Drag queens entertain USI audience

Dennis Marshall

In the times of Shakespeare, women were not allowed to perform in the theater, so men had to perform the roles of women. Many believe that the term drag originated during this time and was an acronym for ‘Dressed As a Girl.’

About 40 people attended the Spectrum Drag Show on Monday in Mitchell Auditorium.

Spectrum is a group that promotes equality and understanding on campus as well as in the community.

“(The drag show) is an opportunity for people to come and see a culture they are not typically exposed to,” Spectrum President Rei Poynter said. “Drag culture is huge all over the United States. It is a really fun thing to do. It’s a blast. It’s heavily rooted in gay culture, and it is something that not a lot of people know about.”

Sahara Starre and Traci Dallas both performed in Spectrum Drag Show. Starre and Dallas have different stories on how they got to where they are, but both said entertaining the audience is by far their favorite part of performing.

Starre has performed in drag shows for more than a year and a half and was the newest performer involved in the show.

Starre began after a lot of her friends started doing drag.

”I would go out to watch them perform and one of them had wanted to dress me up for Halloween one year, so I said sure, why not, and they dressed me up and one thing led to another,” Starre said. “Now here I am.”

“This is kind of my way of expressing my raging homosexual side, I guess you could say, because I’ve always been interested in art,” Starre said. “But I’m a horrible artist and this is art to me. This is my way of showing my artistic side to world.”

Starre said doing drag is more of a hobby and she does not plan on doing it for the rest of her life. She plans on transferring to USI in the fall and finishing her degree, then maybe getting her master’s.

Starre currently attends Vincennes University where she majors in English.

Starre said she wants to get into publishing and novel editing because of her love for books.

Although Starre is not as experienced as some of the other performers, she finds happiness in the drag scene.

“The biggest achievement for me is finding a niche that I fit in with, doing something that I can enjoy, and bringing enjoyment to other people,” Starre said. “That is the big thing for me – I like entertaining.”

Traci Dallas, 53, is the only transsexual performer in the drag show. She has been performing for more than 30 years in different locations all over the country. She is a former Miss Gay Evansville and Owensboro and lives her life by the motto, “Always believe in yourself.”

Dallas came into the drag scene in the late 50s, and she said the scene then was a lot different than it is now.

Dallas said “she is not just a boy in a dress,” and she naturally has more estrogen running through her than testosterone

Dallas said she’s proud of being well known in the community and seeing other performers grow.

Dallas said some of the other performers even call her “Mom” because of the nurturing role she offers.

“Dallas has a heart of gold,” said Evy Electraa, co-emcee of the Spectrum Drag Show. “She always helps anyone out in a show who needs it.”