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My First Drag Show Experience

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

I’m no stranger to drag. I’ve watched many, many videos of Trixie & Katya. I’ve attended every event on campus with drag queens as the hosts (thanks, ACBU!). I even have aspirations to do a drag king number someday. But, until recently, I’ve never been able to go to a proper drag show. That changed when I attended the Diesel Pageant in downtown Peoria.

Diesel is one of the oldest clubs in Peoria, and the only club specifically catering to the gay community. As such, it was a welcoming space and I felt comfortable right away. It’s a unique and important fixture in Peoria, and I hope one day it won’t be the only gay bar in town.

The show itself was everything I wanted it to be. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The night I went wasn’t just a regular show, but a drag competition. There were categories for Kings and Queens alike, from best-dressed to best performance. There were also guest performances and emcees. 

The performers were funny, energetic, heartfelt, and of course impeccably dressed. Drag performers are incredibly diverse and equally fierce. As someone who’s struggled with her own self image, seeing the various drag performers show their own beauty was validating. 

If you’re 21+ and haven’t had the pleasure of attending a show yet, I can’t recommend it enough.

Charlotte Tolly

Bradley U '25

Charlotte is a third year UX design major with a passion for art and writing. In her free time, you can find her baking, reading, or spending time with her friends.