Show to be anything but a Drag

by Sarah Allison
Staff Writer

$70 for makeup, two hours to “paint” up, four pairs of panty hose, $2,000 dresses and a whole night of fun. What does it cost you? For Transylvania’s drag show, only $1.

Queen Chelsea Pearl, a legend in the local Drag community, is again coordinating this year's Drag show events at Transylvania.

The drag show is coming to Transylvania’s Carrick Theater April 11-12. Starting at 10 p.m., it will be approximately two hours.

Tickets can be purchased from Assistant Professor of Religion Dr. Carole Barnsley and Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Iva Katzarska-Miller. These professors will give purchasers receipts, which they should take to the Campus Center to receive tickets. There will be a limit of two tickets per person, and all money earned will be donated to Moveable Feast, a local charity.

This is the third drag show to be held on Transylvania’s campus. Associate Professor of English Dr. Kremena Todorova and Professor of Art Dr. Kurt Gohde’s series of photographs and oral histories of local drag queens called “Passing” initially brought the show to campus in 2009, and since then it has become an annual event.

“Students and former students who were at the first Transy drag show in 2009 still talk about it when we see them. Several have told us that it was a life-changing experience, that it made them even more proud to be a member of theTransylvaniacommunity,” said Gohde.

Queen Chelsea Pearl will once again coordinate the event for Transylvania. Pearl is a legend in the drag community, holding the title of show director at The Bar Complex in Lexington.

According to Gohde and Todorova, a legend is a queen that has won many pageants, awards and titles nationally. She is often remembered for many memorable moments on stage. Another element to being a legend is having many drag daughters. To have a drag daughter is to be a mentor to a less experienced queen. Often a drag mother paints the drag daughter before a show.

The process of preparing for performance is a long one, and the expense is also notable. The physical appearance of a drag queen consists of padding shaped from foam cushions. Queens usually wear three or four pairs of panty hose during a show.

The amount of makeup that is used during a night costs around $70. It takes two hours to put on the makeup, eyelashes and wigs. This process is called “putting on the face” if the queen performs regularly.

The experience of watching a drag show can be classified as unique, but for many viewers it is also eye-opening.

“Working with the drag community has enabled me to witness tremendous generosity from a population that is often marginalized to the rest of our society, which is more often than not committed to rendering drag queens invisible,” said Todorova.

Drag queens often put on shows for charity. The Imperial Court of Kentucky has donated almost a million dollars to benefit local charities. Drag shows are performed locally at establishments such as The Bar Complex, Pulse Nightlife and Crossings.

Following the show on Wednesday, prior to the show on Thursday and during open hour on Thursday there will be question and answer events with a drag queen, which students, staff and faculty are invited to attend.

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