LGBTAA to host annual drag show

Morgan Kelly

No tea, no shade, drag shows have an important place in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.

“No tea, no shade” means no disrespect.

Adam Guenther, president of the LGBTA Alliance, said drag began as a way for gay couples to be in public and not really be harassed or arrested for being gay.

The LGBTA Alliance Annual Drag show will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. Guenther said drag shows have a rich history and played a role in the gay rights movement.

“It gave them impression of heterosexuality and normalcy that was needed to be accepted or appear to be tolerated in public,” Guenther said.

Brad Friehoefer said the Stonewall riots were a major turning point in LGBT history. The Stonewall Inn was a club in Manhattan and was a popular place for LGBT people to dance and hang out. Then one night in 1969, it was raided by the police.

“Clubs were being raided all over the country and Stonewall was when people just decided they’d had enough,” Freihoefer said.

Guenther said drag queens played a role in the start of the movement and continued to play a role after the riots to keep the momentum for change going.

Today, drag, or dressing like the opposite gender, is typically used for entertainment. Drag has made its way into the mainstream. There’s now a show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, where queens — men who dress like women — are invited to compete on TV to become America’s Next Drag Superstar.

“It gives people a way to express themselves in a different way or to portray a character or caricature of a stereotype in the LGBT community, as a way of highlighting some aspect of the culture,” Guenther said.

However, even though drag may seem like it’s become mainstream, there are people who don’t understand drag or may dislike it.

“There are so many nuances when it comes to the LGBTQA community as a whole. There are varying views on drag even within the community. Everyone has their own opinion on it,” Freihoefer said.

Guenther said he’s looking forward to the show this year because the LGBTAA Alliance is continuing its tradition of having the drag show for charity.

“This year, we are sponsoring again YSS LGBT Youth programming and staff training. This year, it was planned by Katie Smith and Alex Peters, who will also serve as next year’s president and vice president,” he said.

Tickets are $7 for LGBTAA members and $10 at the door for the general public.