By Alyssa Jarrett
City on a Hill Press Reporter
Everything from condoms and caution tape, to sheets and shower curtains, adorned those out for a gender-bending good time last Friday night at the “Anything but Clothes”-themed, 11th annual Oakes Drag Ball, which took place in the Oakes Learning Center from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Drag Ball was originally founded by the residents of the Harvey Milk Block at Oakes College, said Adriana Lopez, an Oakes coordinator for residential education.
“The Drag Ball is just a way to give students a fun, traditional event and a safe place for the queer community,” Lopez said.
Indeed, with assistance from College Eight, the queer community banded together this year.
“This was the first year that we collaborated with the Queer Fashion Show at Porter,” Lopez said. “We asked that students give a $2 donation to help the Queer Fashion Show.”
Students could also buy water for a dollar to support the women’s rugby team.
The Oakes Learning Center was decorated with T-shirts, pants and shoes hanging from the rafters, a theme that second-year Oakes student Rachel Rolnicki explained was a rejection of the typical college clothing.
“The theme of the decorations was the daily clothes people wear, while they get to dress out-of-the-ordinary tonight,” said Rolnicki, who helped set up the event.
One of those dressed appropriately for such a zany dance was first-year Oakes student Aaron Juni, whose dress and hair accessories were fashioned from condoms and their wrappers.
“The Drag Ball is like Halloween,” Juni said. “You feel comfortable as a different character, and it’s really fun to experience how the other half lives.”
Lopez described one of the things that make the Drag Ball special.
“Students are encouraged to do lip-synching performances in drag,” Lopez said. “The winners are based on audience response and given various prizes like gift certificates to restaurants or Camouflage.”
The dance’s emcees were named Stella and Dixie Peaches, and their sparkly black dresses and high heels could put any Hollywood diva to shame. After a sexy rendition of Beyonce’s “Freakum Dress,” they introduced the lip-synch competitors and kept the energy high.
While dancing and lip-synching to pop music was certainly entertaining, many — like first-year Oakes student Elijah Sickle — also came just to enjoy the atmosphere of acceptance.
“I was kinda nervous at first,” Sickle said, “but when everybody’s dressed up, you feel more comfortable.”
<i>The Oakes Drag Ball’s partner-in-crime, the Queer Fashion Show, will be held at the Porter/Kresge Dining Hall this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.</i>
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