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  • The Griffin

Important conversations at Canisius’ first drag show

By Maddy Lockwood, Assistant Features Editor

Last week, I wrote a club spotlight and event teaser highlighting Unity and the first drag show ever being held at Canisius College. This week I am back to report that the production, emceed by internationally famous drag queen Mrs. Kasha Davis, wasn’t just a performance, but an important conversation about individuality, self-acceptance, sobriety and reconciliations.

Mrs. Kasha Davis opened the night with crowd interactions and amicably poking fun at those who dared to sit in the front rows, drawing attention to Dr. Jonathan Lawrence, a religious studies professor, who bravely sat front and center. Drawing the audience in was no great feat; she made her grand entrance, sparkling in a true Canisius blue and gold floor-length gown and a voluptuous bright orange hairstyle. Intertwined in the dialogue with the crowd were some dad jokes, and more importantly, commentary on drag’s place in this world and its importance to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Mrs. Kasha Davis commended our campus and the progress that we show in allowing this show to happen. She even acknowledged the irony of a drag show happening in a performance center which previously served as a Catholic church. This drag show happening in a time where almost ten states across the country are actively implementing and drafting anti-drag laws. Mrs. Kasha Davis summed up her thoughts in a concise and powerful way, saying, “Drag is not a crime.”

While I focused on the dad jokes being told, (and how many I could steal) most others were impressed by her multiple fabulous dresses as she changed between each performance. Aside from the fantastic performances put on by the drag queens and king, there were real and important conversations that arose. Mrs. Kasha Davis shared her experience getting sober, her past eight years of sobriety and her journey of acceptance with both her family and herself. None of which were lighthearted, but rather a moment of silence in the audience as she showed that drag can be more than a loud expression of art.

Following two performances from each of the queens and king, there was a question and answer portion moderated by the Unity Executive Board. The conversation followed all of the performers’s journeys throughout their careers. They all shared personal anecdotes of how drag has influenced their lives until this point and messages of positivity for those who want to get into drag performing and who want to express the truest versions of themselves. And so, the night finally closed out with a hopeful message for future drag shows at this school.

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