Student Association and LGBTA club hold annual drag show at UB

Friday show a part of Pride Week celebration

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Roughly 100 students gathered in the Student Union as three drag queens captured the attention of passersby on National Coming Out Day Friday.

 LGBTA and the Student Association held the drag show as a part of Pride Week, which featured various events across campus. Other events included coming-out post-it notes –– where students wrote their coming-out stories on post-it notes and created a wall of the stories –– and an LGBTQ dinner crew with the Intercultural Diversity Center. But the drag show –– including performers Victoria Jenkins and Christian Gaye –– wrapped up the week and featured UB students and alumni. Alice Raige, the main performer, contributed to the drag show for the past two years. LGBTA President Lesly Gonzalez said she hopes the events show LGBT students that there is a “safe space on campus” for them. 

JAHANVI CHOPRA | The Spectrum

Students share their coming out stories on a piece of paper as part of 'Coming Out Week.'


Gonzalez said drag has become a part of mainstream culture and is a “stepping stone” to get involved in the LGBT community at UB. 

“We have examples like drag racing in the U.S. and U.K. now, so with these sort of drag personas and drag shows, it kind of brings a friendly face to the LGBT community for those who might not know a lot about the LGBT community,” Gonzalez said. 

Mary Peters, a senior nursing and psychology major, has been on the executive board of LGBTA for three years now and knows one of the queens who performed in the show.

“When the club said they needed to get in contact with a queen, I referred them to Alice [Raige] because she knows how to plan drag shows and get into contact with other queens,” Peters said.

Alice Raige helped organize the show and has contributed to the event for the past two years.

“There are so many different ways to perform drag, usually in a nightclub, but lately drag shows have been represented not only in gay bars but also bars that aren’t necessarily geared toward the LGBT community have still been welcoming to gay events,” Raige said. 

Raige emulates her drag persona on stage but said she also does it for “attention and recognition for the [LGBT] community.” 

“We finally are having more representation in the media, home towns, television and our stories are being told,” Raige said. “When there are people going out there and being on stage and being themselves, this encourages people to be themselves without worrying what the public may think,” Raige said. “This whole day is about being true to yourself and not hiding who you are but living your honest truth.”

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