QASU Spring Drag Show returns with a new host
The Queer and Allied Student Union (QASU) will be holding its 2019 spring drag show on Saturday, March 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. The event will be held in the Kirby Ballroom.
Drag shows are musical and choreographic performances usually coupled with at least one performer dressed in a way that challenges societal norms, though drag can come in endlessly unique forms and interpretations.
QASU board member Damyn Hultman thinks the popularity of drag on and off campus are a reflection of more coverage and the need for representation.
“Drag overall is a very popular, exciting, and inspiring form of representation, especially today. There are many shows out there lately that promote and help drag evolve such as the Netflix series "Pose" or RuPaul's Drag Race,” Hultman said. “The reason I believe that UMD's show has been so popular every semester is that people are admiring the boldness of it as well as the ability to see people truly expressing themselves.”
A longstanding tradition for QASU, who first hosted a show in 2001, the drag show features performances from students along with a host brought in from outside of campus.
This year’s host will be Tank Topoff, who is described in the show’s event page, “He’s energetic he’s sexy he’s smooth and he’s definitely a ladies man so do not miss out on his spectacular performances!”
Hultman thinks Tank is a unique addition to the show.
“What makes Tank TopOff unique from past hosts is the fact that he is a trans person of color. A lot of the times in drag, as well as in QASU's shows, we see a majority of white hosts, specifically queens. This will be our first host who is a king of color,” Hultman said. “I think this year's drag show will promote a lot of diversity and variety overall which will ensure that fans of the shows are getting new and refreshing performances each semester.”
Hultman also feels the connection between the drag and POC experience is an important one for UMD and QASU to recognize.
“It all started with queens of color, especially in the 80s, and has evolved from the concept of Drag Balls,” Hultman said. “Drag Balls were events held in order for, queens and other drag artists, to perform and challenge the idea of identity and what is considered normal.”
Tickets for everyone are $5. They will be sold in Kirby Commons on March 18, 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door. More information on the drag show, tickets and other QASU events can be found on Facebook.