THE MOMENT — Drag star BoyJ basks in the crowd after their performance.
THE MOMENT — Drag star BoyJ basks in the crowd after their performance.
Antonio Anderson

More than 500 people attend NMU drag show

27th annual event sees innovation, inclusivity and unprecedented numbers.

Collective cheers enveloped a single idol, drowning out the playing music. People of all kinds reached out to touch them and give them money, all of them expressing love. This was NMU’s 27th annual drag show.

“Some people told me earlier that they traveled here from Lansing to come see this because there is nothing else like it,” Vice President of NMUs Queers and Allies (Q & A) Avery Zahlmann said.

Zahlmann says Double Trouble Entertainment were the DJs for the event, and NMU provided the audio and visual technicians. Two students also performed with the six drag professionals. The event was free for students and cost the general public $10.

With melancholy eyes and bittersweet voices, the Q & A president and vice president explained that this was their last year as club officers. This was their last drag show at NMU, making it an impactful event for not just the guests who attended, but the organizers as well. For a last show, they chose to pave the way for more inclusive shows in the future.

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“This year we wanted to make it more accessible, so we made that a priority,” Q & A President Miranda Miller said. “This was our first year using an [ASL] interpreter.”

More than 500 people crowded to watch the show according to Miller, and an incalculable amount were assisted by the ASL interpreter.

Wearing outfits like suits made of glitter and dresses fit for fairytales, the performers danced in styles just as unique as their costumes, celebrating their personal and unique queerness.

“Drag has been such a monument for the queer community,” Miller said. “Celebrating gender, sexuality and everything that is them. It is great that it is at NMU, that it exposes people to beautiful queer art.”

Attendees say the show brought out the best in some people. One student explained how normally their social anxiety secluded them from most events, but the space the performers created made them feel so safe that it was the only event they have been to all year.

With eyes full of unhindered joy and conviction Zahlmann said, “It is so everything.”

The drag show will return for its 28th year next winter semester.

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