Mid-October marked the time for the 9th Annual Hofstra University Drag Show. Hosted yearly by The Pride Network, the Drag Show undoubtedly represents an exciting event for Hofstra’s student body, though this year, the show was not only an expression of individuality, but also a special tribute to the Pulse Nightclub and the gay community.
A drag queen is defined as a person, usually a male, which dresses in drag and acts in feminine gender roles. While drag is considered relatively new to pop culture and modern society, drag has been a pivotal and integral part of queer culture for decades. As drag has become a larger part of pop culture, as shown by television shoes like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, queer culture has a growing presence in today’s world.
The Drag Show presented ideas that are applicable to both Hofstra’s campus and society today, as it stressed the importance of having an affirmative and open space for unconventional ideas about gender and sexuality. With Ally Week, Donald Trump’s remarks about sexual assault and the general political and social climate of the country all occurring around the time of the Drag Show, it also represented a symbol of solidarity and empowerment for the LGBTQ+ community.
This year’s Drag Show was more than just a performance; it was a benefit in light of the tragedy that occurred in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub. The goal was to honor the victims, both direct and indirect, of the shooting, and the LGBTQ+ community at large. This was undoubtedly successful: the show raised over $3,200, and 50% of this was donated the onePULSE Foundation, whose goal is to provide financial assistance to those affected by the tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub.
“That night had a special air to it, because of the philanthropic standpoint for everyone participating and involved, which was magnified in light of the tragedy,” said Josh Metzler, President of Hofstra’s Pride Network. “Mass violence against queer communities seemed like a thing of the past, but the Drag Show provided a unique opportunity for people to come together for a unified cause, and this made it more special and more meaningful.
“It’s important to note that the Drag Show, when compared with the past few years, is a reflection of the growth of queer life on campus, as seen by the expansion of venue size and attendance. I’m so honored and happy to be a part of the extreme growth of queer life and queer presence on campus. Drag show is the first of many things to reflect that.”