Community members dressed in drag dash through campus


Sarah Muller/Iowa State Daily

Lt. Josh Hale of ISU PD participates in the Drag Dash on Central Campus April 16. The event was put on by Gamma Rho Lambda to celebrate drag culture. 

Sarah Muller

Wigs, dogs and tennis shoes all made an appearance at the first Drag Dash on Saturday. 

Registration kicked off at noon, while the race didn’t start until 1 p.m. Community members could pay $3 to participate, dressing up as a drag king or queen before running from Beardshear to Curtiss and back in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. 

Part of the proceeds go toward The Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention to the LGBTQIA community. 

Kenni Terrell, sophomore in journalism and mass communication and Gamma Rho Lambda Omicron vice president and event planning chair, is drawn to the philanthropic aspect of Drag Dash.  

“[The Trevor Project] basically is an area for LGBT students in crisis and LGBTQIA students to [access] help,” Terrell said. “I think it helps on campus because we are students too.”

Drag Dash capped off Pride Week, which began April 11. The run was promoted to inform the public on drag culture.

Prizes, including a condom bouquet, were handed out to best time, best drag king and best drag queen. Best time during the Drag Dash went to Chase Tien, chapter mentor of Gamma Rho Lambda Omicron. Best drag queen went to Lt. Josh Hale, ISU Police LGBTQ liaison. Best drag king went to Jasmine Dykstra, a community member.

Hale brought his K9s, Maverick and Iceman, along to the run for the good weather and support. His work during Pride Week began early, including a meeting with Angelica Ross, a professional who lectured on transgender pride. 

“Some of the issues that transgender students face with having preferred names on AccessPlus or having their preferred name on their ISU card is really difficult right now,” Hale said. “[We are] trying to work on infrastructure stuff to help them out.”

Besides identifying within the community, Hale has multiple reasons why he feels passionate about assisting the LGBT community on campus. 

“[I like] providing education and outreach to a community that’s typically had bad interactions with law enforcement in the past, and we are working really hard to change that,” Hale said.

Reflecting on the past, Terrell informed attendees on the Stonewall Riots of 1969, where police directed a riot at the Stonewall Inn.

“If a [gay] woman wasn’t wearing at least three items of ‘feminine clothing,’ they were arrested,” according to the Gamma Rho Lambda handout. The riot didn’t go as planned for the officers and continued for three nights.

Looking to the future, Martino Harmon, senior vice president of Student Affairs, stopped by the event in order to support the students and make a donation to The Trevor Project. Harmon made it clear that the LGBT community was a part of the diversity and inclusion conversation happening on campus. 

“Diversity and inclusion is a broader concept that encompasses many different aspects,” Harmon said. “I think it’s all important to make Iowa State a better and more inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our students.” 

Harmon further explained he was meeting with Reginald Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion, to discuss tangible opportunities for the upcoming year to enhance Iowa State. 

Terrell feels confident from the success of Pride Week as a whole and how the community was able to reach out to students. Terrell explained that students were excited to learn about various aspects of diversity and inclusion regarding the LGBT community. 

“It is an incredible learning process for anyone who sees and participates in Pride Week,” Terrell said.