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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

YJAB Drag Brunch displays fusion of local and student drag artistry

Cleveland+drag+performer+Monica+Lexin+and+BW+student+drag+performer+Troian+Butler+host+Drag+Brunch.++
Bryanna Feagler
Cleveland drag performer Monica Lexin and BW student drag performer Troian Butler host Drag Brunch.

The Yellow Jacket Activity Board hosted Drag Brunch on Nov. 18 at the Student Activity Center featuring Cleveland talents alongside BW’s own, Troian Butler, also known as Bowie Prime.

“Drag brunches are a really fun way to spend the afternoon, between performances and great food, there’s a lot to talk to both talk to friends and watch the performers,” Butler said.

YJAB collaborated on this event with BW’s Theatre’s Art & Performance organization. Cleveland performers, Monica Lexin, Dacota Cox, Joliee Blak and Pineapple Honeydew Delight, also took the stage.

Butler said that from his experience, drag brunches tend to be interactive.

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“The hosts love to talk to their audience, and the performers usually spend more time performing in the audience than on a stage or platform,” Butler said.

Jillian Smith, a junior political science student and co-coordinator for the event, worked to have local catering from Sips and Such Social House located in Middleburg Heights.

“We heavily emphasize supporting local people,” Smith said. “The drag queens we got are from the Cleveland area and working with our local businesses, so we like to highlight that and try to help them out as if we are like one community trying to work together to bring this to life.”

Geneviéve Carreño, senior arts management student and co-coordinator for the event, said the inspiration for the event stemmed from the activity board receiveiving feedback to have drag performances, as well as making an effort to implement more weekend programming.

Carreño said that as the initiative is not only part of YJAB, but also a BW and Division of Student Affairs initiative, they knew they would have the right resources to host the performers.

“I know that atmosphere of drag performances is just to support other people,” Carreño said. “I think the event will be such a supportive, welcoming, inclusive and fun environment.”

Butler also said that lately he has seen discourse condemning drag performers and calling them “threats.”

“I hope people are able to see that we are just people who want to share art and support each other,” Butler said.

Butler said he became involved with the queer community in Cleveland during his sophomore year at BW. From there, he was incredibly moved by the supportive drag community and how many different opportunities there were to perform.

“The first drag performer I saw was Ryder Slowly, who just performed at the 24 Hour Theatre Festival here at BW. He really knows how to work a crowd, and it was amazing as someone with a background in theatre to see that for the first time,” Butler said.

Butler said a lot of his drag has been learning to not care about judgments of other people and to not be scared to be himself without fear of that perception.

“Drag has helped me to fully experience queer and Asian joy and share that with an audience of really supportive and amazing folks,” Butler said.

Butler’s advice for those new to attending the drag events is to immerse themselves into the scene, watch more drag and talk to people. Butler said that it is also important to keep an open mind going to these performances.

The event can also serve as an opportunity for students who are interested in doing drag for a career to start building a network, Carreño said.

“I think that students who are thinking about turning their passion for drag into a career could attend the drag events like this and see how they work through the process of getting there and what it looks like,” Smith said.

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