Dragging for a GLOBAL cause
Gender dressing roles flew out the window as a student organization celebrated its annual drag show to a packed house.
GLOBAL, the University of Houston’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning student organization, held the event on Thursday at the Montrose bar Meteor.
The event featured men in colorful dresses and heels performing to songs such as “Sweet Transvestite” and women in suits or prosthetic beards singing. Though fun was the order of the night, there was a cause to the evening. According to GLOBAL representatives, the $1,390 raised by the event went to HATCH, the Houston Area Teenage Coalition of Homosexuals.
“This is our biggest event of the year,” said Huy Truong, business sophomore and current GLOBAL president. “We’re ending it with a bang and aiming for as good as last year.”
The performers were gathered in a changing area adding some last-minute touches to their wardrobes, which included red and Victorian wigs, checkered coats and corsets.
Ian Mitchell, a medical biochemistry junior, whose stage name is Nikita Electra, described his feelings about performing.
“I was very nervous but very excited,” he said while fixing his hair and make-up. “There was adrenaline before and after my song.”
The drag show, which was originally held in the Cougar Den of the University Center, has grown in size over the years, as evidenced by about 200 people who attended.
It was one of GLOBAL’s former presidents, Melanie Pang, a second-year political social work graduate student, who brought the show back five years ago.
According to her, she heard it was done in the ’90s but disappeared for unknown reasons, so she took the initiative in 2007.
She expressed excitement about the show being open to the UH community as well as individuals all over Houston.
“It incorporates more of the gay community and not just the campus,” she said while getting ready to perform in black slacks and a dress shirt.
UH alumnus Bobby Allen, who came in drag to celebrate, was part of the show when it was first brought back.
“I’m really proud it’s grown to this size,” he said, as crowds clapped and cheered the performers. “It shows the ever-evolving growth of the gay community and the visibility GLOBAL has.”
For some audience members, it was their first time coming to the show.
“Most of these people don’t drag regularly, but I think they’re really talented,” said fine arts junior Miguel Martinez. “The GLOBAL community is about giving back in a really fun way.”
Dragging for others symbolized a powerful experience.
“If I want to be a powerful woman, I can. If I want to be an astonishing ballroom queen, I can,” said Joshua Sutherland, human resources junior. “This event lets us show our true colors and express ourselves in the same venue.”
A tradition of the show involves the audience coming towards the performer and either handing them money or throwing it on stage.
So as the last song was sung and the last dollar was thrown in the air, GLOBAL’s president seemed satisfied.
“It went better than I expected,” said Truong, who spent the majority of the evening running around and making sure things went according to plan.
“I’m tired but it’s all worth it, the performances were amazing and a lot of people showed up.”
After being asked if the show would continue next year, he nodded with a smile.