“Let’s Get Loud,” the LGBTQ Resource Center and Triangle Coalition’s annual spring drag show, took place Friday night in Stotler Lounge.
The show is part of MU’s Pride Month, and it celebrates individuality and breaking gender norms.
Four drag queens, one high femme, two drag kings and one spoken word performer graced the stage, all decked out in various sequins, eyeliner and fake eyelashes.
This was the first time the show has had a spoken word performer, show co-host Mason Kerwick said. The performer, junior Naomi Daugherty, first performed spoken word in Las Vegas when she was 16.
“I found my voice through poetry,” Daugherty said. “This is something that is going to be part of me for the rest of my life.”
She said she began writing and performing because she was tired of never fitting the societal norm.
“I got really tired of people saying I wasn’t black enough,” Daugherty said.
She often writes about domestic violence and abuse. Daugherty said she dealt with child molestation during her adolescence, and she suppressed those incidents. College was the first time she was vocal about it.
“So I just wrote, … and I performed, and the audience went wild,” she said. “That was it. I was hooked.”
Daugherty appeared three times during the show and performed three original pieces that she calls “Unicorn,” “Picture Me Perfect” and “My Vagina.”
Daugherty has performed in Chicago, St. Louis and Arizona. She performs at multiple events each year at MU.
“I think it’s really important that Mizzou has LGBTQ awareness events because, so often throughout the course of Mizzou’s history, there wasn’t any sort of public acknowledgement that there was a queer community, not only of students but also faculty, staff and alumni, as well," Kerwick said.
Throughout the evening, members of the LGBTQ Resource Center and Tri-Co announced upcoming events for Pride Month.
“This (drag show) has traditionally been one of our larger events,” Kerwick said.
The show has had to move locations because it has attracted increasingly larger audiences since its first year.
“(Drag) is obviously a big part of gay culture,” Tri-Co President Theo Tushaus said. “It was, a decade ago, really limited to the gay community and very few people outside of that would ever go to a drag show. But now, I would be surprised if half the people that showed up were straight, or even more.”
Freshman Mark “Rhea Listic” Boyd went to his first drag show during a high school senior trip in Florida.
“I feel like drag shows are important because you have to educate the community,” Boyd said. “Drag shows themselves are for entertainment purposes, but it’s also a way for us as performers to express ourselves through other means.”
This was Boyd’s first time performing in drag, and he said he is interested in performing again at MU.
“Pride Month is, I think, both a celebration of who we are and sort of a way to let everybody in the community know that it’s OK,” Tushaus said.