What’s red, blue, and queer all over? SMU SPECTRUM’s dazzlingly successful event, Drag Bingo, filled the Hughes-Trigg ballroom with prizes and laughter Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m.
Drag Bingo is a part of SMU’s Mustang Welcome Weeks; a series of events put on by the Program Council each year that brings new and old students together in an accepting environment. This year, with more than 350 people in attendance, Drag Bingo was an elaborate spectacle of confidence and self-expression.
Cassie Nova, a drag queen well known for her performances at the Dallas dance club S4, hosted the evening’s events. Squeezing her voluptuous, sequined figure through tables of guests, Nova kept the crowd entertained with her suggestive humor and bawdy dance moves. Between every two games of bingo, attendees were treated to two performances by local drag queens.
Baby Powder, one of the evening’s star performers, took the stage in a black leather top, cut-off denim shorts, and hot pink thigh-high boots. Swishing her long blonde hair and batting her heavily made-up eyelashes, she confidently lip-syncs her way through the ballroom. When the performance ends and the applause has subsided, Baby Powder makes her way to the back of the room, joining friends who are sitting on the floor. She immediately drops her “act” and becomes the SMU student many know (and love) by the name of Daniel David Casey.
Casey, a senior at SMU, is warm and approachable, even in his elaborate costume. This was Casey’s first year to perform at Drag Bingo, and judging by the hoops, hollers and whistles, the show was a great success.
Above the buzz of excited chatter, five guests shout “BINGO!” en masse. To determine a winner, the five players must compete in a twerk-off contest. Outfitted in wigs, feather boas, and flamenco skirts, the giggling contestants give the dance move their all. One student, Claire Johnson, takes her twerk to the next level, bobbing up and down in a handstand with her feet supported by the wall. Her effort ultimately pays off–Johnson won the crowd’s applause and took home one of many impressive prizes.
Bose speakers, a flat-screen television and a Wii U were just a few of the prizes won, and even those who didn’t shout “Bingo!” had freebies to enjoy. Jimmy John’s and Cane’s Chicken catered the event and, of course, the fun and student unity came at no cost.
SPECTRUM is SMU’s largest LGBTQ organization. Boasting more than 50 members and a completely open-door policy, the group is welcoming of students from all areas of study and walks of life.
SPECTRUM President Jacob Conway was over the moon seeing how many guests attended and enjoyed the event.
“You get to be yourself. You know you’re gonna be with people who are okay with who you are. I think that’s what brings people here more than anything,” Conway said.