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The Scarlet & Black

Drag Show Spring 2016

Photo by John Brady.

Photo by John Brady.

Drag Show is always an exciting event at Grinnell, but this year’s showcase, hosted by Queer People of Color (QPOC), made an especially profound impact upon the community. Combining sharp choreography, big personalities and powerful statements on issues like gender and Grinnell’s recent separation from the Posse program, Spring 2016’s Drag Show featured fun performances and potent messages. After last weekend’s event, emcees Gabi Matthews ’17 and Armando Perez ’17 chatted with S&B Arts Editor Emma Friedlander about this semester’s highlights and what Drag Show means to them.

The S&B: What were your highlights of this year’s show?

Matthews: For me it’s probably Jermaine’s [Stewart-Webb ’16] piece, because of the choreography but also the emotional connection that I have to him … Jermaine’s been part of my QPOC family for so long.

Perez: My favorite part was definitely Jocelyn’s [Acosta ’16] whole skit leading into the alumni performance. I think it all tied in very well, especially considering basically all of QPOC and all the people that were emcees were Posse. It was a cool shout out. Her thing was funny, but it was so serious.

Drag Show - John Brady

Was the inclusion of Posse in performances natural or a planned effort?

Matthews: [Jocelyn’s] part wasn’t something that we planned at all — it was just like Jocelyn has jokes and she just really wanted to put that in and it coincidentally occurred before the alumni performed with “Posse” spray-painted on their shirts.

Why do you think it’s important for the Grinnell community to have Drag Show every semester?

Matthews: It’s so strange for me to try to picture Grinnell without Drag. I think it lets a lot of people try something that they wouldn’t otherwise. It brings something nice to the community, especially because it’s a fundraiser. That’s really significant for Central Iowa Family Planning in town. I don’t know — everyone needs to fuck with gender and other things all the time.

Drag Show - John Brady

You’ve both emceed before. What do you like about the position, and what’s your personal attachment to it?

Perez: Our goal is always to structure emceeing a little bit more, but this year we just came up with a list the day of and decided to talk about whatever we want. I don’t know how to describe the experience other than it’s just us being ourselves.

Matthews: It’s a nice way to present my community to the greater Grinnell community.

Do you have a favorite drag name from this year’s show?

Perez: This weekend I went with my default drag name [Laura Mouth], but I wanted to go with Tasha Salad. So, next time.

Drag Show - John Brady

Photos by John Brady, Photo Editor.

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