Preview: The LGBTQA3 Alliance is holding its annual drag show on Saturday
Cornell Hardiman is a drag queen in Eugene, and he’s been performing in drag shows at the University of Oregon since the EMU Amphitheatre used to be “a grassy knoll with a trail through it.”
Hardiman remembers that in the early 2000s, he and a group of about seven others planned to come to the UO’s campus to hold a drag show, but only he and one other performer showed up.
“We ended up doing six numbers a piece and one duet together,” Hardiman said, and that it was “probably one of the first times” that he had done drag.
Hardiman, also known as “Karress Ann Slaughter,” is one of the two Masters of Ceremonies for the LGBTQA3 Alliance’s annual drag show, and this is his third time hosting the event. “Monique Le Faye,” or Curtis Wixey, is co-hosting.
This year, the theme is “Dungeons and Drag Queens.” Members of the club voted for this theme, which was up against “50 Shades of Gay.” Other themes included “Everyone’s got a Butthole,” “Schill We Dance” and “DRAG’n Ball Z.”
The event is on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the EMU Ballroom. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and all ages are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online, at the UO Ticket Office and at the door. Tickets are $4 for all UO students, $5 for non-UO students and $6 for community members. ASL translation will be provided, and the event is wheelchair accessible.
Online tickets can be picked up at the EMU Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m. or at the UO Ticket Office during regular business hours. Patrons will need to bring the credit or debit card used to purchase the tickets or the ticket confirmation email that they received, and students will need to bring their valid student ID or proof of current enrollment.
The LGBTQA3 Alliance is a student-run organization whose mission is to “prevent isolation while raising awareness and maintaining a space inclusive to all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions,” according to their Facebook page.
Charlie Keene is the group’s event coordinator, and they say that out of the ten performers, in between one-half and one-third of them are returning performers. Nine performers are individual student performers, and there will also be one group of student performers: K.AIRE, which is a K-Pop dance cover group at the UO, according to its YouTube page.
While the LGBTQA3 Alliance was deciding what group to donate the proceeds from the show, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art approached the club to seek their opinion on a youth camp for transgender K-12 youths.
“We had already been building a list of potential groups that we’d be able to donate to for this,” Keene said.
Keene said that the event organizers brought the idea to the LGBTQA3 Alliance’s weekly meetings, where they sought ideas from the community. They then held a vote on where the proceeds from the drag show would go, and the JSMA youth camp won.
Keene is expecting just about 450 people to attend the show, and according to the event’s page on Facebook, 127 people checked that they are going and 314 checked that they are interested in the event. Several organizations will be tabling at the show, including the UO Multicultural Center, the UO Women’s Center and the UO LGBT Education and Support Services.
“I really can’t stress this enough, just how much the LGBT Education and Support Services have offered us help in planning this event and getting everything set up,” Keene said, “I’d be drowning without them.
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