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GLBT lip syncs for their lives at CSU Drag Show

Oct. 13, 2011

By Ashley Ammond

“You will see members of the audience tipping the performers, do not be alarmed, this is completely normal,” said Joel Masters, also known as Stone La Beau, setting the tone for the audience at Cleveland State’s second annual Drag Show on Oct. 5.

Joel Masters, co-host of the drag show and the graduate assistant to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender(GLBT) student services, took the time to strategically plan the event since the beginning of the Fall semester.

“The contestants had their dance practices twice a week, and every night one week leading up to the show,” Masters said.

This year, 256 seats were taken throughout the night, and at least five people were always standing by the door trying to see what exactly was happening on stage.

The Oct. 5 event embodied fun – and it raised awareness for National Coming Out Day, which was observed across the country on Oct. 7 during the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) week.

Masters had help hyping up the crowd with his co-host, professional Drag Queen, Rosario Garcia. Members of the audience got a thrill out of their chemistry on stage, which, according to Masters was not rehearsed.

“It was good to see the natural chemistry between us [on stage],” Masters said.

Even the visiting University of the Free State students from South Africa noticed the natural comedic chemistry.

“I would give the show an eight out of ten, and a lot of that is because of the co-hosts. I love their interaction,” said Reynecke Swanepoel, UFS student.

Although the chemistry between the hosts was a hit among audience members, so were some of the performers. Ginger (Kate Roark) held the spotlight with her rendition of Iphonic’s Cleveland remix of “This City,” and SGA President, Moatasem N. Al Bitar’s Michael Jackson moves got the crowd cheering. However, as the show went on, it was Lady Bieber’s (Becky Ray) performance of “Baby,” by Justin Bieber, and Sasha Chanel’s Beyonce tribute that stole the show.

“The performances were a blast and the crowd was full of energy. Some even participated in something called ‘suicide drag’ which entails the person on stage to perform to a random song for about 15 or 20 seconds,” said Becky Ray, CSU student and drag show contestant.

While there were clearly favorites for the audience, it did not matter who was on stage, because each performer was able to get the audience engaged in their performance making for a fun-filled-evening. Though the show’s content was not for the modest of people, it was very much censored compared to other drag shows in the Cleveland area.

Ray found the show to be important because, “the show uniquely showcases gender identity and sexual orientation, while expressing and raising awareness and acceptance among the community,” Ray said.

“This was an extremely fun way to celebrate National Coming Out Day and LGBT week, while raising awareness around campus allowing everyone to feel equal and accepted.”

GLBT will hold another show during the Spring semester, this time on a Thursday. “We want even more students to attend, so if we have it on a Thursday, students will only have to worry about their classes on Friday, not the rest of the week,” Masters said.
Students who would like to attend or participate in the Spring should look out for GLBT marketing next semester.

Masters offered a bit of advice to all of those interested in getting involved, “Come expecting fun, and get your drag on,” he said.