Annual drag show shines spotlight on acceptance

Photo by Trevor Kirby
Bambi Deerest, a Point Park alum, performs to throwbacks from the ‘90s at the Drag Show in LH Ballroom, Jan. 24. The second annual drag show was held by the Campus Activities Board.

Written By Dara Collins, Staff Writer

Students time traveled back to the 1990s as Pikachu and Avril Lavigne look-alikes took the stage.

Point Park’s second drag show was held in the Lawrence Hall ballroom on Jan. 24. Point Park invited Bambi Deerest, Dixie Surewood, Blade Matthews, Divauna Diore, Cindy Crotchford and Miss V to perform to a variety of 1990s hits and pop culture references.

“It’s cool that we actually have a school that’s putting on a drag show and having queens that aren’t typical queens,” Deerest said. “We’re kind of alternative, we’re kind of fun, we’re all types. It’s not just like pretty pageant stuff. The fact that Point Park is having that and allowing that is really cool.”

Deerest and Surewood are no strangers to the campus. Deerest enrolled at Point Park as a musical theatre student in the Conservatory of Performing Arts. Surewood attended the university for two years as an education student.

“There are a lot of good memories here,” Surewood said. “I always liked this place because you can just do what you wanted and no one looks at you weird because everyone just accepts it.”

According to Deerest, drag culture was not as accepted in the past, but the crowd seemed more in touch with the culture during this performance.

“It’s definitely come a long way and I’m excited that the student body might be more progressive than it was then,” Deerest said. “It makes me have a good memory of college, and I’m always happy to come back.”

The queens took turns performing for the crowd. Students filled in the rows of chairs and gathered around the stage to dance and sing along. Christina Aguilera’s “Candy Man,” Ciara’s “1, 2 Step” and a Disney medley were among the songs played for the performance. Two audience members were also selected by Deerest and Surewood to go head-to-head in a drag race and lip-syncing contest.

Before Crotchford took the stage, Deerest introduced the queen as “the definition of drag in 2017”.

“Everybody’s different,” said Crotchford. “We’re all different body shapes, sizes and weight. Boobs are bigger, hair is bigger, white, black, whatever. It’s drag. I am more comfortable in my skin, so that’s who I am.”

Deerest agreed that drag culture allowed her to be who she wanted to be.

“I was always stuck playing roles that I looked like,” Deerest said. “They wouldn’t let me transform into something. Then I found drag, and drag was my way of being every character that I wanted to be all at once.”

Olivia Barger, a close friend to Deerest, who has been dubbed her “unofficial assistant,” gave some insight to the personalities behind all of the makeup and costumes.

“It’s definitely crazy and there’s never a dull moment,” said Barger. “They’re just really funny, really nice and very humble. They look out for everybody.”

If any student missed the drag show on campus, Deerest, Surewood and Crotchford perform at Blue Moon in Lawrenceville every Wednesday. They also have themed shows on Saturdays, according to Surewood.