Canisius’ first Drag Show takes the stage this Friday in Montante Cultural Center
By Maddy Lockwood, Assistant Features Editor
After almost 20 years in the making, Canisius’s Unity will be hosting the first drag show in the school’s history. The show — or experience, as Unity President Lio Salazar explains it as — will be held this Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center.
This show was incredibly important for this organization to pull off. With the event being so long in the making, many former executive board members and club members reached out to share congratulations. The Unity Instagram account received many messages from alumni members of the club, mostly sharing their experiences of attempting to put on the drag show themselves but inevitably being unsuccessful because of pushback from administration. One former executive board member even shared that they attempted to put on the show all the way back in 2006.
LGBTQ+ clubs at other Jesuit universities also reached out to send positive messages for their ability to bring the art of drag to Canisius. The production was initially brought to their attention from former president, Karen Jesch, who proposed it last year when it was not approved for production by the college.
Salazar feels that the timing of this drag show couldn’t have been better, given some current events in other states banning drag performances and other forms of gender expression. Salazar explains, “Drag, historically, has been used as a form of protest against social injustice,” this being an important time for the college to be going against the wave of censoring queer voices and expression.
The drag show will be a performance of four drag queens and one drag king. Traditionally, a drag queen is a masc-presenting person who takes on the persona of a woman in a performance setting, with a drag king being the opposite: a femme-presenting person taking on a man. The city of Buffalo is represented well in this performance; two of these queens are local queens, and the drag king is even a Canisius alum.
The other drag queens, Mrs. Kasha Davis and Tatianna, are internationally known stars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Kasha Davis can be seen on season seven and the upcoming season eight of the spinoff series “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” which welcomes past season’s favorite queens. Tatianna can be found on season two of both the original and spinoff series. Salazar notes that these queens may be two they are most looking forward to seeing in the show. The event will be “a celebration of the art of drag.”
Doors will open Friday night at 7 p.m., and the event is open to the whole Canisius community. It will be a historic moment to witness as Canisius enters a more modern era in the LGBTQ+ movement.