The Queer Alliance, LGBT Resource Center and Associated Student Programs Board worked in collaboration to present UCR’s 17th Dragalicious Drag Ball. This annual event started back in 2004 and continues to give students the opportunity to express themselves through drag performances. This year, the show was hosted by Mayhem Miller, a professional drag performer who appeared on the 10th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
On Thursday, April 8, viewers entered the Zoom room, eager to watch some performances. The show started a little later than anticipated, but music played while everyone was getting ready. By 7:15 p.m., the show began. The evening kicked off with two separate performances from Miller and Jazmyn Simone, another professional drag queen that Miller is close friends with. Both queens expressed their desire to be on a live stage again, but they were happy to be given the opportunity to share their passion for drag with the students of UCR.
After their introduction videos, Miller took the time to remind the audience that the event was a fundraiser. Although tickets were free, donations were appreciated. Information on how to send donations was posted in the Zoom chat. The money collected went towards the LGBTQIA Students Assistance Fund. This fund is used to help LGBTQIA+ students overcome any challenges they might be facing, such as finding access to medications, mental health services, safe housing and other basic needs.
Since students were unable to perform their shows live this year, each participant had the advantage of video editing. All performances were prerecorded, which gave everyone time to add special effects, transitions and backgrounds to their videos. However, sharing the videos virtually through Zoom still came with challenges, and there were a few moments in the show where the hosts struggled to fix the audio settings.
There were a total of five student performances during this event. Johnny Sin-Rosa Gentleman lip-synced to “I 2 I” by Tevin Campbell, a song popularly known from its appearance in “A Goofy Movie.” Campbell included clips from the film with their performance. Crescent Rose submitted a video of themselves lip-syncing to the song, “The Origin of Love,” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch. At the beginning of the video, Rose briefly edited their dress to show a moving galaxy. Joe Mama performed along to the song “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne. Their video began with a short comedy sketch where Joe Mama lip-synced to a clip from the movie, “Superbad.” The last two student performances were done by Bibi Discoteca and Vinnie Parradice.
Each performer brought their own flare to their videos. Viewers could tell they had fun dancing and lip-syncing in their drag attire. After each video, Miller took the time to talk with the performers and ask them questions about their experiences with drag. Many of the student performers have seen some of Miller’s performances before and were happy to speak with someone they’ve idolized. Miller closed out the night with one final performance of the song “Missing” by No Mercy. This event was fun to watch, and it was great seeing the love and support the performers received from the audience through that chat. At the end of the night, the LGBTQIA Student Assistance Fund raised more than $1,000. For anyone interested in attending other LGBT events, be sure to check out the LGBT Resource Center’s social media platforms.