Collaboratively hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Residential Life, Louisiana Transgender Advocates and the LGBTQ+ Project at LSU, the fourth annual “Divas’ Live 4: A Drag Show” drew large crowds on Thursday night.
In previous years, the largest number recorded for attendance at the event was around 112 people. On Thursday, the attendance greatly surpassed its previous record, with over 400 students present. All seats were filled, leaving the Student Union Ballroom with standing room only.
The show was hosted by drag queen Brianna Powers, who began the event with a bang. Powers entered the runway in a sparking gold skirt and statement necklace dancing to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which got the audience up off their feet and ready to begin the night.
Powers continued to joke with numerous attendees throughout the show and emphasized this event is meant to be fun and inclusive.
“Drag is not a spectator sport. So please get up off your rears, dance it out with the ladies and show them a good time,” Powers said.
Following Powers’ introduction were performers Millie Meringue, Santana Pilar Andrews, Andy Black and Lady D. Andrews, all dressed as popular movie and TV show characters with costumes bedazzled from head to toe. With performances that went from splits to cartwheels and flying wigs, audience members struggled to choose a favorite.
The night closed with a performance by Lady D. Andrews dressed as Marge Simpson from the popular show, “The Simpsons,” dancing to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” during which she brought various members of the audience onto the runway.
One of the audience members on stage, undecided arts and humanities sophomore Mary Elizabeth Gordon, said the experience was a blast.
“I had an amazing time,” Gordon said. “I already respect, admire and love drag queens, and seeing that freedom is so exhilarating that you just want to get up and join them, so that’s what I did.”
While some might think an event of this kind is exclusively for the LGBTQ+ community, there were many non LGBTQ+ audience members who attended to show their support and get behind the fun, like political science student Abdel Thabat.
“They have a lot of homophobic people out there, and me being a straight man, I came to support,” Thabata said. “I didn’t know what to expect but it was cool.”
Khristian Royster, Residential Life coordinator and member of the drag show planning committee, said hosting this kind of event was good for everyone.
“I think it’s really important to create an opportunity and a space where people can see and be a part of the culture by getting to experience the rich history of drag shows and to represent our great student groups who identify with this community,” Royster said.