On Sunday, April 16, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center is bringing drag to the David L. Eisler Center for a night of trivia.
Hostess Cherry Poppins will start the event by announcing and welcoming the drag performers. From Beauty Beyond Drag Productions, the event will welcome Miss. Moscato, Vivienna Von Dion and Countess Hexen as performers. Bringing in the music, the event will welcome DJ BittaSweet.
Drag trivia will be the first “big solo” event since the center’s director, Becca Osborne, started. Osborne was the main planner of this event but had help from Beauty Beyond Drag Productions and Student Life.
Television and digital media production freshman Liz Brown believes that drag is “wonderful to watch” because of the song, dance and drama.
“It’s just fun. I know for those who do drag, a lot of it is about expression and escape,” Brown said.
As for the trivia, the questions will be based on important moments in LBGTQ+ history, politics, pop culture and correctly identifying various pride flags and terminology for specific identities in the community. In the end, the winner will receive a big prize.
“My hope is that people will show up and have fun,” Osborne said. “There will be multiple drag performances as well as trivia, so I’m hoping people come to participate and interact with the performers.”
Recently, drag restrictions have been put in place. In Tennessee, all drag performances are now considered adult cabaret performances and are banned from occurring within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks and places of worship. This Tennessee bill was passed alongside a bill banning transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming care.
Social work sophomore Bryanna Monaco believes that drag should not be restricted because it isn’t a bad thing to do.
“[Drag queens] work so hard to be someone they feel comfortable having an audience with,” Monaco said. “They don’t do anything wrong, but lawmakers are trying to stop them from doing the one thing they love most in the world.”
As there currently is no concern about the LGBTQ+ Resource Center’s drag trivia event being restricted, Osborne is still fearful that these laws could fuel hate for those against drag in the Big Rapids community.
“These anti-drag laws make small towns a scary place to be,” Osborne said. “Luckily, I haven’t seen anything in Big Rapids regarding a stance on drag performances, so hopefully it all goes well.”
While Osborne fears the event taking place in Big Rapids, computer information science junior Chandler Schroeder expresses hopeful positivity about bringing drag to a small town. Schroeder believes that bringing drag queens to campus will shine a positive light on the community.
“I look forward to bringing positive exposure for a new art form to be introduced to the community,” Schroder said. “I understand the Big Rapids community is more on the isolated side, so giving local residents and the campus populous a positive, relaxed experience with something that might not be well understood in the wider community will be good for the cultural development of the region.”
Schroeder believes that exhibiting drag is important to show that it’s a “wide net of performance art categories” and that it has a large range.
“Think of it like clowns. They can be scary, sexy or just plain goofy and welcome in kids spaces,” Schroeder said. “It seems like a frivolous and arguably damaging exercise to try and stifle such an expression of free speech in the form of a wide variety of performance arts.”
Even though there are concerns about the town the event is happening in, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center is happy to welcome drag to Big Rapids, and students are happy to see it.
This event will be held in the DEC ballrooms A and B from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.