The Queer-Straight Alliance brought drag culture out of the bar scene and into the community at the 3rd Annual SPSCC Drag Show on May 18.
The performance and auction raised $976 for the LGBTQ & Ally Scholarship, only for students at SPSCC. President Gerald Pumphrey donated the additional $24 needed to make the total donations an even $1000.
Jacob Covacs, Matthew Shrader, and Timothy Carbary (known in drag as Kimber Lee Temptress) founded the scholarship in spring of 2011, and this latest award applies to the 2013-2014 school year. A scholarship committee has chosen, but not yet announced, the winner.
This scholarship is for anyone who identifies with the queer community or as an ally. Applicants must submit an essay explaining how they contribute to the LGBTQ community.
“The drag show is very unique,” said Student Senator Shrader, a key show organizer. “Drag is primarily done in bar life, and so bringing that out of the bar scene and into an all-ages venue allows everyone to show up.”
Temptress started the show in 2010. This year, she came back to co-host the show.
“This drag show is something that not only our campus needed to see, but something our community needed to see,” Temptress said. The show educated the community about drag culture in an entertaining way, she said.
“On a micro-level, it changes people’s perception on gender roles and their own gender expression. Even by observing a performer, your brain absorbs and reflects, ‘Wow this isn’t an X, they’re a Y,’ and it completely changes their internal comprehension of roles,” Temptress said.
Shrader said the event was legal, as it was run by a chartered club and fit within the mission statement of the club. “We’ve never had any protesters or people with paintball guns just waiting to nail the queens,” Shrader said.
Professor April Kindrick, who attended the show, said “It is important to have a wide variety of events for our college. We strive to be an inclusive campus that is a safe place for all of our campus members to work, learn and grow as individuals and as members of this institution.” She also said it is great to have social events for students to relax and have fun.
This was student Amanda Thomson’s first time going to a drag show. “It was a little bit of an awkward experience at first, as I didn’t really know what to expect. But, soon I was having a great time along with the rest of the audience,” she said.
Shrader said the show was successful overall. About 300 people showed up. Shrader said, “I would love to see even more people come out and learn about a culture in a fun way.”