Editor’s Note: A previous headline on this story misstated the acronym LGBT as LGTB.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Feb. 21 to include the amount fundraised by the event.
Despite protests outside, the 16th annual K-State Drag Show had roaring crowds on Friday night. With donations for the LGBT Resource Center matched by Adobe, the event reported raising nearly $12,000 to provide financial access to mental healthcare for trans and queer students, as well some scholarships.
The host of the evening, drag queen Monica Moree opened the show with a medley of Todrick Hall anthems, and the church said amen.
Each following act strived to outdo the previous in drama, costuming and emotional impact. Adorned in glitter, sequins, feathers and tassels, queens lip synced to a diverse array of songs, from Britney Spears to “Baby Shark.”
The burlesque-themed show featured performers Monica Moree, Penny Tration, Victoria Fox, Lil’ Kim Chi, Valeree Love and the couple Alexander Cameron and Ginger LeSnapps.
The married duo specializes in burlesque, and traveled all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio, to perform for K-State.
“Burlesque literally means to mock or spoof,” LeSnapps said via email. “It’s extremely popular in fringe sects of society that consider themselves disenfranchised, and particularly in times of socioeconomic hardship. It usually involves some element of striptease, but not necessarily always.”
LeSnapps’ said she loves burlesque for its inclusiveness and empowerment. In her 11 years of performing, Manhattan is the farthest she’s traveled for a show. However, the roar from the crowd, she said, was potentially the most deafening she’s ever heard.
Moree agreed, acknowledging this to the audience.
“I’m telling you, I have been around the world and I have not experienced an audience like this,” Moree said.
Moree, a K-State graduate, has been helping organize this show for 16 years. This year, however, was the first year there were people protesting outside, Moree said.
Despite the protestors, Moree said it’s amazing to see what a different place K-State is from 10, 15 or even 30 years ago.
For Olivia Elmore, freshman in kinesiology, and Drew Langston, freshman in biology, this was their first time attending a drag show.
“I thought it would be a super cool experience, especially because it’s at K-State, and like I didn’t have to go out to a bar or anything,” Elmore said. “I love the message that they have of like loving everyone and just being super respectful of the performers on stage. It was really fun, some parts were shocking, but in a good way for sure.”
Langston said the show was definitely interesting.
“Maybe not my scene, but I’m glad that I came and experienced it,” Langston said.
Moree reminded guests of several upcoming events hosted by the LGBT Resource Center, including and AdventureOUT: Intro to Drama Feb. 17 and free HIV & Syphilis testing Feb. 19.