How Doing Drag for The First Time Changed My Life


Disclaimer: I will call my best friend by his drag name, for the purposes of attempting to keep his identity as anonymous as possible.

On October 22, SpectRUM, an LGBT association here in Campus, celebrated its third annual Spooky Drag Show, and I participated in it along with my best friend. We first learned about this event through going to meetings for this association, thus my best friend got the amazing idea that we should participate together as a way to further strengthen our bond.

The road towards this event was expensive and arduous, we spent months trying to come up with a concept spooky enough to wow the audience while still keeping the aesthetic we had built for our personas, which at that moment had yet to be named. After, a night of transformations where I would practice my hand at being a makeup artist in mid to late August, we finally settled on names, he would be Stephanie Magenta (Magenta for short) and I would be Calliope. Yet, we still had no performance and no costume, but it was a start! I was so excited and anxious for the event at that moment and the event was months away.

Then came September, where we still had absolutely nothing prepared but the inscription to this event filled out. Magenta, my best friend, thought of being a scarecrow as his character that night; I, on the other hand, had no idea what to do. I do admit that my brain had a cluster of ideas floating through it and choosing just one was going to be impossible, right towards the end of the first half of September I had already come up with my character for the night, a psychedelic clown, then again no song came to mind. Magenta and I rehearsed our looks many times together, for this was to be a bonding experience for the both of us.

October rolled around quickly and I shivered with antici...pation. I was so extremely excited yet so anxious, I still had no song to do and no routine to practice. As the show approached us, we both finally settled on a song that would fit both of our characters. Magenta would do “Cannibal” by Kesha and I would do “Pity Party” by Melanie Martinez. I was so excited then, and so was Magenta. He and I had loved drag so fiercely since he discovered it as an artform, this was the opportunity to shine. Days previous the set list had been leaked to us and I had seen who was to perform before me, Popcorn. Popcorn was one of last show’s best performances; and then I felt horribly intimidated, but through Magenta’s help and kind words, I was able to move past my fears and insecurities for the day.

Come the day of the drag show and we begin getting ready, I did both of our makeups, him being a “Scarecrow” and me being a clown, being horribly scared of not being able to finish, but alas I do. We make it to the theater and we sit backstage, waiting for the other performers to arrive so we can both socialize with them. The seasoned performers gave both Magenta and I some advice to perform since it was our first time on a stage with a public so large. The show begins and anxiety fills our blood. Magenta was up first, after the seasoned performers and a break; he was scared, terrified even. Before he was supposed to go on, I gave him an amazing pep-talk and told him to slay, which he did. His performance of the song was good, and his charisma flooded the stage. There were a couple of performances between us so he was able to give me a pep-talk when I needed one.

I was up next and I was utterly terrified, yet when I heard my name be called and my song start, I strutted up to the stage and gave it my all. The crowd cheered and yelled while I gave them a clownish pity party the crowd would never forget. The music was over and I skipped my way back to Magenta, where he told me I did amazing and that I had nothing to be worried about. The show continued and ended with us dancing and having fun before the curtain finally fell.

This was an eye-opening experience for sure, if it hadn’t been for Magenta pushing me into doing this, I would have never and for that I am eternally grateful. I shared this experienced with one of my bestest friends; this only brought us closer together, giving birth to a sisterhood that would last for a lifetime.