By Samantha Stark
For some, self-expression is painting on an empty canvas or playing guitar. For others, it’s about men slipping on wigs and heels, women drawing on beards, and lip-synching for cheering crowds.
NDSU’s Pride Alliance, with support from Campus Live and the Equity and Diversity Center, hosted the Tri-College Drag Show, NDSU’s first drag show, on Saturday to introduce this form of self-expression, performance and entertainment of drag to NDSU campus.
In past years, MSUM’s Dragons AfterDark and Gay-Straight Alliance have hosted Tri-College Drag Shows, and NDSU wanted in on some of the fun.
“I want our group [NDSU’s Pride Alliance] to have visibility on campus and introduce drag to people who have never experienced it before,” said Grace Cabarle, Pride Alliance president and main organizer of the event.
Twelve unique and energized performances were showcased throughout the night, including student performers and professional drag queen Kelly Coxsyn, also known as Kyle Matthews, emceed the event. With her exaggerated personality, Coxsyn brought the crowd to screaming laughter every time she hit the stage.
Each entertainer embraced their personality through their performances, leaving the audience constantly cheering throughout the event.
The drag show was the first performance for Todd Richter, whose stage name is Harmony, but it has already become an important outlet for self-expression in his life.
“I want to bring something different to every drag show,” Richter said.
And that is exactly what he did. Richter was the only amateur drag queen performing at the event. To embrace this fact, during his last performance to “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson he whipped off his rainbow wig and waved it in the air.
He hopes to become a regular in the drag community and perform in future drag shows hosted at NDSU.
Even though drag shows are more widely known for their drag queens, this event feaured performances by four drag kings. From rap to country to rock, every king revealed their passion and enthusiasm through their performances.
After the performers removed their attire, attendees sang karaoke with PowerPlay DJ and played card games until midnight.
Due to the overwhelming support of the tri-colleges and FM community, Cabarle said that Pride Alliance is planning to make the show an annual event at NDSU.
“I have had a lot of people come up to me and express they wanted us to host a drag show,” Cabarle said. “Since we had such a good turnout, we hope to host more.”
The next Tri-College Drag Show will be hosted by Dragons AfterDark this coming spring semester.