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A line stretched from the entrance to the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom down the stairs and through the main corridor, filled with eager community members and students alike waiting to witness the annual Drag Show put on by the Gay Straight Alliance Saturday night.
As the lights went down, a voice welcomed audience members. The crowd erupted with excitement as CU senior Will Ingly, the drag king alter ego of Karly Steffens, was illuminated by a spotlight on center stage.
The event has been a hit since its start in 2006, catering to the performances of both drag queens and drag kings. This year’s theme was “Make All Your Queens Come True.” The show was coordinated by Steffens and junior Hope Blinne.
The show was guest emceed by Denver resident Sean Nyte, a drag king who initially caught the eye of the show’s coordinator while performing in a venue in Denver. Nyte performed a rap song and later a rendition of a country song. Nyte kept the crowd laughing throughout the night, while also putting on his own performances, including Jason Derulo’s “Don’t Wanna Go Home”.
Performances ranged from the show’s poster girl, Ruby Bouche, who lip-synched “I Can’t Do It Alone” from “Chicago,” to returning performer Tatiana Silberstein, lip syncing to Marina and the Diamond’s “Oh No!” to Sophia Sweet’s mashup of two pop songs, one being “Teenage Dream.” The performances were all accompanied by dancing, the occasional back handspring or cartwheel, which always drew a roar of cheers, and, of course, some fierce heels.
The crowd showed their support of the show’s main cause, to showcase the self-love and acceptance that the GSA promotes within the community and on campus.
Sophia Sweet, who gave two performances, spoke of her desire to give one performance personal significance while the other was purely for fun. She hoped the Drag show gave community members and students “visibility of gender differences.”
The songs performed by drag kings included a participant’s rendition of several Justin Bieber songs, which had audience members fawning over the “star,” and a James Brown rendition, accompanied by impressive dance moves that once again had audience members out of their seats.
Parents in the audience cheered on their sons and daughters participating in the show, expressing to everyone around them how proud they were to see them performing up on stage.
As the show neared intermission, it took on a more serious note as Ingly explained the recent loss of Kenna Egbune, a member of the LGBT community, activist and friend. A tribute slideshow showcased Egbune while the song accompanying it advised people to “shine bright like a diamond.”
Performances during the second half of the show included a group lip sync to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and the “Pokémon” theme, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.”
Ingly ended by referencing Drag Queen legend RuPaul.
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?” Nyte said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Megan Curry at Megan.firstname.lastname@example.org.