Contributed by DANIELLE JONES
Manhattanville College will host its second-annual drag show on Thursday, April 10. The Drag Show is an eye-opening opportunity for students to learn about the important issues of diversity and gender. The Drag Show is an event planned by the Gay, Straight, and Alliance Club (GSA). There will be performers from our neighboring college SUNY Purchase and a former contestant from Rupaul’s Drag Race, Shangela.
“I do drag as well and I enjoy it, so for me drag is something that jumps out of the boundaries of the gender norms of society,” said Ali Hoyt, Coordinator of this year’s Drag Show.
“It allows you to express yourself in performance. But many people feel threatened by it because it mocks the ego that many humans have thinking that if you are biologically female or male you have to dress like a male or female. It kind of says in society just because you are this gender, race, or ethnicity does not mean you have to follow what the stereotype is for those set different identities.”
GSA wanted to have a drag show to be part of LGBTQ week. “Watching Rupaul’s Drag Race really inspired me to have a show here,” said Hoyt, “I did a lot of research and went to a lot of drag shows in the city.”
The host will introduce each performer and they will do their routine with music and excited fans cheering them on. At the end of the show, the performers will have a Q&A session with the audience where the performers will give their perspectives and share their stories about how they become involved in the drag community.
“Since we are a small liberal arts college, we are close to the city but we are not in the city, and so a lot people are not exposed to these ideas,” Hoyt said, “So I think last year it started to open the book on the learning, but we still have awhile to go.”
The Drag Show will bring a different experience of diversity. Since drag has become mainstream, it has become a little more accepted even with the stereotypes that the drag community does face. A lot of students here at Manhattanville have never even heard of drag, thus the show it will bring something new to the table.
“I attended the Drag Show last year and it was definitely a blast,” said student Cassia, a sophomore at Manhattanville College.
“Not only did it show Manhattanville students another culture, but it also opened our eyes to seeing something that they may have never seen before. Drag is a way of expression, it does not matter if you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, you are out there to have fun and be whoever you want to be.”
“The drag show is a great way to introduce students to a different style of entertainment that they might not have found on their own,” said Marcus Hatten, a sophomore here at Manhattanville.
“The show opens the eyes to many individuals and exposes them to other cultures which may help students become more accepting and well rounded.”
“Last year’s show, from my opinion, broadened the students’ minds as to what can happen at Manhattanville because this has never happened before,” said Hoyt. “Administrators have been very supportive and I am so thankful. Since we had a show last year, I am hoping that it has set a reputation for this year’s show.”