The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Queens of the ball

Drag is an expression often connected to Shakespeare, as he referred to male thespians that were “dressed as girls.”

Drag queens, in contemporary usage, are men who dress as women for the purposes of entertainment and self-expression.

On Feb. 21 from 6 to 10 p.m., eight local performers will demonstrate that expression in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center, performing multiple acts in drag while headlining The Fire Ball — a fundraising event for LGBTQ scholarships organized by the Women’s and LGBTQ
Resource Center.

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Chris Jorgenson, LGBTQ coordinator for the center, characterizes the event as a celebration, as well as an opportunity for students to see a dismantling of their traditional understanding of gender and sexuality.

In addition to being open to all (with a suggested donation of $3) 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward students participating in an immersion program in San Francisco, along with other conferences held nationwide.

As well as the featured performers, the evening will include fire spinners, burlesque and belly dancers and a live DJ.

This idea of The Fire Ball stems from the fundraising efforts the performers traditionally operate under — donating at least one-third of their proceeds from every performance to various charities.

Miss Dee-Lovely, one of the most well-known performers participating in The Fire Ball, said she thinks the event has a wonderful variety of performances.

“We really wanted to showcase the amazing talent that some may be surprised to find in this relatively rural area,” she said.

Each act is unique, including everything from comedic impersonations to choreographed dance routines.

Ophelia Junque, a featured performer during the event, said she is especially excited to perform at this event, as it exemplifies her own efforts as an “entertainer with a conscience.”

“The audience I would like to see would consist of anybody who wants to be entertained, challenged, broaden their understanding of entertainment itself and can provide passionate feedback,” Junque said.

Another featured performer, Felicia Ashton, born in Eau Claire, is anxious to perform at an event that will “increase awareness of the local LGBTQ community, while celebrating diversity and having fun.”

Performers are occasionally tipped for the extraordinary efforts put into their performances and in return, the tippee may receive a “thank you” peck on the cheek.

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Queens of the ball