Dragball Draws Diverse Crowd in Celebration of Unity

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Kendall Murtha

Colgate’s LGBTQ Initiatives kept busy this past weekend putting on Queerfest, a weeklong celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. The week’s highlights included a brown bag luncheon and a basketball game dedicated to anti-bullying, sponsored by multiple organizations on campus considered allies for the cause. Queerfest culminated with Dragball in the Hall of Presidents.

“So it’s a question we get a lot: ‘What exactly is Dragball?'” Gretal Lovejoy (the proud alter ego of sophomore Nick Grunden) said. “Well … it’s a venue to appreciate this beauty…” he gestured to his own little black dress “… and this beauty.” He finished, gesturing to his cohost, senior Xavia Publius (performing that night as Lady Xaxa).

The energy was palpable in the hall as the audience cheered for renditions of Britney’s Spears’ “3”, Macklemore’s “And We Danced”, and “Take Me or Leave Me” from “Rent.” But perhaps the standout performance of the night was Publius’ rendition of  “The Story” by Brandi Carlile: sung live and with an incredible amount of passion.

“I love that song and it has a lot of queer potential so I wanted to perform it at Dragball, but slow songs are difficult to make interesting when lip-synching, so I decided to go live for that number” Publius said.

Though advertised as a competition, efforts to garner a consensus on a favorite performance or a best outfit proved futile, and all who had participated were declared winners.

“This is only my second Dragball, but I always have a good time and I love performing, so it was an honor to host this year,” Publius said.

Publius’s enthusiasm was matched by seemingly everyone in attendance. Moreover, a quick glance around the room revealed students from the first year to senior year, representing a diverse set of organizations. Whether intimately familiar with the organization or a relative newcomer to the LGBTQ scene, the diverse audience celebrated the cause of LGBTQ. Dragball exemplified the kind of acceptance and unity Colgate University is consistently striving to foster in its initiatives. 

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