IDEAL hosts drag show to close out National Coming Out Week

Six drag queens participated in the event by lip-syncing and dancing to various songs of their choice.

Temple’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership hosted its annual drag show at the Temple Performing Arts Center Friday to conclude this year's National Coming Out Week. | KLAIRE ZHAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

With hot, white lights beaming on her face and a chorus of excited students cheering on her every move, Sakura Allure stunned the packed auditorium with her lip-syncing and floor choreography as she competed for the winning title at Temple University’s National Coming Out Week Drag Show Friday night.  

“I’ve been doing drag for twelve years” said Allure, one of the shows professional performers. “I find female fashion more exciting than men’s and I always loved makeup and costuming, so I found drag to be an element of using everything.” 

Temple’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership hosted its annual drag show at the Temple Performing Arts Center to conclude this year’s National Coming Out Week, which offers programming to celebrate LGBTQ students at Temple. The drag show aims to empower both the LGBTQ and drag communities by showcasing the performers’ various acts.  

This year’s drag show featured six performers, some of whom were Temple students or professional drag performers, like Allure, who have been competing in NCOW’s drag show for five years. Three of the participants had never performed in a drag show before. A panel of five judges graded the performers’ lip-syncing and dancing. 

In previous years, the drag show opened NCOW, but this year IDEAL decided the show should be the last event so the week could end with a celebration, said Nu’Rodney Prad, IDEAL’s director of student engagement.  

“Into the week it is kind of led up through education and education festivals, so the drag show has that small amount of education and a celebration about the community at the same time,.” Prad said. 

Allure applauds the drag show due to the show’s use of performances to build interest among the audience members along with exposing people to the art and history of drag.  

“It is extremely important and we need that awareness in our community for everybody,” Allure said. 

Marielle Zakrzwski, a sophomore theater major who goes by their drag name Ella Mayo, participated in the NCOW Drag Show for the second time this year. Mayo discovered the event during their freshman year and wanted to participate because they had never thought about doing drag before and saw the show as the perfect opportunity to get involved.  

They were inspired to return for a second year after the professional drag queens in the show mentored Mayo and encouraged them to perform to their best ability, despite being new to the drag community. Mayo believes that the show positively promotes the LGBTQ community by exposing more students to not only drag, but other NCOW celebrations on campus. 

“More people should know about drag and more people should know about National Coming Out Week,” Mayo said. “I think it’s important for even closeted students who don’t want to come out during National Coming Out Week, to know that they have the resources and the people there for them.” 

Kendra Afriyie, a sophomore psychology major, attended the drag show for the first time with a group of friends and felt that the event was effective at educating the audience about the LGBTQ and drag communities by allowing participants to express themselves through their performances.   

“People who come, come to support and help them to feel seen for who they are,” Afriyie said. 

Prad looks forward to hosting the drag show again next year to continue to provide an educational and celebratory space for all students. 

“I think ultimately, the continued notion of visibility and awareness about LGBTQ issues is very important and I believe National Coming Out Week does a good job, so I look forward to this year and future years,” Prad said.  

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.