On Saturday, March 6, the LGBTQA3 Alliance held their annual drag show — one of the most anticipated events of the year — remotely over Zoom. Hosted by drag queen JenuWine Beauté, the “Click and Drag” show featured performers from Oregon, Washington and California.
Even without the energy of last year's live drag show, the performances were captivating — with the added benefit of being able to watch from home. The participants submitted prerecorded video performances, making the two-hour show run very efficiently. The Zoom chat was lively; every attendee only had positive things to say about each performer. A few of the performers even joined the chat, creating a real connection between them and the viewers.
The first queen to perform was Slutasia, who sang live vocals to “No One” by Alicia Keys. Dressed in a zebra-patterned jumpsuit, Slutasia sat on a stool in the corner of her room and used lighting and other visual effects to create an intimate, cozy atmosphere. Her singing seemed effortless; she even included a few lines of rapping. It was an excellent way to ease the audience into the show.
Poison Waters has been doing drag for 33 years, and it showed in the best ways possible. Her first performance was to “Addicted to You” by Avicii. Walking out in a sparkling gown, gloves and vibrant red hair, Waters commanded the stage with her elegance, juxtaposing the song’s pop beats.
Described as “the muscle-punk drag queen of the Pacific Northwest,” Alexandra O’Daire performed to “Scream” by Halestorm in a pirate-esque outfit, complete with a black leather coat with bedazzled accents. She gave the definition of a powerful performance; it was almost as if her eyes were piercing you.
“My first exposure to drag was actually from a person I was seeing who invited me out to a show,” O’Daire said. “I show up, out of my element and freshly 18, and they walk in wearing full drag. I just lost my mind that night and had a blast.”
A longtime queen with a history of community outreach, Bolivia Carmichaels gave a multi-faceted performance, dressed in a velvety purple gown and lip-synching a duet to “A Whole New World” with a puppet. Carmichaels allowed her hobby of puppeteering to take center stage, and it certainly had humorous moments.
Uranus the Fool returned to the UO stage, and she never fails to disappoint. Her set to “Beautiful, Dirty, Rich” by Lady Gaga was simply captivating, giving a unique gothic elegance to the show. Sporting shiny silver nails, she performed scenes in her bedroom with multi-colored lighting and a dark room with cement walls, adding to the mystery.
Another performer took a more unique approach. Carrie the One, a UO student, explored elements of gender in their performance to “Football Game” by Silver Sphere. Playing both the masculine and feminine roles, Carrie the One wore a crisp suit in some scenes and a green dress with purple earrings in others. Their video simply conveyed joy, and included dancing among the wooded trees on campus.
“I didn’t think that drag was possible for me until one of my good friends back in high school did a drag show for her senior project and had me perform,” Carrie the One said. “From then on I knew this is something I wanted to put work and time into. It’s the community here that keeps me going.”
UO students Ember and Jace of Hearts showcased their talent for dancing. Ember’s performance to a K-Pop mix was energetic, featuring clips of her dancing around campus. Jace of Hearts, the only drag king in the show, performed to “No Shame” by 5 Seconds of Summer. He mixed together rockstar swagger with flowing contemporary dance moves.
“I was really worried as a drag king because that’s not as big of a thing,” Jace of Hearts said, “but this community is just so wonderful and kind and always really supportive of me. I’m really lucky.”
Kimberly Michelle Westwood went with creative music video styles for her performances. She lounged by the poolside in a floral bathing suit, acting out show-stopping visual scenes to “Troop Beverly Hills Mix” by Various Artists.
“I didn’t like drag queens at all when I was in my early 20s,” Westwood said. “Eventually, I did [drag] for a charity event for a gay softball league that I was in. I started taking drag more seriously, and now I’m just doing it for fun.”
Drag queen Bonnie Rose gave a hot performance from the comfort of her bedroom to “Pass Her the Aux Mix” by Various Artists, wearing pink shorts, a blue t-shirt and pink bunny ears. The video editing was clean, switching to shots of her lip-synching in a bright highlighter-yellow blazer.
Sadyst Payne MunRose had the most nostalgic performance of the night. Lip-synching to “Deal With It” by Ashnikko, her video was styled as an early 2000s Internet aesthetic, including song lyrics in an AOL instant message chat bar Princess Peach’s castle.
The LGBTQA3 Alliance proved that remote events don’t halt the effectiveness of a drag show. The creativity of every performer shone through their own unique expression. Each take on the challenge of virtual performing was so exciting to see. Remote events have had to get creative during the pandemic, and this virtual drag show undoubtedly achieved that.
To support the UO LGBTQA3 and all of the drag performers, follow them on social media:
UO LGBTQA3: Instagram: @lgbtqa3
Jenuwine Beaute: Instagram/TikTok:@jbeaute61
Alexandra O’Daire: Instagram: @alexandra_odaire
Bolivia Carmichaels: Facebook.com/QueenBolivia
Bonnie Rose: Instagram/Twitter: @bonnieroseishot
Carrie The One: Instagram/Twitter: @_carrietheone
Ember: Instagram: @ember.dance
Kimberly Westwood: Instagram: @kimberlywestwood
Poison Waters: Instagram: @poisonwaters
Sadyst Payne MunRose: Instagram: @sadystpayne
Slutashia: Instagram: @slutashia
Uranus The Fool: Instagram: @uranusthefool