By Ethan Hogan
“Drag Ball in Space” was an event held by UNH Alliance in the Granite State Room of the MUB on Friday, Feb. 19. The event included a performance from two professional drag queens out of Boston, and ended with a ‘Drag off’ where students got to strut their stuff on a catwalk.
“I really hope it brings a celebration of expressing yourself,” said chair president of UNH Alliance and sophomore philosophy major Rory Wilson.
Wilson explained the distinctions between cross-dressing and drag.
“Drag is in the performance,” Wilson said, adding that cross-dressing is a form of expression that is more about personal comfort or rebellion against gender conformity and less about showmanship.
“Drag is all about the empowerment of being marginalized,” Wilson said.
The professional drag queen performers, Lea B. London Georgia and Mia Sapphire Georgia, came out on stage and warmed up the crowd with a slew of dirty jokes.
This was the first year that the Drag Ball included professional performers.
The drag queens’ performance consisted of lip-syncing several pop songs, but this was not just karaoke. These queens brought energy and personality to the performances and did not hesitate to flip off the crowd or grab themselves. The audience danced and sang along with each song and some students were even hoisted up on stage.
“It was the most fabulous thing ever!” said Analisa Savini, a junior equine studies major, after dancing on stage with the drag queens.
Snacks were served all night long, and the event featured a broken chocolate fountain and a working cotton candy machine. There was also a photo booth where students could get pictures taken with their friends and have them printed out in a classic film strip.
After the drag queens’ performances, the drag off began. A line formed beside the stage as hopeful young drag queens waited for their chance to woo the crowd on the catwalk.
Lea B. London Georgia and Mia Sapphire Georgia judged the competition and selected three finalists who would then compete in a lip sync battle.
Jacob Riehl, a gender fluid student at UNH explained his experience at the Drag Ball saying, “It is definitely a place where people are free to express themselves and to have fun with gender.”
Riehl doesn’t think that the university is as accepting and accommodating as it could be for gender fluid students.
“In the MUB, we had non-gender restrooms on this [third] floor and then they moved them upstairs, it has been a mess,” said Riehl.
“I have had a pretty good time, I have had professors that are less understanding than others,” said Riehl on his experience in the classroom with his gender fluidity.
The winner of the lip sync battle was Lauren Moran, with the stage name of Jack Manhattan. Moran had her chest painted like the night sky and was not afraid to reveal her art on stage. After a vote was put to the crowd by way of cheering, Moran was declared the winner.
“It is a self exploration, I think a lot of people do not think about their gender and their gender presentation enough,” said Moran.