Queens, camera, action: Chico State’s 5th annual drag show


Performer struts a panda costume. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

The Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition held their fifth annual drag show Thursday night in the BMU auditorium. The show provided entertainment while shedding some light on issues within Chico’s queer community.

The night started with a song and dance number by host Milian, called “Hip-Hop Extravaganza.”

A drag king showing off his dance moves. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Other performances of the night were organized into categories which included “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice,” The Villain’s Ball,” “Femme Queen Realness” and “Schoolboy Realness.”

Performances ranged from twerking to lap dances to “The Golden Girls” while each performer brought their own personality to the stage.

Milian kept the audience on their toes and wasn’t afraid to sit in the crowd and engage with them.

In between multiple costume changes throughout the night, Milian also grew serious for a minute and to talk about her admiration for women and people in marginalized groups.

Fun in all ways
Performer struts a panda costume. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

The drag show is put on annually by GSEC, and is a fun way to bring attention to some important issues within the LGBTQ+ community.

Drew Gonzalez, the queer program coordinator of GSEC, explained the inspiration behind the drag show’s theme, “The Ball” and explained the history of ballroom culture as a way for the queer community to come together and feel included.

“A big effect of ballroom culture was the fact that a lot of people were being discriminated against based on their identity, so you had these houses being formed,” Gonzalez said. “So these balls were huge competitions for queer people and the only place they could express themselves.”

She puts her entire soul into this fun wig-snatched performance. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Both Drew Gonzalez and Sawyer McAvoy, GSEC’s trans program coordinator, spoke about the importance of events like the annual drag show.

McAvoy spoke about the importance of having “closed doors,” or spaces where people can express their identities without being publicly outed and can feel safe in a closed space, just as the Coalition provides for the Chico State community.

“Closed doors are so important because often, if you don’t have a closed door, then people are going to out themselves just by walking into that space,” McAvoy said.

“These events are literally the backbone of our (Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition),” Gonzalez said. They also added that, because the group is so small, it’s important for it to get exposure through events.

She shows the crowd who’s boss. Queen performing with high energy to get the crowd pumped. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

Both coordinators said how crucial the attendance of Coalition events are and how important it is for Chico State to continue to have a safe space for queer students and faculty.

“If you’re not providing resources for queer people to feel like they belong, then we are failing these students,” Gonzalez added.

The Gender and Sexuality Equity Coalition hopes to provide students a safe environment where they can be themselves and express their identities. They have many events planned for the year and welcome anyone to attend.

For more information about GSEC and future events, please feel free to visit their office located in Meriam Library 171.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected]