Drag Show: Anything but a Drag

Students show that drag is more than wigs and makeup—it's self-expression.

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Drag Show: Anything but a Drag

Fordham's drag kings and queens performed a variety of energetic arts including magic, rock music and a death drop.

Fordham's drag kings and queens performed a variety of energetic arts including magic, rock music and a death drop.

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

Fordham's drag kings and queens performed a variety of energetic arts including magic, rock music and a death drop.

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

Fordham's drag kings and queens performed a variety of energetic arts including magic, rock music and a death drop.

By VICKY CARMENATE, Staff Writer

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“There’s a loud LGBT presence at Fordham,” Rainbow Alliance President Katz Fantulin, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, stated, and this year’s drag show only proved this. 

Walking into the event, people couldn’t help but feel a sense of community within the crowd. The McNally Amphitheatre buzzed with excitement as everyone waited for the show to begin. Immediately, attendees were presented with friends laughing, people talking and photos being taken left and right. All of one’s anxieties slipped away — this was a space where people could truly be themselves. 

On Nov. 1, Rainbow Alliance and Fashion for Philanthropy came together for the second year in a row to host the Fordham Lincoln Center Drag Show. Signs were made and donation boxes passed around for the LGBT Community Center of New York. The clubs raised a total of $178 to donate. 

The show was organized by Ky Hayward, FCLC ’21 and vice president of Rainbow Alliance; and Ellie Kim, FCLC ’21 and president of Fashion for Philanthropy (FFP). Both E-Board members took charge of the event alongside their club members.

FFP Vice President Chloë Felopulos, FCLC ’21, said the clubs’ intended purpose for the show was “to have a fun event where people can get together and express themselves and be someone that they’re not, or someone that they want to be.” 

“I think that we really wanted to explore where drag could take us,” she added.

Drag is a unique experience — one never knows what will happen. The performers were people  audience members know and love, making the event even more special. 

“I’ve never personally been to a drag show, so I thought it was fun. Especially since it’s our peers, and we know all of them,” said Elizabeth Burns, FCLC ’23.

Colorful rainbow signs covered the walls of the amphitheatre. One read, “Eyes, Lips, Face, Y’all need to hype me up!” and another showed a Rainbow Fordham Ewe. These signs made all 139 audience members eager to see what the show had in store.

The show allowed people from all walks of life to express themselves. Hanna Bowman, FCLC ’21, hosted the show, and when it opened, her energy made the crowd erupt with laughter. She captivated the audience and got them excited for the first act: Wayne Babineaux, FCLC ’20, as Coincoin, whose persona is literally a queen. 

Students played the drums as Coincoin was introduced: “The queen approaches,” said one of her band members. Coincoin came floating down the stairs and the crowd burst into cheers. She was costumed beautifully in a floor-length dress, sandals and, most importantly, a crown. Coincoin’s act was centered around the history of slavery and feeling silenced. 

“I bet you didn’t come to the Fordham drag show to talk about slavery,” said Coincoin. Her performance was raw and portrayed the hurt that black people have endured every day around the world. Coincoin got the audience singing and clapping along to her songs. 

“I just thought it was engaging; it got everyone hyped up, and I loved the energy,” said Jack Bellamy, FCLC ’23. 

Bradley Moyer, FCLC ’23, blew everyone’s wig off (besides her own) as Melania. She lip-synced Ariana Grande’s “Be Alright” and impressed the crowd with an outfit change and a death drop. The crowd loved her energy and her positive attitude after some minor technical difficulties. 

Emily Krichmar, FCLC ’21, had the crowd roaring with laughter as Moe Zuzah, telling jokes about the drag king’s ex and the logic behind anti-climate changers. 

The audience was on the floor after jokes like “‘Climate change isn’t real; it’s cold when I go outside’ is like saying, ‘Books aren’t real because I can’t read.’” 

Fantulin not only helped organize the event but also performed as Scab Valentine along with other band members, creating the Phantabulasms. The band painted their faces and gelled their hair into mohawks. Scab Valentine traveled across the stage, dancing and lip-syncing with ease. 

Bowman performed a comedy skit as Johnny Smash. His set was a commentary on different songs, including “Get Right” by Jennifer Lopez. He said that this song is for “when someone is too close to you on the subway.” Bringing up an audience member, Smash danced and got too close for comfort as the song played. 

Johnny Smash had some technical difficulties trying to start his set, but with participation from the crowd and lots of “turn the volume on!” shouts, Smash got his set rolling.

King Retrograde — Hayward’s own drag-king persona — performed “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Dancing and engaging with the audience, the king brought the magic of Queen to life on stage.  

Finally, Teagan Brown, FCLC ’22, ended the show with what he described as a gay magic show. He brought up two audience members to participate in his tricks. From card tricks to multiplying bunnies, the audience was captivated at the sheer impossibility of his tricks. At the end of his set, he held a watch up in the air, and from the audience, you heard a “that’s mine!” from a girl who was brought up on stage earlier. 

Drag creates a community where each performer and audience member can be themselves. All of the performers at the show performed in their individual and unique ways, showing drag to be an art form that lets people express their individuality.