“Attention drag queens!” This statement rang through the crowd several times last Friday night as performer April Devine motioned to the rest of the performers to return to their dressing room.
Friday marked the Fifth Annual Charity Drag Show for AIDS Walk hosted in the Thompson Student Activities Room by Living Proud. The show was created in 2008 by Liz Calloway and Amanda Helton and has become a yearly tradition for Living Proud.
The group surpassed their goal of $1,200, raising $1,576 with the help of the group Perceptions, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and local nightclub The Mixx, which helped advertise the event.
With a limit of 400 people, the room was almost at capacity with a total of 399 people including performers. While many in attendance were SVSU students, the advertising succeeded at bringing many nonstudents to the performance.
Sean Dudley acted as the host and offered a comedic element in the breaks between performances. Music and stereo equipment for the performers were provided by Cardinal Radio.
Thirteen performers took to the stage that night with both professionals and students offering their talents to the fundraiser. During each of the performers acts, he or she was able to collect donations from audience members. At the end of the night, whichever performer collected the most money was crowned Miss, or Mister, SVSU.
Competitors performed popular songs under stage names to raise money. Slow songs, such as “JonBenet’s“ performance of Adele’s “Rumour Has It,” and high-energy, upbeat dances, such as the one given by Mercedes Delray to Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” were performed.
After the completion of 26 performances, the drag performers took to the catwalk for one final song as the donations they earned were counted.
The winner was “Missy,” making this her fourth consecutive crowning as Miss SVSU. “Missy” was very humble about it and was incredibly happy to partake in the fundraiser.
“Obviously I’m stunned,” she said. “It’s just an honor to perform here.”
Missy also stated her respect for SVSU for allowing this event to be hosted on campus. While some universities would shut down such events, Missy said, this gesture to the LGBTQ community garners a lot of respect for SVSU.
With a successful event behind her, third place winner “JonBenet” was thrilled by the turnout and is already looking towards the future.
“Hope to see you next year,” she said.