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Pride Week drag show takes place at Shaw Student Center

Ivy Dior Stephens strikes a pose at the Pride Week drag show in Shaw Student Center Oct. 21. The drag queens lip synced to songs such as “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo. Photo courtesy of Erin MacInnis.

Drag queens Gia Bianca Stephens, Ivy Dior Stephens and Kay Bye rocked the runway in Shaw Student Center Thursday night, according to Gaeble Jones, event attendee and senior international business major.

The event was organized by ASW to celebrate Westminster College Pride Week and had a higher turnout than any other Pride Week event, according to Ashton Marcoux, ASW senior senator and senior marketing and management major.  

Ivy Dior Stephens said the drag queen character she created gave her purpose and gives her an outlet to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

“We all have a purpose in this life and personally, for me, I didn’t discover what my superpower or my purpose in life was until I discovered the incredible magic of drag,” Ivy Dior Stephens said. 

The show had a great turn out and the audience was very engaged and excited to be there, according to Jones. 

“I thought [the show] was awesome,” Jones said. “I thought it was so much fun and I’m so glad they did it. I want them to put it on every single year.” 

The drag queens lip synced to songs such as “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo.

Gia Bianca Stephens shared queer history with Westminster students who attended the Pride Week Drag Show Oct. 21. Stephens said Marsha P. Johnson threw a brick at the now infamous Stonewall in New York City about 50 years ago which sparked the Pride movement. Photo courtesy of Erin MacInnis.

Gia Bianca Stephens, a drag queen of nine years, shared queer history throughout the show. 

“Pride as a movement began because a trans woman of color had enough of gay oppression,” Gia Bianca Stephens said. “Marsha P. Johnson threw a brick at the now infamous Stonewall in New York City about 50 years ago and that’s what started the gay liberation movement, which has now become a worldwide force that we can use to advocate [for] change and making the world a better place.” 

The show also featured a queer history exhibit, according to Faith Staley, Queer Compass coordinator and senior justice studies major. Queer Compass is a student-run, institutionally-supported program that puts on events specifically tailored to the LGBTQ+ students on campus, according to Staley. 

“A lot of queer spaces are in bars, so having an explicitly queer event like a drag show in a place that’s accessible to anyone of all ages is really important,” Staley said. 

Parker Nielson, ASW senior senator and senior biology major, said Pride Week is important to celebrate queer people and the hardships they have overcome. 

“If you ever look at the ASW constitution, they have a big emphasis […] about diversity and inclusion,” Nielson said. “That’s their number one priority and I think that’s what the [drag show] is put on to emphasize.” 

Kay Bye performed “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga at the Drag Show in Shaw Student Center Oct. 21. “Kay Bye’s performances were the highlight [of the Drag Show] for me,” said Gaeble Jones, a senior international business major. Photo courtesy of Erin MacInnis.

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Erin MacInnis is a senior communication major. She is originally from New Hampshire, where her zeal for skiing and snowboarding began. When she isn’t on campus, you can find her in the mountains, at the skatepark, or at a thrift store.

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