SAGA to host biannual amateur drag show

Ryan Morris

The Appalachian State Sexuality and Gender Alliance club is hosting its biannual Amateur Drag Show this Thursday in hopes to entertain students and raise money for the club. The funds from the show, which has repeatedly proven to be the most profitable fundraiser the club hosts, go toward covering costs for the professional drag show SAGA puts on later in the semester.

This year the show will feature six drag kings and two queens, a record number of male impersonators in comparison to past years. The performers, all of whom are Appalachian students, perform short sets of dancing and lip-syncing to their chosen songs. At the end of the night, judges will determine two winners to be Mr. and Ms. SAGA Fall 2012. The winners go on to perform alongside professionals at the professional show later this semester.

The event is hosted by a professional drag queen who goes by the name of ‘Shelita Hoyle.’ Hoyle has been a recipient of the titles of Miss Gay Diamond America and Miss Sweetheart Hickory for her performance at competitions. The show will feature a guest performance by last semester’s winner, Ms. SAGA Spring 2012 Gwendolyn Latrice K Fontaine.

“It’s all about the students who are performing,” Hoyle said. “It really gives them the chance to be creative and a chance to learn the art of male or female impersonation.”

Hoyle sees a secondary goal of the show as education to the public about the LGBT community and drag culture in general. SAGA’s most recent club meeting featured a presentation on terminology used in the drag world and what terms to use to refer to performers in preparation for the show.

“It gives us the chance to have a conversation about female and male impersonation that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Hoyle said. “I had a conversation with someone last night who didn’t even know drag kings existed.”

Hoyle, who aided in judging the show last semester, got her professional start at the Appalachian’s amateur show six years ago. She sees the event as a fun learning opportunity for performers in training.

“Mainly we want to help our amateur performers prepare for some of what a professional goes through, if they decide that they want to continue with performing,” said Taylor Bailey, junior sociology student and president of SAGA.

“Really, I just hope they have fun. They’re definitely going to be laughing, because I’ll be on the microphone.” Hoyle said.

The show is Thursday November 1, from 7:30 to 10:00 p. m. in the Broyhill Events Center. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Story: LOVEY COOPER, A&E Reporter