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5 Things to Know Before Heading to a Drag Show

It’s Pride Week here at Oregon State, and everyone knows it ends with the quintessential Spring Drag Show! Saturday, May 9th is the date for this year’s show and it’s free to students! The event page advises to “expect vulgar language, sexual themes, and radical gender performances.”  If you’ve never been to one and don’t know what to expect, here’s some basic etiquette.

1. Don’t automatically assume that the drag queens and kings are gay or transgender.

Just because they might be performing as a different gender, it does not mean every one of them identifies as that gender in their daily life. And to participate in drag, it does not mean that the performer is gay! Good rule of thumb: Don’t assume any person’s identity unless they explicitly inform you.

2. Don’t forget about kings!

Drag shows are commonly associated with drag queens, usually a performance as a woman. But there are drag kings too! You’ll find performances from people dressed as men as well as non-binary genders!

3. Performances are not all lip-syncing.

A lot of times, queens and kings will get on the stage, lip-sync to a song, and dance however they want. But there is no specific formula for drag entertainment! You might encounter comedy acts or even poetry. But trust that you will never be disappointed!

4. Tipping is encouraged!

Performers up on stage absolutely love tips! So bring your dollar bills and don’t be afraid to hand them money! They’ll work your tips into their act and it will be glorious. Just be careful not to get on stage with them unless they ask you to.

5. Always, always, always cheer!

Drag is not easy and performers love to be appreciated. Show your love by screaming, cheering, and responding when they call to you because there is nothing worse than a dead audience!

Keep these things in mind when you’re cheering on the kings and queens of Corvallis! Remember, these tips are good for any drag show, not just OSU’s.  Got any other advice? Let us know in the comments!


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