On Oct. 26, the Fall Drag Show was held by the Rainbow Continuum at the LaSells Stewart Center. Performer Frisky the Transgender Reindeer hosted the event, and there were 13 total performances. The songs chosen ranged from “Cell Block Tango,” to a Joker mashup, and the Spanish song, “Corazon.”
Frisky the Transgender Reindeer, whose real name is Dharma Mirza, won Beaver Royalty in 2016 and hosted the 2019 show.
“For me, I’ve used drag as a way to process my emotions, to work through my depression, my loneliness,” Mirza said. “When I won Beaver Royalty in 2016, I did a piece about self-harm in the trans-community, and still to this day, people say that ‘you have saved my life when talking about these things.’”
During the show, Mirza advocated for many issues—including Genesis Hansen’s arrest, HIV and violence against trans people.
“I think that we all have a responsibility to approach social justice issues through an intersectional lens. For me, it's not really an option, it’s something I have to do,” she said.
“As a queer, transgender and person of color, I have do to these things in order to survive, but it’s also something that I’m really passionate about.”
Mirza said it is very important for people who have the privilege to talk in front of hundreds of people to advocate social justice issues.
“I’ve been given such a big platform through the drag community, through my advocacy work, that, for me, it's really important to touch on these issues, because if I’m taking up all this space, but also not giving back in someway, then that would feel really wrong for me,” Mirza said.
Another performer, Lorenzo De la Luna stood out by being the only one to perform to a Spanish song.
He said he listens to many genres, but he wanted to do a Spanish song because that’s what he mainly listens to.
He was also very nervous before his performance, but thought everything went well in the end.
“The whole routine got put together for me really last minute,” Lorenzo De la Luna said. “I knew the song, but I didn’t practice or come up with anything until like last week. So I was practicing up until the show.”
Another performer, Giardia, won Beaver Royalty in 2019. She said she wasn’t really that nervous before the show. Rather, she just wanted to have fun.
“Drag is more like a performance, I’m not here for just looks, I love lip-syncing, I love performing and embodying some sort of diva on stage,” Giardia said.
The term ‘drag’ was first coined in the theatre. Women were not allowed to perform, so men played female characters instead. When wearing their costumes, men commented that their dresses would “drag” across the floor when walking.
Today, drag performers come from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Their gender identities range from cisgender men and women, transgender and/or gender non-conforming people.
The Drag Show described their drag performers as, “divas that walk the earth to educate, entertain and inspire you through drag.”