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Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Your University, Your News, Your Life

The Mustang Buzz

Not a Drag!

SMSU Drag Show packs the Conference Center
Katrina Timm
Performers posing for photos. Performers: Dakota Hunter, Ryzen Shine, Pippin Panic, IV, Your Favorite White Boy, Gal Fatale, Mary Gold, Dixon Ice, Starchild, Robin Hearts and Dexter Maine-Love.

A stellar lineup of queer performers in the stage art of drag entertained a full house at the SMSU’s 2nd annual Drag Show Feb. 3 in the SMSU Conference Center.

Drag is a performance of exaggerated femininity, masculinity, and gender difference that has appeared on stages since the time of ancient Greece, when women were not allowed to perform theatre, so men played the parts of women; as with most things since then, the art form has evolved considerably!

Drag Show Performers from the St. Cloud State University drag troupe- as well as from as far as Tennessee- took to the stage with flamboyance, artistry, and free expressionism in front of a full-house of first time drag attendees and seasoned show-goers alike.

Drag as an entertainment genre has long been a source of controversy; despite its deep and rich social history, it is often infamously blasted as a smear campaign by deeply right-wing politicians or authority figures as an expression of perversion and indoctrination of children- despite no existing evidence to support this claim. The far-right conspiracy theory has long been credited to the motivation behind many a violent hate crime committed against LGBTQIA+ individuals. In bringing drag to the rural town of Marshall, this troupe helped in fostering an atmosphere of fun and freedom amidst the hardships that come with being a little different in such a way that welcomed not only queer folk, but allies of all kinds into a safe space for enjoying the theatrics and comedy that come with a drag show of high quality.

When asked what the performance of drag means to them, the artistic lineup performing that night had these thoughts to share. “Sharing joy, laughter, and having fun is the main reason why I do this,” says drag king Pippin Panic, AKA the cartoon of the twin cities. For drag performer Dakota Hunter, “-it’s a grand freedom of expression in a safe environment.” If you’re feeling inspired, drag king Dixon Ice has some advice. “Don’t be deterred by the label of queer art, or by the popular figures you see on drag shows”, he says, “Drag is for everybody and anybody of any shape, size, or shade.”

If you were unable to attend, the event was described as “Theatric, disregarding of the social norm, comfort, sanctuary, and very, very gay.”- as observed by drag king and gracious, hilarious host of the event, Robin Hearts. Head of the LGBTQ+ center here at SMSU Julie Walker was absolutely delighted at the turnout. “A total blast, we’re very happy about the turnout” she commented when asked about the event. I took some time to talk to Ms. Walker about why these events are so important, and what they mean to her. Julie Walker grew up in in the area during a time when LGBTQIA+ people were not so readily accepted into the folds of our town’s society. Being able to foster a place of validity and reliance for the queer individual of whose life may be lacking such things is a big part of why she works in the field she does, and is a reward in itself.

The 2nd annual SMSU Drag Show was organized by the LGBTQIA+ council and thanks to generous grants from the Southwest Minnesota Art Council and SMSU’s theatre department. If you are interested in attending a drag show here are a few things to remember in terms of audience etiquette! Consent is mandatory for the audience AND the performers; do not touch the performers. Of course, it is also important to respect pronouns. Simply ask; it does not hurt anyone to do so! Finally, like many mediums of performance, cash tips are encouraged but not mandatory. Clap enthusiastically, cheer loudly, and most importantly; have a GAY time!

For more information regarding drag, pride, or any LGBTQIA+ events in Marshall, visit and get ready for the pride festival this summer! Running June 7th, 8th, and 9th, a celebration of individuality at independence park with vendors, food, and activities for the whole family can be expected!

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Katrina Timm, Business Manager

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