Despite some last-minute financial concerns, Carleton’s Cowling Gym played host to the annual drag show last Friday night in front of a raucous crowd of Carls and prospies.
“A major reason for the drag show is to attract people that would not normally attend an activity about gender and sexuality, and have them experience it in a fun environment where they can enjoy a performance,“ said Norma Nyhoff ’12, the organizer of the Gender and Sexuality Center-sponsored event.
An extravagant showing of costume and personality, the show provided a unique experience for students and prospective students alike. A panel held in accompaniment with the show also provided a window into the performers’ lives.
The panel “is vital because you grow to understand why the performers are doing what they’re doing, why men are dressing up as women and parading around stage,” Nyhoff said.
For the performance, Cowling transformed into a nightclub, with experimental performers singing, lip-syncing and dancing to cheers and monetary encouragement from the audience.
For Lauren Salberg ’15, the show proved to be an eye-opening experience.
“I liked it because I have my own gender defined, and it was interesting to experience how others defined theirs,” she said. “Just being there makes you think about it.”
However, this $4,500 event was almost canceled at the last second due to a lack CSA funding.
The senate’s starting budget for the year was $510,000. Immediately $60,000 was transferred to an emergency account, and the rest was split evenly among the three trimesters. The spring funding for CSA dried up more quickly than expected due to more requests for club events and speakers, on top of the fact that it is already the most expensive term because of Spring Concert and Rotblatt.
Nyhoff argued on behalf of the drag show to get the budget committee to make a funding recommendation to the senate. The senate passed the funding recommendation but then had to pass a 2/3 vote to transfer money from the senate’s emergency account to the general funding.
CSA President Michael McClellan ’13 said using money from the emergency account has been common practice in previous years but still creates unnecessary drama.
“Every year officers graduate, and the budget committee doesn’t retain the knowledge of years prior, but luckily the vice president and treasurer are not graduating, so hopefully the financial situation can be figured out,” he said.
For now, the drag show will continue to entertain and educate students about drag.
“I had never experienced the experimentation of genders before,” said Salberg. “I was sucked into the moment, and definitely came out more aware.”