Alliance hosts inaugural ‘Hallowqueen’ drag show

Photo courtesy of Xavier LGBTQ Alliance | LGBTQ Alliance’s first “Hallowqueen” drag show hosted performers from Cincinnati and featured headliner Trinity Taylor from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Xavier’s LGBTQ Alliance welcomed approximately 500 faculty, students and staff as well as a few students from the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University’s LGBTQ alliance groups, to its inaugural “Hallowqueen” drag show last Thursday.
“It really means a lot to Alliance, and queer students in general, when we see this kind of support,” co-president of LGBTQ Alliance Erich Finch said.

The Duff Banquet Hall was filled to the brim with Katy, Kesha and Britney, along with rainbow lights, an energetic audience and, as Dustin Lewis described it, “the rich history that both drag queens and kings provide.” A slide show displayed images and facts relating to drag history, such as “drag during Shakespeare’s time,” “Stonewall” and “drag as seen today.”

Additionally, a slide titled “Important Distinction” read, “a person in drag is putting on a costume and usually entertains through mockery, but at the end of the day acknowledges that they identify with their sex assigned at birth. A person who is transgender takes their gender identity seriously and truly is that gender, even though it does not match their biological sex.”

The set list included drag queens, a drag king and even a bio diva. Music ranged from Nicki Minaj to Michael Jackson.

Oliver-Rose Baker, logistics coordinator for Xavier LGBTQ Alliance, explained that students were able to tip the performers with single dollar bills during the show.
“Queer people who were doing drag weren’t making a lot of money, so people would tip to support the community and the art of drag,” Sophomore Communications Chair Molly Schramm said. “That’s why I tip.”

Throughout the performance, audience members respectfully tipped the queens and king.

Trinity Taylor, the headliner for the evening who was recently on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, joked with the audience, “I feel kinda bad taking money from college kids!”

LGBTQ Alliance received $2 thousand from the Student Government Association to fund the free tickets for students, as well as financial support from the E/RS program. The Executive Board thanked the Center for Diversity and Inclusion as well as Associate Director of Student Involvement Dustin Lewis and the Assistant Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion Kelsey O’Neil for their support.

The audience was comprised of people who identified as straight and queer, cis-gendered and trans, men and women and everything in between. More than half of the room raised their hands when the host, Sarah Jessica Darker, asked if there were any “drag virgins” in the room.

“The community has been supportive,” Finch said. “No one has made any homophobic comments.”

“I’m so proud of the Alliance execs,” O’Neil said. “It’s been a great opportunity for them.”

The students on the Executive Board of Xavier LGBTQ Alliance began its planning for the event back in March.  “Alliance has been trying to put on a drag show for years,” Vice President Jac Fox said. “The fact that we’re finally able to put on a show is a huge step forward for the university as far as inclusion and affirming a queer community through diverse performers.”

For more information on the event, check out Xavier LGBTQ Alliance on Instagram, #hallowqueen on social media or Xavier LGBTQ Alliance on Facebook and OrgSync.

Xavier LGBTQ Alliance meets Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in GSC 330. Students of all sexual and gender orientations are always welcome.

By: Brittany Wells ~Staff Writer~