The Pride Alliance will be hosting its first drag show of the school year this weekend.
The Fall Drag Show will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.
The show is open to the public, including Iowa State students, faculty, staff and Ames community members, but it is not free to attend. Ticket prices are $10 at the door, $9 for pre-sale tickets with early seating and $7 for dues-paying the Pride Alliance members with reserved seating.
“For some, a drag show is entertainment,” said nicci port, co-advisor for the Pride Alliance. “It is a place for the LGBTQIA+ affirming community to come together and celebrate gender expression. It is another small way for the LGBTQIA+ community to provide themselves with visibility as well.”
The Fall Drag Show is different than most drag shows due to the reason it is held.
“This drag show, in particular, is fantastic because the money from this drag show is used to fund students to go to an educational conference on gender and sexual diversity,” port said. “It is exciting because it is not just a fundraiser for the Pride Alliance, it is a fundraiser that enables the Pride Alliance to take students to this conference where they can learn more, network and find their voices in a place where they are the majority.”
port said this event is a staple and one of the primary things the Pride Alliance does to provide visibility for gender expression and for the LGBTQIA+ community on the Iowa State campus.
Though a drag show is a fun event, there is a certain etiquette the audience and performers are expected to follow.
“Drag show etiquette starts with consent,” port said. “Different people have different ideas of what a drag show is and it is not a place for non-consensual interaction. It is a place for you can interact with the performers, but you shouldn’t assume that you can grab a performer’s hand.”
Other important pieces of etiquette include both physical and mental safety. Physical safety includes giving the performer space to do their routine. Mental safety includes knowing that drag shows tend to be loud and full of flashing lights and knowing that leaving the room to take a breath is encouraged for those who need it.
“Drag is not cheap,” port said. “If you have been to a drag show you have seen the costuming, the hair and makeup; the things it takes to transform through gender expression costs money. Though it is not required because we have an admissions fee, tips are also welcome. In a drag show environment, providing tips, if you are able to, shows your appreciation for what they do.”
Cecil Rickerl, chair of public relations and advertising for the Pride Alliance, said attendees can either take money directly up to the stage or there will be tip buckets available for those who do not feel comfortable approaching the stage and the performers.
“Attendees can meet leaders of Iowa State’s oldest LGBTQIA+ student organization and see that the students who are leading this group are really cool, accessible and want to engage in the community,” port said.
The Pride Alliance is the oldest LGBTQIA+ student organization on campus and its mission is to provide a safe space where students and guests can discuss and learn about the LGBTQIA+ community, their sexual orientation and gender identity.