Annual drag show returns after COVID hiatus


Courtesy of SUB

The annual Pride Alliance Drag Show will take place Friday in the Memorial Union’s M-Shop. 

Mackenzie Bodell

After taking a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pride Alliance is partnering with the Student Union Board (SUB) to bring back the annual Drag Show. The Drag Show will showcase a variety of different performers, from a high school student to some older professional performers. 

According to Iowa State’s student organization website, Pride Alliance is “​​a safe space where students and guests can discuss and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community, their own gender and sexuality, and have support in their acceptance of themselves and others.” 

“I think Pride Alliance sort of just wanted to have an event that was really an opportunity to bring the community together, especially at the end of the school year when everything is so stressful,” said Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez, Pride Alliance’s social media coordinator, a senior majoring in journalism and mass communication.

Pride Alliance has been planning the Drag Show from scratch for months. The organization held a call for performers; professionals performers and student performers were all welcome to audition. While this year’s show does not feature any Iowa State student performers, past shows have. 

Pride Alliance designed merch for the event and created the performer soundtracks. Pride Alliance also ensures performers are allowed to keep any tips they receive. 

The Drag Show is one of the only large-scale pride events that happens on campus. 

“I know there are other drag shows that happen in Ames, whether it be at bars or clubs, but I just think it’s really special to have the opportunity to perform at your own school,” Reyna-Rodriguez said.

One of Pride Alliance’s main goals through this event is to allow all pride community members a space to get involved, whether that be through performing or volunteering at the event. 

This year, SUB has been making an effort to grow its multicultural events, and putting together the Drag Show has been a part of that effort. SUB helped design graphics and market the event. SUB members will volunteer at the event, set up the event and sell tickets. 

“I’m excited to see this comeback because the M-Shop used to do drag shows regularly in the 90s, and from what I understand, they’re pretty well attended,” M-Shop co-director Hassein Rife said. “But it’s been a while since it’s happened here, so it’s cool to see that comeback.” 

The Drag Show starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the M-Shop in the Memorial Union. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Tickets are also available for pre-order online. Merch will be available throughout the entirety of the event. 

During intermission, the student dance organization DubH will be performing a hip-hop routine. DubH is the largest student-run club at Iowa State with approximately 500 members.

All of the money raised from the event will send Pride Alliance members to the annual Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference next fall. The conference is held in an effort to connect, educate and empower queer and transgender college students, faculty and staff around the Midwest. 

For more information about the Drag Show and ticket purchases, visit the Memorial Union website.