A Night of Expression and Drag with Skidmore Pride
Skidmore’s Pride Alliance Club hosted their second annual drag show on Fri., April 19. The club invited Skidmore alum Bella Biscotti ‘11 to come and perform in Falstaff’s, alongside other interested students. The night featured a drag experience, where those who wanted to learn the art of performing in a drag show had the chance to do so.
Biscotti emerged in a rainbow jumpsuit which she had made herself and began the show, bringing out the student performers and performing multiple acts herself. The atmosphere in the room was filled with electricity — with the audience loving every minute, and encouraging the performers with cheers and shouts. Biscotti continued with different musical performances, pulling the audience in and causing the room to come alive.
Sylas Herbert ’21, who is a club member, explained how these shows are actually part of a bigger tradition, and what the future of it looks like. “Continuing the long tradition of drag is important because it helps people within and outside the queer community learn the history.” Bringing drag to the Skidmore community helps people learn about drag and drag culture and what it means today.
Drag has deep historical roots within the queer community that begin as far back as the 1930s. However, the drag we know of today rose out of the 1970s and 80s among queer black and latinx communities, especially within working class people. Today, drag has become more mainstream with shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the incorporation of white queens and white audiences. While it is important to continue the tradition of drag, it is also important to understand the history of a culture which was pushed underground for so long.
For Skidmore Pride, it is important to spread awareness of drag and its historical roots. Herbert states, “the drag show is a way for folks who don’t know a lot about drag, or have just seen it in media, to actually come to a show and experience it live, because there is nothing like experiencing it live.”
More than showing the Skidmore community a fun time, the club hopes to prove how drag shows are an opportunity for creating spaces for various gender expressions, as well as reinforcing and trying to build a community on campus. The show exhibited just that.
The event gave people the chance to express themselves in the most elegant and dramatic way possible. The event also helped bring awareness to the Pride club, which creates a space for all genders to express themselves, even giving them the chance to dress up and impress audiences with a one-of-a kind drag show.