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

    Work it, girl!

    Greg Ruff

    Although Halloween has ended, not everyone’s costumes are being stuffed away for another year.

    Spectrum is hosting a drag show at Higherground from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday night as a fundraiser for The Community Table.

    Assistant professor of sociology and Spectrum adviser Pam Forman said the main goal of the group is to increase awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues on campus, provide support for people coming out and deal with the political realities they face in Wisconsin.

    Spectrum has already sponsored UW-Eau Claire’s celebration of National Coming Out Day this semester.

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    “We try to raise awareness through activities on the quad and give talks to psychology classes on what it means to be LGBT,” Forman said.

    She said drag shows are a good way for people to be proud of who they are and to just have fun.

    “There is something about gender going on with people that are gay and lesbians,” she said. “Some like to dress up for (drag shows) because it’s important to their identity.”

    Forman said the show at Higherground is a primary fundraiser for the group.

    Junior and Spectrum media coordinator Ruth Lane said a drag show usually consists of a lineup of performers in a wide variety of clothes that get on stage and lip synch to whatever songs they choose.

    There will be professional drag queens and kings from the Eau Claire area at the event, sophomore Oscar Collins said. He added that it’s also an amateur night, so anyone can perform if they sign up an hour beforehand by listing their name, information and preferred music so they can secure a spot on stage.

    Collins joined Spectrum last year, and the group talked a little bit about putting on a drag show. This semester, as the events coordinator, Collins listed hosting a drag show as something he wanted the group to sponsor.

    “It was something I definitely wanted to do,” he said, adding his original intention was to host the event closer to Halloween because more people in general tend to dress up.

    “I think it’s going to go really well,” he said. “I’m expecting a good turnout.”

    Although this is her first semester with the group, Lane said she has been to many drag shows in the past.

    “I’ve been to way too many (drag shows) to even count,” Lane said.

    She said she has positive expectations for the event because the turnout looks to be pretty strong.

    “It’s definitely going to be a lot of fun and the lineup appears to be pretty good,” Lane said. “I’m expecting more drag queens than kings . it’s harder to pull in talented drag kings versus queens.”

    The reason for this, Lane said, is because men traditionally have much stricter gender roles.

    “Women have a lot more freedom in terms of that type of expression in society,” she said, “so it’s more common to see a drag queen.”

    Collins said he has seen drag shows at Scooter’s, 411 Galloway St., and he’s hoping the one at Higherground will give students exposure to something they aren’t used to seeing.

    “The shows at Scooter’s are pretty fun,” he said. “It’s good to have something new on campus to show students a different culture or lifestyle.”

    Collins said drag shows are a good experience for more than just the people who dress up or have been to them before.

    “I’ve taken straight friends to the shows at Scooter’s all the time and it’s so much fun,” he said. “The reactions on their faces are pretty funny because they aren’t used to seeing that kind of stuff, but overall they enjoy it.”

    Lane said the purpose of a drag show isn’t necessarily political.

    “The background on drag shows is that they were used to make fun of the extreme gender stereotypes,” Lane said. “They give people an outlet for roles they can’t normally expect to fill.”

    Overall, Collins said the event is a good deal for everyone.

    “Our whole goal is to get our organization recognized more than last year because not many people know about Spectrum,” he said.

    Drag Show
    Time: 7:30-10:00 p.m.
    Date: Friday
    Place: Higherground
    Cost: $2 or canned food donation

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    Work it, girl!