Celebrity drag queen educates, entertains crowd
The Council of Ethnic Organizations hosted “Divas of Diversity” Monday and invited celebrity drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” to speak in the Houston Room at the University Center.
Wadley, whose real name is D.J. Pierce, educated and entertained more than 100 students at the event.
It was CEO’s second year hosting the event, and according to Marketing Director Armand Viscarri, the turnout was better than expected.
“I’m really happy that so many people showed up,” Viscarri said.
“We worked with the LGBT Center to promote the event, and lots of people came, so we’ll be definitely working closer to them next year.”
The audience was shown a short video about Wadley and her experience with different media outlets.
After the viral introduction, the queen herself stepped on stage to discuss her life and how it led her from Paris, Texas to appearing on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and many other TV shows.
She emphasized the importance of accepting and loving oneself.
“The hardest part for me was accepting that I was different,” said Wadley.
“Once I accepted who I was and loved myself, I was able to achieve what I wanted.”
Wadley answered the audience’s questions ranging from drag queen advice to family issues. She revealed that her family found out about her dressing in drag from watching TV.
Her mother was OK with the news, but the explanation to Wadley’s grandmother was difficult.
Wadley explained that, like Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and Eddie Murphy in “The Nutty Professor,” she plays a character and does not dress up in drag for everyday errands.
Wadley later switched outfits for a lip-synced performance of Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls).” She did not limit her dancing strictly to the stage either, as she continued to wow the audience with her showcase.
She moved in the aisles, interacted with attendees and then hopped back on stage — all in high-heeled boots.
Later, Wadley gave a few members of the audience a step-by-step demonstration of how to perform her signature move, the “Death Drop.” Instructions included everything from hand placement to landing positions.
Wadley concluded the event by signing autographs and taking pictures.
“I was so excited to go to UH and do this event because this campus is so diverse,” Wadley said.
“I would be more than happy to come back — and a huge shout-out to President Khator and CEO for having me.”