Fabulousness Abounds at the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiative’s Annual Drag Show

On Friday, Oct. 14, students gathered in the Hall of Presidents for the most fabulous event of the year: the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiative’s second annual drag show.

For the event, queens traveled from near and far to perform, which resulted in a dream team of drag royalty: the enchanting Lana del They, the ravishing Edie James, the radiant Queen Purrsephone and the dazzling, multi-talented Aman-Duh. Showcasing the grace and grit of a true queen, Aman-Duh both performed and hosted the show, expertly working the crowd and uplifting her fellow queens in equal measure.

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap,” laughed Aman-Duh, fanning herself with the faux hundred dollar bills of “drag cash” that fluttered about the stage. Despite her self-deprecating jokes, Aman-Duh looked nothing but beautiful as she slayed the stage in head-to-toe silver sparkles and rhinestones. 

Crowning Aman-Duh’s face was a glorious cascade of golden curls constrained only by a single Ariana Grande-Esque sprout atop her head. Upon her face was a masterpiece of bold, winged eyeliner, hot pink eyeshadow and meticulously sculpted facial hair flecked with glitter. Below this radiant visage was Aman-Duh’s bedazzled, fringe-accented, silver leotard. 

Sharing the stage with Aman-Duh was the equally dazzling Lana del They, Edie James and Queen Purrsephone. Let us begin with Lana del They — a queen from Wilmington, Delaware with enough poise and passion for her craft to rival that of any crowned royal. Del They transformed from sparkly SpongeBob with a little extra sponge in the trunk to a busty Elmo in red fishnet stockings and matching stilettos, to a bubble-butted Dominos employee wielding a bedazzled name badge, visor and pizza box. Through her routines rooted in the audience’s own nostalgia, Lana del They instantly won over the audience and set the bar high for the queens to come.

Next to take on the catwalk was Queen Purrsephone, a native of Syracuse and a newcomer to the Colgate drag show scene. She effortlessly served looks, ranging from a colorful knit striped dress paired with a black corset belt, daisy dukes and cheetah print hosiery to feathered hair. Queen Purrsephone also flawlessly executed a half dozen death drops over the course of her performance, sending the audience into a frenzy each time she flung herself to the floor.

Last but certainly not least, Edie James stole the audience’s hearts with classic song arrangements such as Dolly Parton’s “9-5” and Marilyn Monroe’s “I Want to Be Loved by You” with clever tweaks to the lyrics and incredible choreography and costuming to match. Transforming from a strict librarian character who scolded the audience in one song to a sultry secretary in a red beret, skin-tight spandex and stiletto boots in the next, Edie James has mastered the art of keeping the audience both entertained and on their toes. As Edie James blew one final kiss to the audience, drag dollars flew and an ecstatic fan could be heard crying out “Edie, I love you!”

In between these spectacular performances, the queens invited audience members to ascend the stage and slay right alongside them. Within moments, ordinary students had transformed into queens as Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” resonated throughout the Hall of Presidents and spotlights bounced in every direction, reflecting off of sequin bustiers and framed portraits of former Colgate presidents alike. 

The cheers of the crowd only grew louder when dance instructor devynn emory took to the stage to perform an impromptu dance consisting of a smidge of the robot, a dash of spinning and a heaping tablespoon of fabulousness and sass. While the performance seemed to have reached its peak, the energy in the room soon skyrocketed ever higher as a series of students took to the stage to perform death drop after death drop so extreme that even Queen Purrsephone, the death drop queen herself, looked impressed. 

Following the impromptu performances of both professors and students, Aman-Duh appeared dumbfounded. “When I was in college, none of my professors looked like you people,” exclaimed Aman-Duh. “You’re out here being fabulous with us, and I think that’s beautiful. Maybe I should come back to school here!” mused Aman-Duh. Immediately, the audience roared with their approval. 

Sophomore Laine Girolamo, a first-time drag show attendee, was similarly struck and empowered by the openness of those at the event.

“To be surrounded by so many people acting authentically as themselves is extremely energizing to me,” said Girolamo. “Everyone seems to be so perfectly in their element, and the atmosphere is truly unmatched.”

Looking into the eyes of the audience members, Aman-Duh continued, “Whatever you are, whatever you do, I need you to be loud and proud of it, because trust me, there is enough hate in the world that we don’t need anymore. Be loud and proud, because you are enough.”

With those final wise words and one last spin around the catwalk, Colgate’s second annual LGBTQ+ History Month drag show was complete.