Community to celebrate drag kings, queens


Photo courtesy of Queers & Allies G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S­—Drag queen Aurora Gozmic, originally from Marquette, Michigan is one of the six performers in the 24th Annual show.

Benjamin Bures

Colorful lights flash on stage, illuminating a room of more than a thousand audience members in suspense. As fog begins to roll, the kings and queens of drag emerge to flaunt their glamour and abilities.   

Six kings and queens of drag hailing from Chicago will perform in NMU’s 24th Annual Drag show from 7-10 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the Vandament Arena. This event is being put on by Queers & Allies (Q&A), an NMU club that strives to allow the queer and allied community of NMU to gather in a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental environment to express themselves. One of the queens set to perform, Aurora Gozmic, is from the Marquette area and worked with Q&A to bring the show to NMU. Their mission is to bring a queer presence and a taste of diversity to the area. 

“Marquette is bigger than where I came from but it’s still a pretty small area,” said Micah Morley, senior communications major and vice president of Q&A. “You don’t get to see a lot of diversity of people.” 

Morley said that this event brings people together to see and experience something that maybe they haven’t before. 

“I think a lot of people, when they think of the U.P., or they think of NMU, especially if they are a LGBTQ+ student, they worry that this is not an accepting school. That this is not an accepting community,” said Nat Ehrig, junior political science major and Q&A co-president. “I think by having the drag show it shows we’re just as accepting of a place as anywhere else as long as you surround yourself with supportive people.” 

Henry Sale, sophomore communications major and Q&A co-president, said the difference between gender and gender expression is talked about quite a bit on campus. Sale wears his heels for presentations and other occasions and said this doesn’t mean he is a woman, or wants to be a woman. Sale said this is what a drag show is like just on a much larger scale. 

“This shows our students that they get to be who they want to be and we’re ok with that. We have over a thousand people in this room cheering these kings and queens on and there are no issues, that’s pretty powerful for students to see,” Sale said. 

Kendra Laupp, sophomore criminal justice major and secretary of Q&A, also speaks to the importance of inclusion the event promotes. 

“It allows people not in the community to experience LGBTQ+ culture in a safe environment, without judgement on anybody,” Laupp said.

Q&A continues the tradition of embracing the positive message drag queens and kings teach their audience through their carefree, entertaining and glamorous abilities during this year’s show.