By Greg Brenn
This past Friday, Union students and professors put on a show in the form of drag.
Organized by Student Allies, drag participants walked the catwalk and performed off-gendered comic skits, while others sang and lip-synced to a large audience at Old Chapel.
For those who are unaware, drag is an expression of gender, typically the opposite gender, and it is usually a performance that exaggerates that opposite gender through dress and action.
The performer may identify as any gender, with any sort of sexual orientation. Usually the performances are either hyper- masculine or hyper-feminine.
Having begun in 2001, drag shows at Union have evolved from having only a couple of professors involved, specifically Professor Charles Batson of the modern languages and literature department and Professor David Ogawa of the art history department, to a diverse panel of judges.
Professor of Anthropology Alvaro Jarrín, Assistant Director of Student Activities Kerrie Wolf-Piechota and a representative from the Transgender Advocates of the Capital Region, Sarah Coughtry, were the three judges for the event this year.
Additionally, the drag show even brought in professionals to perform, including Nikki Silva, and Champagne—The Empress of Schenectady.
Grace Delgado ‘14, one of the head student organizers for the event, explained that there was a fantastic turnout for the event. “Over 75 people came, and by the sounds of applauses and cheers, they really enjoyed this year’s show,” she said.
Batson and Ogawa performed a duet comic skit, and there were also a few student “catwalks.” Sam Salomone ‘00, a Union alumnus and administrator in Grant Hall, who is experienced with drag shows, was the MC for the event.
Delgado states that next year’s event could be even more successful, “Now that students got to see what a drag show is like, in the future they will be more inclined to participate with their own performances!”