LGBTAA event proves the show must drag on


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Daily

Drag queen “Clint Torres” walks the runway as part of a dance showcase. Several students choose to use stage names to add creativity to their performances while subtly disguise their identities. Iowa State’s LGBT Alliance hosted its annual Drag Show on Oct. 31 in the Memorial Union. The show followed a Halloween theme as participants wore costumes, body paint and unique outfits.

Morgan Kelly

Energy was high in the Memorial Union’s Great Hall as people filled the seats in various costumes. Costumes were encouraged and pirates, mad scientists and even a unicorn were all in attendance. 

The show was a fundraiser to send members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community to the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference.

MBLGTACC is the largest college conference in the United States and encourages people not only from the Midwest to attend, but from across the country. It is a safe place for LGBT members to gather and discuss important issues in their community.

Before the show began, “Believe” by Cher began to play over the loud speakers and the audience sang along and danced to the music.

Chardonnay Glass opened the show with a spooky number and then told the audience to feel free to come up during performances and give the performer some cash that would go toward the fundraiser. She even joked that they would take credit cards. 

One of the first queens to get the crowd in a tizzy was Cuntarina VandeKamp. She preformed five times throughout the show, and when asked about her preparation, she said the only number she practiced was her final number, which was part of her talent for a pageant.

Her final number took nearly a month to choreograph and was a mash up of songs, with a video and two back up dancers.

“I loved all my numbers,” VandeKamp said. “I really liked my last number, even though my video didn’t play.”

The technical difficulties didn’t slow down the show for even a second, and neither did the few wardrobe malfunctions.

Vulva Vandekamp seemed to get tired of her fake breasts during her performance of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” so she threw them to the stage ground.

The stage of the Great Hall had been expanded so a runway jutted out for the kings and queens to walk and dance down. Many flashing lights lit the dancers from all sides so nothing would be missed, especially the outfits.

A few trends throughout the performances included flashy dresses or leotards and sky high-heeled shoes. Some shoes were more than five inches tall.

Until a king was on stage.

Their getup usually included drawn on facial hair, baggy sweatpants and a hat or sunglasses.

A total of three kings performed and each had a very different style to their stage presence.

Howie Fellenlove said it was his first time ever preforming or seeing a show. He said he just went up there, felt the music and preformed accordingly.

“I just think drag is where people can express themselves without being judged. No one out there is judging in any way, shape or form,” Fellenlove said.

Getting ready to be a drag king didn’t take him very long, maybe about 30 minutes, breast binding included.

While performing, Fellenlove took his shirt off on stage.

“I wasn’t really planning on it, but then I asked a girl to unbutton it and she just did the whole thing,” Fellenlove said. “You can’t see anything, I’m all covered up. I think it was a great thing. I loved it, the crowd loved it, like I said, no judging.”

Alex Peters was another first time performer. 

“I was a little nervous until I got up there and then it just went away,” Peters said. “It’s about not caring about what other people think. As long as you feel good about yourself, you will be beautiful inside and out.”

Backstage in the dressing rooms, there seemed to be a camaraderie. Good spirits buzzed about the rooms, where there was talk of making plans to go out to eat or get together after the show. 

The first time performers were welcomed by the seasoned veterans, and they congratulated each other on a job well done.

“Everyone accepts you and it’s just like family,”  Fellenlove said.