Pride Union Drag Show

Dressing up with drag queens and kings

Before the drag queens and kings could take the stage at Pride Union’s 15th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show, the participants spent hours transforming themselves.

 “Are you using that mirror?”

“No, we are just feeling ourselves, go ahead.” 

A few hours before the performers were called to the stage, the two dressing rooms bustled with drag queens in various stages of dress. Tights littered the floor, makeup was strewn across every available surface and puffs of glitter lingered in the air. Wigs rested atop a table waiting to transform the participants.

Photo: Colleen Cambier
Opening the show, Milk performs to a remix of “Firework” at the annual Syracuse University Drag Show on February 19, 2017.

Pride Union held their 15th Annual Totally Fabulous Drag Show on Sunday, February 19. Locals and SU students dressed in clothes typically worn by the opposite gender. The eight participants exaggerated their adapted gender with heavy makeup and wigs. Drag queens and kings strutted down the catwalk and performed lip-synced choreographed pieces front of the judges and the audience in Goldstein Auditorium. But before they could take the stage, they spent several hours preparing.

Local drag queen Lavon Top brought an ensemble of drag queens to join her performance. They dressed in lace, patent leather and silk. Trinity, one of the drag queens, left her padding, tights and girdles at home, leaving the group in a panic before the show.

“Do you want to see these animals?” Trinity said as she bent down and rolled up her jeans revealing the hair on her legs. “I’m going to look crazy if we don’t figure something out.”

“Well you are a drag queen,” Pussy Drips, another one of Lavon Top’s performers, said.

After looking through her collection of costume pieces she paired together a black lace jumpsuit with a black silk robe and metallic silver socks with platform, thigh-high boots.

As Trinity resolved her emergency, the hallway connecting the two dressing rooms filled with participants. Terra Evergreen sat on the floor as one of her backup dancers applied fake lashes. Donna B. sashayed down the hallway in a black, skintight catsuit and white thigh-high boots.

“Someone out there said I look like Taylor Swift,” she said with a smirk as she flipped a piece of hair out of her eyes that had fallen out of her blonde ponytail.

“They’re not wrong,” Donna B. said.

In the back corner of the other dressing room, Bella Dawn fixed the fringe that skimmed across the front of her black shorts. She wore a sheer, sequined bodysuit to match. Her pink wig popped against her black attire. 

“Dressing in drag has become part of my gender expression, this is just my first time doing it on stage.”

At the front of the room, Mike Hunt transformed Neil Down’s face. Several eye shadow palettes and bronzer were evidence of the makeover.

“Does anyone have brown eyeliner? I need it to do eyebrows.” Hunt asked, while searching his makeup bag. “I’m such a brand snob, but this is the only acceptable situation to use CVS makeup.” 

Hunt finished Down’s makeup and examined his work. “You look like a dirty lost boy. We both look like dirty lost boys.”

While some drag queens and kings spent hours preparing, others hastily did their makeup. Lizagna arrived an hour before the start with her dinner from Chipotle and began applying her makeup.

Dressed in her catwalk outfit, a lilac dress paired with a waist cincher, black fur hat and a whip, Lavon Top said, “You are not putting on foundation right now. You only have an hour.”

Lizagna and her performers finished their beauty routines in time. Lizagna opted for blue eyeshadow with red lipstick to match with her green satin shirt and gray midi-length skirt. She completed the outfit with a blonde, curled wig and prepared to take the stage.

Hosts Milk and Trixie Mattel, former contestants on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” took the stage to introduce the catwalk portion of the show. After all the contestants walked, the hosts called them back to the stage one by one to do their individual performances. Milk and Trixie also surprised the audience with a performance of their own. 

After the judges deliberated, they crowned Lizagna as the winner for her theatrical lip-synced piece to the song “I Can Hear the Bells” from Hairspray mixed with “Bend and Snap,” from Legally Blonde. Following her victory lap around the stage, Lizagna chatted with the judges and returned to eating the burrito bowl she ordered from Chipotle earlier.


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