Friday, October 19th, 2018

USM Royal Majesty Drag Show

Patrick Higgins

Posted on November 24, 2014 in Arts & Culture
By Krysteana Scribner

Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins
Patrick Higgins

Drag kings and queens from all around Maine participated in the USM Royal Majesty Drag Show Competition this past weekend. Many of the performers made an amazing transformation and awed audiences with their abilities to change with just a little makeup.

Patrick Stavens, a student at the Maine College of Art participated this year in the drag competition. A huge fan of drag culture, Stavens explained that these shows always make for a fun and interesting experience. The transformation from dressing like a man to a woman can be an intimidating experience for new performers, but Stavens explained that this change allows him to feel good about himself as well as become a strong, empowered individual.

“This is only my second year performing, but I always love getting up on that stage. I’m pretty comfortable in front of a big audience, and performing in front of all these people makes me feel like a diva,” said Stavens.

Other performers, like professional drag show competitor and the show’s host Connor Tubbs, also known as Cherry Lemonade, have been performing for a long time. Tubbs, who has been performing professionally for over five years now, said that the reaction he gets from people before and after he puts on her drag always varies, but the most prominent reaction is always shock.

“Performing creates an illusion. When people in the audience have seen me as a man and then see me on stage as a woman they are completely in shock,” said Tubbs. “I think it’s just such a fascinating and silly reaction. I just use some eyeshadow and makeup and the transformation surprises people.”

Although Tubbs feels comfortable in his skin as a drag queen, other people often have misconceptions about his personality and may be quick to judge before they get to know him dressed as a woman. Tubbs explained that this stereotype needs to be put to a stop, because not all drag king and queens are the same.

“I think it’s important to have people understand that because I am a drag queen I don’t act like a stuck up woman. The misconception is that we all want to be women and yet I have no desire to be a woman. I just happen to be really good at dressing up,” said Tubbs.

For Rebecca Tanous, student body vice president and senior chemistry major at USM, dressing like a man not only makes her feel unique but also gives her a chance to be someone else for a while.

“I grew up in a family where my mother made all of my Halloween costumes. This drag show allows us to be someone who we are not, and to perform as a different character is such an exhilarating experience,” said Tanous.

Tanous also believes that it is important to stamp out the stereotype that not all drag members are lesbian or gay and that not all performers want to be the opposite gender all the time.

“I think it is important to connotate that being lesbian or gay is where this drag show stems from. This is a safe place where people can feel safe and comfortable. USM is so welcoming and diverse and being a part of the LBGT community was a big reason I got involved in the show,” said Tanous.

Although each performer receives a variety of different reactions when they put on drag, their performance in the show at USM stemmed a lot of positive energy from the crowd and makes for an unforgettable experience.

Tubbs also explained that drag culture has a long and beautiful history that people often don’t recognize. She believes that the misconception that people in drag are abnormal or  silly for dressing up needs to be put to an end, because this phenomenon has been going on for a long time and should be no surprise to anyone at this point.

“People who dress in drag are no different than people who dress in gender appropriate clothes. In the end, we’re all wearing clothes and live on the same earth,” said Tubbs.

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