“Expect lots of glitter. Expect shine. Expect the unexpected,” said entertainer Felicia Minor. Minor’s prediction for the 3rd annual Drag and Variety Show was certainly fulfilled, the event brimming with bright costumes, shining stars and lots and lots of glitter. Hosted by the MCC LGBTQ Alliance, the Drag and Variety Show, held on April 2, boasted over ten professional drag queens and kings, each with their own distinct style of performance. Many of the performers spend hours preparing their acts, each of which consists of an energetic song and dance. And each of them have their own unique drive for taking up such an unusual, often misunderstood, profession.
Professional drag queen, who performs as Nadi Nature, kicked off the show with her performance of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” her florescent pink bell bottoms flaring as she twirled. For Nature, her performances in drag shows are all for the benefit of others. “It’s more about giving back and raising money for the community,” Nature explained that the majority of the profits raised from shows goes to schools and LGBTQ support groups in the surrounding communities. The funds raised from the show that night went to MCC’s own LGBTQ Alliance.
For Jesus Avila, another entertainer, it is a desire to educate others that drives him to perform, both on stage and behind the scenes. The head coordinator of the show that evening, Avila explained that it takes seven to eight months to organize a show, from finding a venue to booking entertainers. Before he performed a glittering dance routine to Lady Gaga’s “Marry the Night” Avila stressed the particular importance of school events. “Schools are the only opportunity, outside of Pride and Rainbow Festival,” Avila said. “Where little children can come see what the gay community has to offer, especially when you have kids growing up with gay parents.”
Avila’s goal is that by performing at family friendly venues like schools, the younger generation will have a chance to learn more about the LGBTQ community. Others like Felicia Minor find freedom while performing in drag shows. Felicia flitted through the audience in 6 inch heels while animatedly dancing to Ciara’s “Lose Control,” grooving and tossing her hair to the beat. “It’s about expression,” Minor said. “It’s about being someone else and then taking it all off at the end of the night,”
The show was a great success and was well received by an audience of the general public and MCC students. An overall bubbly attitude was present throughout the entirety of the show. Everyone demonstrated their enormous support for the entertainers and their art. Vanessa Lara, an MCC student who was in attendance at the show believes that the warm reception by the students of MCC represents the open,minded attitude of this generation. “Due to the influence of celebrities, the media, and all the education that is available to us” Lara said. “I believe that makes us more tolerant and accepting of each other’s differences.”