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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gay/Lesbian/Queer Analysis of Wabash College's 2010 Drag Show

When attending Wabash College's annual Drag Show, sponsored by shOUT, I knew to expect glitz, glamour, energy, dance, and much more. What I did not expect, however, was to see an entirely different side of the performers/entertainers during the "question-and-answer" portion of the show. One of the most impactful questions was asked by a Wabash College: "Why do you do it?" There was a variety of answers, with the most repeated answer being that many of the performers just love to entertain others. A few performers, however, spoke about wanting to break stereotypes, whether it was done by bringing both gay and straight viewers together or by partaking in no alcoholic substances of any sort before their performances. This breaking of stereotypes reminded me of Donald E. Hall's view on transgender studies: "Transgender and transsexual theorists have even worked to disrupt the notion that only two sexes exist and have challenged the belief that the sex to which one is assigned at birth constitutes one's natural identity, especially given new technologies that allow dramatic changes in what had been considered fixed biological fact" (Hall 235). Some of the drag queens mentioned that they felt their dual sexualities at an early age but decided to do drag as a way of not hiding either gender's voice. It is also important to note that the notions of "transgender" and "transsexual" do not just referring to men. At the drag show, there was a woman, who later identified herself as a lesbian, who performed as a man. I thought this was the best aspect of the show because many people associate the idea of more than two sexual identities existing with drag queens, which excludes an entire group. Overall, the show provided a look at many different aspects of gay life, whether it was from the audience members, the performers, or the lessons learned by first time viewers.

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