Behind the Success of the Night of the Living Drag Show

All seats were filled five minutes before the start Night of the Living Drag Show on Friday, Oct. 28. When the show started, so many people had flooded the Centennial Room in the Nebraska Union that the emcee had to remind attendees to move away from the door because blocking the exit was a fire hazard.

Extensive planning goes into making the fall drag show a notable event that students, faculty, staff and community members return to attend each year. From the music and lights to the bake sale, costume contest and volunteers, the coordination makes the event run flawlessly. Volunteers spend countless hours making timelines, meeting deadlines and reviewing every detail to help make the drag show a spectacular event.

Promotions for the event started early with a mini drag show in The Crib during Party at the Union in August. In September, the How to Do Drag Workshop offers information and techniques to assist those who are interested in performing.

The LGBTQA+ Resource Center works with both Spectrum and OASIS to host the show, which began in fall of 2011. The first show took place in the Unity Room of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, but due to the popularity of the show, it was moved to the Centennial Room the following year. The bigger space also allowed for the use of a runway.

“We saw the fashion show had a runway, so we thought, we can do that! Ever since then it’s been in the Centennial Room and they set up the runway for us to use,” said Director of LGBTQA+ Resource Center Pat Tetreault.

Although the event gives students the opportunity to experience and see a drag show, a primary purpose of the event is to raise money for students to attend the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC), which will take place in Chicago this year.

During performances the room was electric; attendees energetically clapped and tipped and cheered on the performers.

“It’s a lot of fun," said Tetreault. "It’s a great way for students to both experience expressing gender in a different way as well as witnessing people express gender in a different way."

StudentsDiversity and InclusionOASISLGBTQA+