Queer Liberation Front welcomes variety acts in its annual drag show

The scarcity of drag performers leaves the Queer Liberation Front to expand its popular drag show event.

Stand-up comedy, original music and vibrant dancing graced Stotler Lounge as the Queer Liberation Front hosted its annual drag show and variety acts Thursday, Oct. 31.

The drag show is the most-attended event hosted by the Queer Liberation Front. However, Queer Liberation Front President Brody Butler said the show is a hassle to organize.

In the past, the drag show was hosted twice a year.

“It’s been very difficult to have people actually participate rather than just attend,” Butler said. “We switched this year to doing one [show] a year and having it be a variety show and a drag show to get the message out that you can do whatever you want.”

The variety show addition resulted in the group’s highest number of performers, but Butler regrets leaving drag show in the show title. Only two of the six performers identified themselves as drag performers.

“It has become so hard to get people to do drag shows,” Butler said. “I think it’s from a lot of anxiety and people are just busy. It’s not easy being queer at Mizzou.”

Despite this challenge, Butler said drag is still a crucial component of the LGBTQ community.

“Drag has a very long history in the LGBTQ community especially in spaces for people of color,” Butler said. “That’s why we’ve had so many drag shows in the past and why it goes back so far.”

Although the event has lost its drag emphasis, the shift from a drag show to a variety show encouraged performer Sam Martin to finally participate in the event.

“I have mixed emotions about drag,” Martin said. “There is an issue with drag when it comes to representing trans women and people of color in general. A lot of African American vernacular is stolen and a lot of credit is not given to black creators within the community.”

Martin performed an original stand-up comedy set that elicited many laughs from the audience as she humorously conveyed her struggles and encounters as a transgender female.

“The event built my confidence,” Martin said. “I was happy to be on stage and have people react positively to the script that I wrote.”

Like Butler, Martin hopes that with time more people will be willing to participate and attend the drag show.

“I would definitely love it if we could be more of a presence on campus so that other organizations, other teachers and other groups of educators on campus would be aware of us and be able to direct people to our events because I feel like it’s important to highlight joy in our community,” Martin said.

Edited by Izzy Colon | icolon@themaneater.com

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