Sitting in front of a mirror surrounded by her costume and jewelry, drag queen Beverly Baltimore applied her make up as she prepared for USF St. Petersburg’s third annual amateur drag show.
The drag show was sponsored by the Gay Straight Alliance, along with co-sponsors the Black Student Association and the French Club.
The show took place on Friday, April 6 in Harbor Hall at 7 p.m. The queens arrived early and were focused on getting ready for the show.
“I bought the perfect pantyhose,” Baltimore said, bragging as she showed how they matched her skin flawlessly. She got them at Walmart. Beverly Baltimore is her drag name, and she is not from USFSP but is friends with Gavin Nagatomo, president of the GSA. Although it’s Baltimore’s first drag show in Florida, she wasn’t nervous, just excited about her pantyhose and jewelry.
Hostess and MC Stephanie Blair sat in front of her own mirror.
“I support the GSA and the events they have on and off campus,” she said. She is not a student either, but has been involved with the group for some time, helping them with the show from the beginning. She has been a queen since 1991 and describes herself as a “true professional in the art.”
“The GSA does so many remarkable things,” Blair said, describing the group’s Tuesday meeting and how they covered an entire chalkboard with things they did this year, from social events to community service.
Two USFSP students participated in the drag show: senior psychology major Sasha Coleman and junior biology major Cassie Ferreira. Coleman also played DJ for the evening. She has been involved with the GSA for the past two years and was part of her high school’s alliance. Coleman is also president of the French club.
Ferreira was part of the GSA the same amount of time, and the two girls planned to perform together at the drag show.
“We wanted more students to participate and we figured we could set an example,” Coleman said. Neither had been in a drag show before and both were nervous.
Coleman said that drag shows have a stigma attached to them, that it has to be all gay men dressing as women, when in reality it can be anyone.
“We’re two straight girls doing it,” Coleman said.
GSA Vice President Sean Erikson announced MC Blair to the stage. With the lights off and the disco ball spinning, Blair entered the stage in a sleek, black dress and a red, feather boa, performing “All that Jazz,” from the musical “Chicago.”
Proud to shake it, flaunt it and walk in high heels, the drag queens entered the stage and danced in front of the rainbow flag backdrop, rising cheers and claps from an enthusiastic crowd. Each queen had her own unique style, performance and inappropriate jokes and gestures. Baltimore rocked her Walmart panty hose with a pink sequin dress and a big, pink flower in her hair, performing “Tough Love” by Christina Aguilera.
To close out the evening, Coleman and Ferreira came out as a drag duet ROTFL. They had everyone laughing as they appeared dressed as boys, complete with hats, gym shorts, baggie shirts and mustaches. They performed to the infamous 1991 song “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred, and despite being nervous, shook their “touche on the catwalk.” Halfway through their performance the music switched to “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO and fellow GSA members hopped on stage and danced.
Throughout the night attendees were reminded to leave donations, all of which will go to help the GSA with their mentoring efforts at Pinellas County Schools. They raised $140 by the end of the evening, which will be used for transportation to the schools.
“We’re wanting everyone to be equal and it’s not just about gay people,” Nagatomo said.