Crowd loves drag queen competition

N—2012-04-20_Drag-Show_8980 Photo Credit: Chris Reeves
N---2012-04-20_Drag-Show_8980Chris Reeves

Danny Piper, aka Lamia, exhibits a seductive dance performance at the Ally Week “Silence is a Drag” competition at the Sugar Space on Friday. Lamia’s performance led to a victory and he was crowned as the queen.

N---2012-04-20_Drag-Show_8903Chris Reeves

Director of the LGBT Resource Center C. Kai Medina-Martinez puts on a dance performance with the crowd at Ally Week.

It was standing room only in the performing arts venue Sugar Space in Salt Lake City as more than 100 people watched the U’s annual drag queen competition.

The theme this year was “Silence is a Drag” and the event was held Friday, April 20, the national Day of Silence for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. A rally to break the silence was held earlier that day on the Union Patio.

Five competing queens each did an original dance routine to a song. One sang an original song called “Vanilla Ice Cream” after telling a short comedic story about avoiding a “fat, ugly date” and hinting at doing some jail time.

The competition was hosted by Katie Stiel, a staff member at the Center for Student Wellness, who took the alias of “Johnny Danger.”

Danny Piper, a senior in anthropology, acted as “Lamia” and took the crown with a routine dance and lip sync to “Rude Boy” by Rihanna. He described his drag style as “Rihanna and Kim Kardashian on crack.”

Piper has been doing drag since high school and said this was his first performance in years. To him, drag is an artistic expression.

Eduardo Galindo, or “Wanda Lust,” is a senior in health promotion and education and was the runner-up in the contest. Galindo performed a lip sync to “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele and the crowd greeted the routine with deafening cheers.

“Adele is a big girl. She’s gorgeous and talented,” Galindo said when asked why he chose that routine.

Although the contest was originally planned to have the top two queens lip sync for the crown, a twist in the show allowed each queen to lip sync and then have the winner decided by cheers.

“This was the best contended drag race I’ve been to as an undergrad at the U. It was very energetic,” said Samora Magadla, a senior in sociology.

Christine Vega, a graduate in education, said she really liked the venue.

“I loved the energy. It reminded me of my home [in L.A.],” she said. “I think it’s important to have safe spaces like this where people of color and the people of the LGBT community can come together.”

The show was a fundraiser for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center. There was a suggested $3 donation at the door, along with tips for each queen during her performance. The show earned $267 for the center to put toward scholarships.

The LGBT center, the ASUU Directory Board and the Utah Pride Center helped put on the event.

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  1. Scott

    Interesting journalism that headlines a “Crowd” when only 100 people and five performers are involved. Any night at Desert Star trumps that. and most night clubs couldn’t stay open with those numbers. It must be a very small venue to consider a 100 a crowd and standing room only. Raising $267 is better than nothing but less than most any of the teams in anti-Cancer night event the night before.

    I’m not saying the performers weren’t talented, just saying that your really reveal your editorial bias (dare I say prejudice) when you assign such words and placement to a story that had very little to do with the lives of most students.

    • Jon Chester

      Interesting comment that it requires a certain number of people at attend an event for it to be newsworthy, or that it must raise a certain amount of money. I would suggest that this story is newsworthy precisely because it is different from the lives of most students. Diversity means not everyone is just like you.

      I’m not saying you are a homophobe, just saying that you really reveal your personal bias (dare I say prejudice) when you feel it necessary to object so heavily to someone writing a news story.

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