I had no idea what to expect going to the UWM Drag Show, my first thoughts were of terribly done makeup, and hairy men showing off on a stage in front of hundreds of people. Despite being a gay man myself, I had never watched, attended, or researched any sub-cultures of the LGBTQIA, and so I had no idea what I was getting into.
After arriving at the venue, taking the UWM provided buses, I was immediately greeted by my least favorite activity in the world, waiting. The doors to the lobby hadn’t opened yet, making everyone and myself forced to wait in the smaller room at the entrance. It wasn’t a terrible experience, but it was a little cramped after twenty or so minutes.
Finally the doors opened, and I scanned my ticket to get to the stage, only to be greeted by another line, and more waiting. I made friends with a group of alumni, who had a friend in the show, and when the doors finally opened to enter into the stage, I decided to sit with them to learn more about Drag Culture.
Soon the lights dimmed, and everyone got excited. The opening act was good, and it held a large number of UWM professional staff, and the wonderful co-host and entertainer of the night, Vivian. It was a fun experience, but according to my new friends, it was about to get better.
They were definitely right.
I was blown away by the show, and everything I thought I knew about drag shows was proven wrong. The music, the dancing, the makeup and outfits were all amazing, and I couldn’t find a performance I truly didn’t enjoy. There were ones that weren’t as well done as the rest, true, but they were all done with enthusiasm and heart that made up for it.
Truly stellar performances were given by the wonderful Vivian Storm, and her co-host Montell, who I do believe I developed a crush on. Alongside them was the veteran Drag Queen Lady Gia, who was amazing in all definitions of the word, and who showed off a great amount of skin, being well known for going nearly naked.
Even UWM’s own Chancellor Mone showed his support by “tipping” the performers, who were raising money for the charity organization Pathfinders. Pounce, the school mascot, made an appearance and had a sexy walk off with Vivian, and did surprisingly well for a panther.
The crowd loved every minute of it, and the performers knew how to work them well. They often left the stage and interacted with their audience. Many audience members flocked to the stage to “tip” them, and the performers were showered with love and appreciation. The atmosphere was amazing, and I was glad to have been there to enjoy it.
Finally, after one last show by the amazing Vivian Storm that had the crowd on stage and dancing with her, the event ended and everyone took a bow to tremendous applause. The lights came back on, and everyone started exited the venue. I said goodbye to my new friends, left with a new love for the drag culture, and thoughts of maybe participating myself someday.