By: Lily McElroy, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Luis Medina
Music, dancing and a whole lot of laughter is what the audience of the 3rd annual Zombie Apocalypse Drag Show encountered on Monday, April 16 in Carver Hall.
To kick off ALLY week, the LGBTA put together a week of fun-filled events, starting with the drag show. After brainstorming ideas for the show, the GSA decided on the zombie theme.
When asked about how the theme was chosen, graduate student Luis Medina said, “We realized it’s 2012, the apocalypse will be happening soon, and a lot of us are big fans of zombie movies and ‘The Walking Dead’ show so we were like that’s it—it’s the Zombie Apocalypse.”
Not only were participants able to perform a song and dance, they were also able to raise money from the audience for a charity of their choose. However, instead of choosing a winner based solely on talent, the ‘winner’ was chosen in a much more beneficial manner. Seth Kurdilla, a sophomore creative writing major, described the way the ‘winner was chosen.
“We solely judge who ‘wins’ by how much money was put in their jar,” said Kurdilla, “Everyone is a winner in the drag show in my heart, but whoever has the most money, has all the money collected in tips donated to their charity.”
Shay Neary, also know as “Shay Butta”, was pronounced the winner at the end of the night after winning the audience over with a dance to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.”
“I really didn’t expect to win this year,” said Neary, “It’s all about having a good time for charity, but hey, at least the Ronald McDonald house makes a few bucks!”
“I loved it!” was the response of junior communication studies major Alicia Heller when asked what she thought of the show. “I just loved that they were able to dance and sing and have so much fun all the while raising money for charity. It was just great.”
Preparing for the show did not just include costumes and make up, a lot of time and effort went into advertising and setting up. Shay Kurdilla put a lot of effort into setting up, by “making sure that the performers and their music were all ready, getting posters out and trying to advertise”. Others prepared by getting their music and costumes together.
Medina prepared for the show by making sure his performance was flawless. “The first thing I thought was the music. I wanted a mix and I called my sister who is a DJ down in Florida. That is the first thing I did. Once the songs were picked and I had a general idea of what I wanted to wear, I listened to the songs every day and practiced.
“I also put on my boots so my feet and body could get used to them again. I would wear these for school. It was a lot of practice although I did change some things at the last moment. I did watch videos of the songs just to get a general idea of what they meant,” concluded Medina.
At the end of the night, the crowd and the performers were able to have shared a very good time together. Medina and the other participants said that they hoped that fellow students took away from the show a good laugh and saw a good chunk of gay culture.
“Drag is nothing more than a performance, you’re becoming a character. So who better to teach people acceptance, then a bunch of Drag Queens and Kings! I know everyone who came had a good time. So if you didn't, you missed out on all the fun!” said Medina.
There have also been more serious activities going on all week in association with Ally Week, a week dedicated to promoting the acceptance and advocacy of civil rights for gay and lesbian individual.
As Medina explained, “Ally week is important because it is acknowledgment and celebration of our Allies who are a powerful voice for equality. It also bring awareness to the campus community about the silence that many LGBTQ people face especially in schools because they are afraid of the possible retributions being openly homosexual, bi-sexual, transgender or questioning.”
One event coming up on Friday, April 20 is the Lavender Graduation ceremony that will take place in McCormick room 2303 at 5:30pm.
Medina continued to explain, “The Lavender Graduation is a ceremony to recognize LGBT individuals and their allies for their academic achievement but for their contributions to the university as an LGBTA person.”
“It is a way to honor Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and their Ally students for making it on college and becomes a positive experience for soon to be alumni's.