Week of Pride: Pandora Boxx Hosts Annual Dragball



Colgate’s Queerfest, a weeklong celebration of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community sponsored by Advocates and supported by the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC) in partnership with various other student groups, culminated on Saturday night with Dragball at Donovan’s Pub. Featuring three performances by guest em-cee Pandora Boxx, a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the event offered student drag queens and kings the chance to lip-synch and dance for attendees.

Undoubtedly, Pandora Boxx her-self – who kept attendees entertained with jokes, anecdotes and costume changes between performances – was the highlight; most notable was her final performance of her sassy, as-of-yet unreleased original song, “Nice Car.” The promise to see Pan-dora live attracted many individuals outside the LGBTQ community as well, resulting in a large turnout, in-fectious energy and an open, diverse environment as students sang and danced along with the performers to popular tunes like “I’m Every Wom-an,” “You’re the One That I Want” and “Bootylicious.” Following the per-formances, the dance floor was opened to students while Pandora mingled with attendees well into the night.

“I am extremely proud of the Advocates Core and volunteers who really stepped up and made Dragball the phenomenal success it was,” President of Advocates senior Caden Polk said. “We had a great turnout, fantastic performers, great music and a lovely emcee. The only way it could have gone better is if Oprah turned up and said free tuition for all!”

Such a sentiment was echoed by performers and attendees alike. Perhaps more importantly, though, was the fact that Dragball celebrated the LGBTQ community while bringing the greater Colgate community together in an accepting, congenial setting, regardless of attendees’ gender and sexual orientation – the very embodiment of Queerfest’s purpose and an admirable goal in any context.

“This was my first time doing Dragball, and it was so heart-warming to see so many differ-ent people represented there in a very welcoming atmosphere and to have the crowd so into the show,” junior Xavia Publius said. Publius performed “Paparazzi” as Lady XaXa.

“All of the performers were be-yond fabulous, and Pandora was of course the fiercest queen there. I had a blast performing, and I’m so glad my dress came together. I’m especially proud of all the peo-ple who came in drag and just let it all hang out, because that takes a lot of courage on this campus and it was great to see people playing with gender,” Publius said.

In what was perhaps one of the most energetic moments of the evening – and a perfect example of the welcoming community Colgate hopes to foster – students rallied behind Pandora as she spoke about gay marriage.

“You have to fight for your rights,” she said amid cheers. “Rosa Parks didn’t just stay at the back of the bus because she would eventually have rights.”

The subsequent show of student support was unity at its best, and proof of the importance and accomplishments of groups such as Advocates at Colgate and nationwide.

Contact Alanna Weismman at [email protected].