Drag show draws diverse acts

As spring is fast approaching, it’s that time of year again for the LGBTQA drag show. 

This is the drag show’s seventh year in production and it is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. in the BSC Gallery. The show will feature an “Old Hollywood” theme with Simpson College alumnus Jacob Kaufman acting as the host.

LGBTQA picked Kaufman to be this year’s host because of his professional experience performing drag in Chicago and his ties to the college.

“One of (Jacob’s) good friends is still a senior here and knew that he did drag professionally now out in Chicago,” junior Danielle Caswell, LGBTQA president, said. “We thought it would be a fun way to gain students interest in the show and up attendance.” 

Caswell explained what the drag show is for people who have never attended.

“Literally, the drag show is where you dress up as the opposite gender and it’s often satirical performances,” Caswell said.  “It concentrates on costumes, and it’s kind of like an art, because it’s the art of lip syncing and dancing. It’s just a different way of performing.”

About 10 performers participate in the drag show. Performers will include both students and professional drag artists from the Des Moines area.

“We’ve had as many as 10 (performers) before,” Caswell said.  “It’s never a huge number, but we bring in professional artists, too, and they do more than one routine.”

Junior Sara Olson, LGBTQA vice president, said that the drag show usually draws a large crowd.

“It’s a pretty big event,” Olson said. “It’s our major event that LGBTQA hosts on campus, so it is very well known. It happens every year, so people expect that we will have a drag show in the spring.”

Olson stressed that there is more to drag than just entertainment.

“Basically, there is a lot of history behind drag,” Olson said.  “It is not simply just dressing up and prancing around as a man or a woman. It has often been used to make political and important statements, and it is just a good way to play around with gender roles.”         LGBTQA uses the drag show as an opportunity to raise money for organizations such as the AIDS Project for Central Iowa. They also encourage people to attend and experience something different.

“We encourage people to go,” Olson said.  “We also encourage people to participate, because drag is a really interesting way to play with gender roles and express different things.”

Sophomore Blaiqe Allshouse attended the drag show for the first time last year and liked the show, even though she did not know what to expect.

“I like how it had students in it, but overall it was my first time, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Allshouse said.  “It was really promiscuous, and I didn’t realize they were going to have real drag queens there.”

Allshouse is eager to attend the drag show again this year.

“I can’t wait to go to it again,” Allshouse said.  “I’m really excited to see it again.”