Drag show benefits LGBTQ and allies


Taylor Upchurch

Desiree LaRue poses for the camera. The drag show took place Friday and encouraged love equality.

Taylor Upchurch, Reporter

“Raise your hand if you’re gay,” Crystyle Starr said. “Now raise your hand if you are straight.”

More than half of the crowd raised their hands to let Starr, the emcee drag queen, know that there were multiple straight people in the crowd.

Shaking her head in laughter, Starr said, “That’s one I’ll never understand.”

Starr, the retired diva, hosted the Drag Show Benefit event in the Student Union Ballroom this past Friday night to help raise awareness and money for the Gay-Lesbian Student Education Network program (Glisten), along with Common Ground, the organization on NKU’s campus that is responsible for putting the event together.

Nick Snider, Common Ground Education Ambassador, contributed to the cause by advertising the event for both Common Ground and Glisten, an organization that supports the LGBTQ against both bullying and suicide.

“The main goal of Common Ground is to be a social, support, and educational student group for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) students and their allies,” Snider said.  

“The drag show is about visibility in a lot of ways. We get to celebrate our difference, have fun, and really raise money for a good cause. It’s definitely one of our more social events, rather than being about education or support. But Common Ground does strive to give back to the community, and one of the ways in which we do this is through donating some of the proceeds of the show to the charity.”

The charity is not the only one who benefits from the excitement of the drag show; the performers enjoy the environment the audience provides.

“My favorite part is always the crowd,” Starr stated. “The energy that this crowd gives off is the most incredible thing ever. I actually retired from doing club shows and bar shows and all of that other nonsense. I literally now only do drag for NKU; solely for NKU. I love it, I really do.”

Starr, along with many other drag queens, such as Sarah Jessica Darker, Mystique Summers, Chasity Marie, Desiree LaRue, Tara Newone, Aurora Starr, and Mirelle Jane Divine, all chose to dedicate their time for free to perform and earn tips from the audience in hopes to raise enough money to make a difference for the future.

“I have been doing this going on eight years,” Starr laughed. “I love that we raise so much for charity, and seeing people crowd around the stage to give their money to a great cause.”

Desiree LaRue, however, loves more than just the charity work.

“I do love doing good for charity, and giving back, but I also love the time I take to focus on my makeup,” LaRue said. “It really gets me in the zone and in character.”

While being in character, the drag queens interacted with the crowds to liven up the night.

Gabby Lock and Regan Lock, both NKU students, were led onto the stage by Starr to share the celebration of their upcoming birthdays with the audience.

“I like texted my boyfriend during the show ‘I was just on stage with a drag queen; I’m like totally fulfilled,” Gabby Lock laughed.

But without the persuasion of a friend, the girls might not have been there to celebrate.

“Our friend, Nicole, actually talked us in to coming tonight,” Regan Lock said. “She was hounding us to come!”

“I did,” Nicole Hall, another fellow NKU student, laughed. “My brother is gay, and I want to be able to support him and everything, and it’s a good cause so why not? So I talked them into it.”

The girls expressed how the drag queens not only gave them entertainment, but they gave them inspiration that can be used in the future.

“Crystyle Starr was right, there will always be someone that loves you unconditionally,” Nicole Levesque, NKU student, said.

“She [Starr] taught us that self-love is important,” Hall said in agreement.

The Drag Show Benefit accomplished more than just raising money; it pushed students to see that wig or no wig, makeup or no makeup, or even straight or gay, love is equality.