Locals and students dressed in drag this week to perform and raise money for charity.
Rainbow Pride Union hosted its 10th annual drag show on Wednesday in the Anderson Center.
A total of eight performers included two student performers, one from Binghamton University and one from Binghamton High School, as well as a resident director from College-in-the-Woods. Professional drag queens and a drag king also performed.
Each drag queen selected her own music and developed individual dance routines, according to Kelly Hyde, an Executive Board at-large member of RPU.
“This year we really wanted to bring in a diverse group of performers,” said Hyde, a freshman double-majoring in economics and English.
The show had an “End of the World” theme drawn from the myth of a looming apocalypse in the coming year. The stage was decorated as a Mayan temple with a calendar at the top. Proceeds from the show benefited the Southern Tier AIDS Program.
The show was emceed by Katrina, a drag queen who also hosts the Thursday night drag show at Merlin’s in Downtown Binghamton. She introduced the performers and interacted with the crowd, walking through the aisles and talking to audience members.
Donald Lodge, the publications director of RPU and a sophomore double-majoring in political science and Chinese, was the only BU student to perform in the show.
“I have never done something like this before,” Lodge said. “Being backstage in front of that mirror looking at myself, or rather I should say Brooke Brokeback, was a surreal experience.”
He described his experience as a drag queen as “a lot of work, a lot of pain and a lot of duct tape.”
Lodge performed to Lady Gaga’s song “Judas.” He tied for first place in the show with the other student drag queen, who performed as Paris Laroux.
Other performances featured music from artists including Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and Ke$ha.
About 150 people attended the show, including BU students, community members and family members of the performers.
RPU met as a general body before the show to discuss the history of drag and how it has developed and changed over time.
“It’s been around since the Roman Empire,” Hyde said. “The church encouraged males to dress as females because females weren’t allowed to perform.”
RPU President Frank Torres said he was pleased with the outcome.
“It went extremely well,” said Torres, a senior double-majoring in financial economics and political science. “What’s great about a drag show like this is that people can come in big groups.”
RPU Assistant Director Claire Smith said she was also happy with the turnout of the show.
“It’s definitely nice to see such a big turnout from students,” said Smith, a senior double-majoring in anthropology and history.
Lindsay Knott, a junior majoring in biology, attended the drag show with a friend and enjoyed it.
“It’s always so much fun,” Knott said. “It’s fun to watch them because they’re so fierce on stage.”