Today: Jun 16, 2024

Annual Drag Ball: representation matters

Mary Kate Belli  – Copy Editor

The drag ball used to be held every year but has not been hosted since the start of COVID-19. 

As the first drag ball in years, this one was set to be a major celebration. The ball had all kinds of food such as pizza and candy, as well as other souvenirs such as glowsticks and light-up accessories.  

During the event there was a dance battle, the winner obtained a $50 Amazon gift card. Not to mention, a plethora of talented drag queens and kings.  

For those who are not familiar with drag, it is a performance art where one gender-bends, or dresses usually as the opposite sex. Their appearance is dramatized, with intense makeup, glittery outfits, and provocative dancing. The practice of drag even extends as far back to ancient Greece, making it a long-standing performance.  

Drag became popular in the 21st century due to the increasing acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the popularity of the reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, which features drag queens and kings competing to be named the best performer.  

Drag is a +form of self-expression, as well as a representation of Pride and the LGBTQ+ Community. Many drag kings and queens say that drag feels like a family, and that is a self-expression open to anyone and everyone, not one specific gender or identity.  

The drag queens and kings ranged from beginner to advanced, younger to older, small to large. Some of the queens and kings were even university students. As the theme of the night states, “representation matters,” and it was seen in this lineup of queens and kings.  

“It’s an opportunity for drag queens, we have amateurs and professionals who get to perform,” Secretary of PRISM, Emily Feinberg, a freshman said.  

Having a set event catering to LGBTQ+ students is important to creating a welcoming campus to those of any background. 

“It’s good to have a space for LGBTQ+ students, since Southern is such a welcoming place,”  Feinberg said. 

President of PRISM, Melody Massaquoi, felt strongly about the importance of this event. 

 “It’s a way to represent local drag artists at Southern, and not a lot of people get to see drag shows due to how conservative some places are. This is a way to show Southern can be a safe space for LGBTQ students,” Massaquoi said.   

The presence of the sexual health organization “A Place to Nourish Your Health,” was also made known at the drag ball. APNH is a LGBTQ+ and minority friendly organization focused on the betterment of sexual and mental health. They primarily work in AIDS related cases and advocate for those with the condition to receive proper care and respect.  

 “We are formally Aids Project New Haven but rebranded to A Place to Better Your Heatlh. We do primarily AIDS related work at our agency. We help people get screenings and get linked to care,” Southern alumnus and APNH member Mike McGowan said.  

“We love being a part of this community, we have been here before and we love to be here and show support,” McGowan said.   

The APNH stand was offering sexual health information, links to free HIV/AIDS screenings, as well as pins and condoms. Please look into APNH if you are in need of LGBTQ+ healthcare, they will be happy to assist in getting you there.  

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