. Hosted by Jessica L’Whor, who calls herself the “biggest whore in all of Colorado,” and co-host Chocolat, who is a Colorado State University staff member, lots of drag kings and queens brought back the excitement that was missed for years. 

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The CSU drag show is popular for being one of the largest in Colorado, and people outside the CSU and Fort Collins community come to see it. Sarah Gallegos, a visitor from Boulder, came to the show with her mom after finding out about it and already being fans of drag.

“We watch ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ all the time,” Gallegos said. “We just found out about (the CSU drag show) this year.” 

As the show started, the entire ballroom had to be opened up to make room for all the guests at the show, as the back half of it was previously closed off. 

Drag queen Lulu Alnite began the show in a pink dress that made its way to the floor halfway through the performance. Alnite showcased a sparkly pink bra and danced through the crowd, connecting with audience members. 

Coco Bardot came onstage with a larger-than-life blue boa and dazzled the audience with a sparkly blue and yellow aesthetic. 

L’Whor sported multiple outfits throughout the night, including a cherry dress that she eventually stripped down to just cherry pasties and underwear, as well as a western-inspired cowgirl look complete with sparkly fringe hanging from the hat. The outfits, dancing and energy did not disappoint CSU’s crowd. 

Although the drag show is a free event, a large part of the evening was fundraising. Students in feather boas holding buckets walked through the crowd throughout the event to collect money, and they also accepted donations through Venmo. Allison Clark, a junior ecosystem science and sustainability major and tip runner at the event, said fundraising is a crucial part of the show.

“All money goes to CSU LGBTQ+ scholarships,” Clark said. “(The LGBTQ+ community) is a vulnerable population that doesn’t get the same experience or access.”

Clark noted that when you’re part of the queer community, acceptance can be hard to find in friends and peers, so it’s important these students get as much support as possible. 

The goal for the show was to raise $3,000, and by the end of the evening, they had raised over $4,000.

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The event wasn’t just important for bringing important donations to the LGBTQ+ community but also for providing LGBTQ+ representation to Fort Collins as a whole. 

“Drag means embodying your most authentic self and sharing it with the world,” Chocolat said onstage during a question and answer period called, “Ask a L’Whor,” in which audience members were encouraged to ask the hosts questions about drag or anything else. 

“It’s the only thing in my life that no one can take away from me,” L’Whor said. “It’s mine; it’s my creation.”

Chocolat, L’Whor and the other performers emphasized the importance of drag at CSU and in the Northern Colorado community. 

“I think (that) number of people tells me it’s something that we are all craving and it’s a community we all need.” -Chocolat, Drag Show: Resurrection host

“I think visibility is really important,” said Monae Royalz, a hyper queen who sported an orange bodysuit and wig with a gold corset. “Whether it’s that somebody is aspiring to start performing in drag or even somebody who’s just on their own journey as far as sexual identity (or) gender identity, it’s so important for people to see queer identity on so many different levels, whether it’s more in personal life or as a lot of us here at CSU for this show are, in our performer existence.”

Royalz said it was difficult to not have the drag show during the pandemic, saying it was hard on mental health because of how cathartic of an experience it is. Chocolat said the large turnout at events like this shows how important they are to the community. 

“Girl, my life has been snatched, quaffed and polished because of all these people that showed up,” Chocolat said backstage. “I think (that) number of people tells me it’s something that we are all craving and it’s a community we all need.”

L’Whor expressed how vital it is for people to see members of the queer community being themselves, and that she herself used to dislike drag and turned her nose up to it until she first began performing. 

“A lot of where I was coming from was because my interpretation of my own sexual identity was very new and fresh, and so … being really insecure and figuring out what was gonna be my most authentic self was not something, at the time, I was aware of, and drag really opened up a door,” L’Whor said. “I used to get ready in my residence hall and wipe it all off before I would leave just for the sake of doing it sometimes, and it was something that completely changed my perspective on life and my acceptance of myself.” 

L’Whor said drag is for anybody who wants to try it, and she hopes that seeing a show where people are unapologetically themselves encourages others to do the same thing. Chocolat emphasized the importance of this tradition at CSU and how it is a crucial avenue for voices to be heard and seen. 

“This tradition will continue, and our students will continue to have their voices heard, and our community will continue to shine because there’s no other option but to shine,” Chocolat said.  

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify that Monae Royalz is a hyper queen, not a drag king as was previously stated.

Reach Katrina Leibee at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @katrinaleibee.

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Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief

Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall...

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