The third annual Drag Show presented by QTIP at San Jose State's Morris Daily auditorium might have been one of the greatest school events I've ever seen.
First of all, the crowd was great. It filled the seats of the large auditorium easily with, well, everyone. There was a $2 discount to admission for anyone who defied gender roles and showed up as the opposite sex. So girls and boys and boys looking like girls and girls looking like boys took over SJSU's oldest building. I did my best to earn my discount, but apparently failed. I was forced to draw a mustache if I wanted to keep my extra dollars.
The lobby was packed with chatty performers, admiring guests, tables of free condoms from the health center and a few uncomfortable San Jose policemen. They must have been unsure of their role there, since no protesters were to be found and most attendees overall were just happy to support the cause, not cause a scene.
For anyone who hasn't witnessed a drag performance for themselves or seen it on TV, it's all about the costume, the dancing and the lip sync. That meant a lot of Beyonce and Lady Gaga wanna-bes whipping their wig around stage. Also, a little Broadway thrown in there for good measure.
The stars of the show were saved for the second half after intermission. That's where the kimono with fluttering six-foot long satin wings and the cart wheels into splits came out. But no matter the performer, good or bad (and believe me, there was bad. White girls and afros don't mix) the crowd was screaming for them. They were clapping and cheering them on.
This drag show wasn't just about the drag. It definitely wasn't about race cars either, as my friend attempted to convince her poor boyfriend. It was about being comfortable with your body and expressing yourself beyond the binary gender system. It was fun. It was empowering. And as Rupaul said "If you can't love yourself, how the f*** are you gonna love somebody else?"