by Isabella Chow Valdez
Several drag kings and queens came by Hughes-Trigg Oct. 29 for an event hosted by Spectrum, an LGBTQ organization on campus. With an open-door policy, Spectrum accepts members from any race and sexual identity. The club forms a community for those that stand for the equality of every sexual orientation. With 70 participating student members, Spectrum has had an increase in participation over the years.
People of all ages gathered to witness the rare occasion of having drag queens dance and lip-synch at SMU’s campus. After each game of bingo, drag artists displayed their talents for entertaining. The Drag Bingo presented performers from the local community that captivated all. With heavy makeup, big wigs and self-assured personalities the drag queens showcased their performances with confidence. They incited giggles, laughter and everything in between.
Cassie Nova, one of the performers, danced joyfully around the tables while holding her niece on her hip. The young girl looked delighted as she collected bills from entertained spectators. Nova is also known as James Love or Uncle James.
Upon accidentally stumbling into the room, one would face a surprising view. Glitter and extravagant costumes decorated the performers as they exhibited alter-egos that incited cheers and hollers from all around the room. As a performance ended a game began and spectators would raise their hands enthusiastically as they shouted “bingo!” with excitement for the prizes to come. The prizes included a record player, a TV, makeup palettes and an Alexa Bluetooth speaker. The atmosphere seemed contagious as most left the event with smiles on their faces.
Two SMU students reported their surprise at how the event unfolded. Alexandra Henderson, a first-year vocal performance major, sang along to almost every song as she bobbed her head to the beat.
“I thought it was going to be fun, but that slayed me,” she said.
The prizes, free Raising Canes and drinks also generated excitement around the event.
Junior Brian Monroy said, “I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.”
Several other shocked faces were seen from around the room as the first drag queen appeared and slowly claps filled the room. But soon after, the claps turned to sounds of hollers and whistles.
During a time when many first-year students accommodate themselves into a new environment, Drag Bingo presented itself as a fun experience to try new things and discover the different aspects of SMU’s welcoming community, particularly for LGBT students.