The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

The student news site of Dickinson College.

The Dickinsonian

“Change is already happening, we just have to embrace it:” Behind the scenes of Dickinson’s Drag Show

Very few college campuses in America host drag shows, especially as threats against the LGBTQ+ community (specifically trans individuals) have risen in recent years. Despite this, Dickinson hosted their seventh annual drag show on Saturday, March 23. 


“As an LGBTQ person, it means a lot to see stuff like this. I didn’t get to grow up with this type of community and feeling like I can be myself 100% of the time,” said Deon Rosado ’24, who works at Dickinson’s LQBTQ+ Center. 


“Events like this show our students that it’s OK to be yourself, and there’s people out there that are just like you. If they can do it, and students see that they can do it, that shows them that they can do it too,” said Rosado. 


Planning for the event started last spring with the booking of space in ATS. At the beginning of this school year, the organizers started brainstorming and booking talent for the show.


The planning team, made up of MOB, the LGBTQ+ Center, and Student Life, worked with an outside group to book the performers. 


Ra’Jah O’Hara, who competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2019, headlined the show, which also featured Jade Devere, Chanel, Skarlet Overkill, and Alex Madden. 


“It’s the little things that take up the most time,” said Julia Kanaan ’24, Special Events Co-Chair for MOB, when talking about planning, from lighting and sound to contracts and the itinerary. Security was also a top priority for the event.


“A big thing that we usually spend a lot of time focusing on is security; making people feel safe especially with an election year coming up,” said Gabe Yochum ‘26, Special Events Co-Chair for MOB. “We have to consider how we’re going to be able to make people feel comfortable while also making sure that nothing [unwelcome] happens during the drag show,” said Yochum. 


They included DPS in this conversation about safety, while also keeping in mind students’ comfort and preferences. 


Rosado said that DPS has been really helpful. Many DPS officers showed up to support the Drag Show as members of the community outside of their duties as officers both last year and this year.   


“At the end of the day, MOB can do food events, art events and whatnot, but we want to be reaching out to all members of the Dickinson community,” said Yochum. 


“It’s a great event, whether or not you’re a part of the [LGBTQ+] community. Personally, I’m an ally. The vibes are great, the students love it, and it’s well attended,” said Kanaan, who was excited about the show but sad to see her last event come together as a senior. 


“This event brings me joy every year, because it shows us how far we’ve come and how much work we can do to push the needle forward. It shows that change is already happening. We just have to embrace it,” said Rosado.


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