Final drag show of the year hits the runway

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Jordan Williams

The final professional drag show of the academic year, sponsored by the Sexuality and Gender Alliance and Appalachian Popular Programming Society, will take place at Legends this Friday.

The drag shows, present on the campus since the ‘90s, continue to be the biggest fundraiser SAGA hosts at Appalachian State University. There are four shows per year – two amateur and two professional.

The upcoming show will have a mythology theme, chosen in order for performers, otherwise known as “queens,” to express themselves in a bold and colorful way. Drag_Show_2

“For choosing the theme, we just opened the floor to our members and asked them all what they thought a cool theme would be,” said Jerry Yelton, vice president of community for SAGA. “Mythology seemed to be the most popular, because it’s got a lot of opportunity for a lot of really fantastical elements, like really bright colors and really theatrical things that all of our performers can thrive off of.”

This particular show will feature six professional drag queens and one professional drag king. Each participant will also perform two lip syncing numbers. The winners of the most recent amateur drag show will also be featured.

Yelton, a junior communications studies major, said the performers go all out for the final show with extravagant costumes and performances.

“I always look forward to the love and enjoyment of the students coming together to celebrate the diversity of the event,” said Eureka O’Hara, a host and performer of the drag show. “It makes me proud to be a college student myself at East Tennessee State University.” Drag_Show_1

O’Hara was a former finalist for “National Entertainer of the Year,” an annual competition run by the Stinson-Lewis-Stinson  Pride Foundation in Louisville, Kentucky.

“One of the reasons we like to encourage students to understand drag and come to these performances is that it allows for them to play with their gender. We want students at Appalachian to understand that gender exist on a spectrum, and it’s not just the binary male or female. You can express yourself and be who you are on this campus, and thats what the drag shows and SAGA are advocating for,” Yelton said.

The first 100 people through the door will be given a complimentary olive branch crown and Greek candy. Tickets for the show, which is BYOB, are $10 per person. Doors at Legends will open at 7:30 p.m.

Story: Jordan Williams, Intern A&E Reporter