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A Night of Fierce Drag

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 16:03


Dahshan Velez transforms into Miami Royale backstage before the drag show


Students cheered as drag queens and kings performe to many popular songs

        Advertised as “A Night of Fierce Drag,” Exhibition 2012, the drag show held by the Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, shook the Rialto on the night March 14.

         The show, which was held in the Student Center ballroom for years, debuted its first time in the Rialto this spring. The shift in location was much needed, since its audience members jumped from 200 at the first show in 2008 to more than 800 this year.

        After a sultry opening act from the six drag queens that participated in the show, the performances throughout the night continued to wow the audience with sequins, corsets and stilettos.

Music education major and host Christopher Massie loves that he gets to perform in front of such a huge crowd two times a year.

       “I love the performance aspect of it,” Massie said, whose drag name is Jersey Royale. Massie, whose concentration is in voice, performed in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee last fall and will be in the ensemble of the School of Music’s spring opera, The Marriage of Figaro.

      Massie’s love for performance became even more evident throughout the show. During his persona Jersey’s number “I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain, Jersey strutted the stage in a plaid shirt, blue jean shorts and boots. Dahshan Velez, who, while in drag is Jersey Royale’s sister, Miami, loves hosting the show with Massie and Mickyel Bradford, whose drag name is Sofonda Cox.

       “I really like making the audience laugh,” Velez said. Velez is an art history major and sociology minor.

“I’m graduating this semester so this show is really important to me,” Velez said. Velez, who has been doing drag for four years, is vice president of the Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, which is the oldest gay-straight student alliance in Georgia. The Alliance has more than 600 members and can boast that it is one of Georgia State’s most successful organizations.

       The drag show is one of the biggest events that the Alliance puts on, and the Georgia State community is extremely accepting of it. Students showed support for the LGBTQIQA communities throughout the night and embraced the vivacious, vulgar and fantastic culture of drag that the students brought to the Rialto.

“I love how liberal and open-minded Georgia State is,” Chelsea Weyler, who in drag is known as Jorma Taccone, said.

“I think when it comes to drag, people who come to the show tend to be very accepting,” Weyler said.

And it’s true - the roaring cheers after the opening act were deafeningly loud, and the support system that the show has is very strong.

        “It’s nice to perform in a diverse and accepting campus,” Velez said. Weyler, who is a freshman at Georgia State, was excited to be performing for the first time in the show and in drag. Her persona wass one of the Lonely Island members, and Weyler and her co-workers performed to a mix of “I’m on a Boat” and “I Just Had Sex.”
       “All my friends point out how much I love Georgia State,” Weyler said. She’s looking forward to doing the show again next year and is planning on going as Freddie Mercury.

     Velez, who loves drag because it gives him a chance to embrace and express his femininity, says that one of his favorite aspects of it is the make-up. “I want to make a lot of girls jealous,” Velez said.


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