Drexel University’s Pride Week began April 29 as it transitioned into the second half of the spring term and the month of May. There were events spread out throughout the week, with Drexel student organizations helping host on different days.
There was the “Open Mic Night Fundraiser” in Creese with DBAC and Drexel Socialists April 29. Drexel Hillel helped host a Panel on Queer Spirituality, titled “Queer Space in Faith-Based Communities” in the Perelman Center April 30. There was a Queer Professionalism Discussion in the CASTLE Idea Lab May 1 and there was a movie screening of “Signature Move” in the MacAlister Sky View Lounge with Latinos for a United Campus May 2.
However, the biggest event marketed by far for Drexel Pride Week is the popular, big-ticket event: The Drexel Drag Show.
Hailed as one of the University’s most vital traditions, The 8th Annual Drexel Drag Show will be held May 3 at the Main Auditorium.
“The art of drag is about performances, satire and challenging social norms and concepts while promoting diversity and inclusion,” according to Student Life. The Drag Show offers a forum where everyone can freely express themselves without people having to hold back or worry.
A free event for all students and $5 cash at the door for anyone who wishes to come, the Drag Show brings together both the Drexel community and the Philadelphia community for a night of expression and creativity. The doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the event beginning at 8 p.m. sharp. For this year’s show, Drexel was able to get in contact with Peppermint — the runner-up on the ninth season of the popular TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race — and have her be the headline performer.
Maurice Cottman, assistant director at the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion, provided more background and her insights into the Drag Show and why it has become a tradition here at Drexel.
“A great deal of our students use the [sic] drag show as their day to honor their full identities while they are here at Drexel,” Cottman told The Triangle. She went on to elaborate by saying that while Drexel may be a research-based University on paper, it also has a rich performing arts landscape that isn’t always in the spotlight.
Compared to the several dances and galas that Drexel hosts throughout the academic year, the Drexel Drag Show brings together the Drexel community in an unparalleled manner. Take last year’s show, for example. The show filled the entire Main Auditorium. However, Cottman believes that this year’s performance will be superior to last year’s and is excited to see it all come to fruition.
The main focus of The Drexel Drag Show, along with the overall importance of Drexel Pride Week, goes far beyond the concept of just putting on a performance. Cottman was able to shed more light on what the Drag Show is able to offer students here at Drexel.
“[The Drag Show] combines many different arts into one event, it provides intersectionality of talent unlike many other showcases here at Drexel,” Cottman said. “[The Drag Show] truly highlights how unified the Drexel community can be among itself and the Philadelphia community.”
The Drexel Drag Show not only brings in current Drexel students and the local Philadelphia community, but alumni and professional staff members also make an effort to attend the event. As the drag community balloons even more at Drexel, a play on the school’s motto “Ambition Can’t Wait” has inspired the mantra “because expression can’t wait,” which signifies the importance of drag in today’s society.
In the preview video posted for this year’s show, there is a line that says “Sometimes, different is better.” The Drexel Drag Show wants to represent a place where people don’t worry about being different, but instead just focus on accepting themselves for who they are.