We are writing this letter to express our frustration with Drag Show past and present. The spirit of Drag Show is to mess with gender and subvert gender binaries. We thought that the performances were very well-organized and entertaining, and we appreciate the hard work and effort that the organizers put into it. However, as a performer and an audience member, we both felt that some of the performances didn’t do justice to the subversion aspect of Drag Show.
To us, Drag Show needs to celebrate non-normative gender and sexuality, and there are very limited spaces on campus where queer people can do this comfortably. We feel that perhaps some of the acts would have been more appropriate for talent shows or dance showcases instead of Drag Show. For example, some acts featured feminine-presenting female-identified students or masculine-presenting male-identified students in the context of heterosexuality. Although these acts were very entertaining and had a lot of effort put into them, we feel that the very limited number of acts available in Drag Show should be reserved for those who perform gender or sexuality in non-normative ways.
This letter is not meant to attack anyone, because we have noticed this trend in every Drag Show we have seen. Instead, we hope this letter will start a wider conversation about how we can make Drag Show more inclusive and comfortable for everyone on campus. We hope that these conversations will make people reconsider the way they perform in Drag Show and what the spirit of Drag Show is actually about.
Andrew Klinkenborg ’13
Kamila Berkalieva ’13