Dresses sparkled under fluorescent lights as this university’s LGBTQ Student Involvement executive board members ran in and out of the double doors of Stamp’s Atrium carrying balloons and cupcakes.
Pride Prom, the group’s annual performance, was underway.
Select attendees arrived around 8 p.m., dressed to the nines in both drag and typical prom attire. About 50 attended.
In spite of the buzz in the room, this year’s Pride Month has not garnered as much attention as in past years said Nat Singal, a sophomore criminology and criminal justice double major.
The first of the three performers featured drag king Goldie Peacock from Brooklyn, N.Y. Described as “the most flamboyant, regal bird in the menagerie,” Goldie Peacock sauntered out of the dressing room and into the middle of the makeshift stage on the Atrium floor, striking a pose.
The crowd whooped and whistled as he showed off his peacock print dress, gold high heels and orange neckerchief. He danced and stripped until he was wearing nothing but heels and a fishnet bodysuit, eventually prancing back to the dressing room at the end of the song to make way for the next performer.
While Peacock’s performance was typical of a drag or burlesque show, some audience members still have difficulty watching the more revealing performances.
“I’ve had a few experiences where people get a little uncomfortable with me being dressed as a man, so I get in their face a little until they get over it,” said Diego El Sabroso, a drag king and musician based out of Washington, D.C.
El Sabroso spent the night as a backup guitarist for one of his fellow D.C. Kings performers.
“It took me a long time to get the courage to do it,” Gamz said. “I started with a queer burlesque troupe and now I co-produce a queer burlesque show at The Black Cat in D.C.”
Gamz is best known for her teasing stocking peels, in which she makes sure to “take off [her stockings] in really obnoxious, dragged down ways.”
Both Gamz and El Sabroso agree they enjoy all aspects of performing, but said the actual show and the audience reaction is the best part.
“I prepare and prepare and then it just goes by so fast,” El Sabroso said. “It’s like being on a roller coaster – you’re at the peak just waiting for the drop and then, whoosh, it’s over.”
Samantha Pitkin is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.