Coming Out Week is topped off with the Black and Gold Drag show to celebrate individuality

Nearly 230 students attended the event.

Dancing, lip-syncing, colorful lights, balloons and sequins filled Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union for the annual Black and Gold Drag show from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.

The event was hosted by the Triangle Coalition, which is MU’s longest standing LGBTQ student organization, according to the LGBTQ Resource Center’s webpage.

“It’s really comical and very energetic,” said sophomore Chris Lehman, who worked on advertising and marketing the event. “They really try to get the crowd involved through singing and walking through the crowd.”

Seven performers including two announcers danced on a runway stage and lip-synced to songs including Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love,” Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off,” Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection” and MAX’s “Gibberish.”

“I lived, girl,” sophomore and performer by the stage name, Molly Minx, said. “It was everything. I loved it. The crowd and energy was great.”

Minx’s view of drag shows changed since coming to MU.

“I grew up in an all-guys Jesuit high school, so I thought drag was weird growing up,” Minx said. “I realized I loved makeup, performing and fashion and it all culminated into drag. I am so proud to go to a school that embraces it.”

The event encouraged people to be unapologetically themselves, and it attracted nearly 230 people, including current students and alumni.

“I came to this event last year, and it was great,” alumnus James Loewenstein said. “It is so inclusive of all types of people.”

Loewenstein graduated from MU this past May and is currently a Columbia resident. He came back to MU for the event this year because he said he “loves the positivity that surrounds it.” “I wouldn’t miss this event for anything,” Loewenstein said. “I have two good friends in the show this year, and I’m their biggest advocate. I love it.”

The event brought a diverse group of people together by giving students who are part of the LGBTQ community a chance to express themselves freely, while giving people who are not members of the community the opportunity to show their support.

“I think it was fantastic,” junior Hannah Brenton said. “I just came out, and to see how much support there is for the LGBTQ community is amazing. It makes me feel more at ease here.”

Among those who supported the event was junior Brandon Weston.

“This was my first year attending the event,” Weston said. “I loved it, and I’m definitely coming next year.”

The Black and Gold Drag show is “free, fun and a cool thing to see,” performer and junior Justin Bohm said. “It’s very progressive, and I feel that this is a great final event for Coming Out week.”

“Even in a community as accepting as the gay community, drag can sometimes be seen as a taboo art form,” Bohm said. “Going to a drag show is definitely a life experience that I think everybody should experience.”

The Black and Gold Drag show concluded the events for Coming Out Week, which will be held again next fall. The Triangle Coalition will host its other drag show, the Let’s Get Loud Drag show, during the spring semester.

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