Take a minute and imagine John Carroll University’s campus 10, even 20, years ago: different hairstyles and music, some different teachers, same Jesuit goals and values. However, could you imagine a drag show being held on campus a decade ago?
Yet, through the hard work of Allies (the LGBTQ group at JCU), and particularly senior Brian Becker, there will be a drag show on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. in the Dolan Center for Science and Technology. Becker conceptualized the idea and conceded there were some difficulties in transforming his idea into a reality.
“When I first brought up the idea of doing a drag show, I was told I would have to write up a proposal that would be submitted to administration, and that there was no guarantee that it would be approved,” Becker said. “Out of the six cultural events I have completed so far, this is the only one that I have ever had to go to administration to get approved.”
Holly Mittelmeier, assistant director of student activities, explained that the administration wanted to make sure that the event would be done in a successful, informative way.
Informative is what the administration wants, and that is what they will get. Junior Taylor Hartman, president of Allies, explained the pertinence in spreading awareness and educating students.
“We believe in the freedom and equality of all individuals and work to promote this in our daily lives,” said Hartman. “Our purpose is to increase awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered/transsexual
and queer issues at John Carroll University; to provide educational programming, and to work and serve the needs of the LGBTQ community as a whole.
We all want others to know that events like this one are made to promote our cultural heritage and diversity. On the other side of the coin, we want to also point out that not all LGBTQ people enjoy drag shows, nor do you have to be gay to join our organization or to be a supportive ally to fight for equality.”
Starting at 8:30 p.m. there will be a meet and greet with local LGBTQ organizations, followed by the drag show at 9 p.m. and ending with a question-and-answer segment. That way, not only can the audience enjoy the art of drag but also understand personal experiences and cultural significance of it.
Many students have agreed that bringing a drag show to campus after years of debate acknowledges that this generation of college students is at the cusp of an exciting change. According to sophomore Allies member Zak Zippert, “It will give college students an opportunity to experience something they otherwise wouldn’t.”
“Personally, I love drag, “ Becker said. “I think watching it is an amazing and entirely entertaining experience, and I really hope that everyone who attends feels the same way after. Also, I want students to go into the event expecting it also to be an educational experience not only on drag, but on the LGBTQ community as a whole.”