Rainbow confetti rained down on hundreds of students as they waved dollars at drag queens in glitzy, showstopping costumes. Iconic voices roaring over the speakers were brought to life on stage as each performer embodied pop royalty like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, P!nk and Rihanna, each performer taking turns owning the stage and creating energy in the crowd.
“I haven’t been to a show where they’ve been that loud in quite a while,” said performer Xotica Erotica. “The people at Cal State Fullerton, they really appreciate drag and they love what they see. They’re just very welcoming. It feels amazing for us as entertainers to just come out and have all that energy and the audience roaring.”
Xotica Erotica was one of six Orange County queens who came out to indulge in the audience’s cheers and encouragement during the third annual drag show Wednesday in the Student Housing Piazza. The event was a collective effort by the Resident Student Association (RSA) and the LGBTQ Resource Center, and was created in celebration of LGBT History Month.
In addition to representatives from the center providing information to students, free HIV testing and condoms were available to students.
RSA’s very own Flora Fauntay, who first debuted her drag persona in April, opened the show with a thrilling rendition of Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” to an adoring audience.
Flora Fauntay gravitated toward the crowd more often than the stage while also hosting the entirety of the production, popping in and out throughout the show, introducing each performance.
CSUF alumna Alessandra Divine brought comedy into her performances as she came out to Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” with a recording of a firefighter interrupting the lyrics in concern as she continues belting “this girl is on fire.”
As Alessandra Divine collected tips from the audience, she excitedly commented that it was “all going back to food.” She also jokingly threw shade at the other queens throughout the show.
Queens Nikki Licious and Mahaliah Nakita made stunning entrances in their sparkling, intricate outfits. Additionally, Alexa Angel was welcomed to the CSUF stage for the first time, dancing and grinding to “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea.
Nikki Licious revived Perry’s “Teenage Dream” era as she performed a medley from the album, encouraging the audience to sing along. The queen also came back later in the show with Eiffel 65’s “I’m Blue,” walking confidently across the piazza in silver bedazzled boots.
Nikki-liscious channels her inner Katy Perry! pic.twitter.com/z6KisvzEkL
— Daily Titan (@thedailytitan) October 19, 2017
Mahaliah Nakita, Miss OC Pride and activist, channelled both Rihanna and P!nk during performances.
A few students in the crowd were called to stage halfway through the show, some dressed in drag to perform in the “Lip Sync for the Crown” segment of the show. Random songs were chosen as each student had their on-stage moment. Many performed jaw-dropping moves, doing cartwheels and splits for the audience.
The drag show was planned to help raise awareness of a subculture of the LGBTQ community.
The Resident Student Association has a special budget for bringing community events that allow students to connect with others, learn and grow.
The drag show serves as a community event each year, and the LGBTQ Resource Center on campus advocates for those exploring their sexual orientation, romantic orientation and gender identity.
“I think it’s important that people see different ways that you can express your gender identity and define what it means for you,” said community coordinator Sal Ramirez. “We’re in an era where we’re starting to be more progressive and being open to different mindsets, and sometimes students just need a little push.”
Alexa Angel appreciated the opportunity to show what LGBTQ culture is really like.
“People look at it so negatively, and they don’t really see the artistic things that come out of it,” Alexa Angel said.
Resident Advisor Josh Borjas said events like these allow students to experience something new and different, which enhances the college experience.
“Some people, they have heard of gay, lesbian, transgender, queer people only through the media,” Borjas said. “I think having people of that community come out and just celebrate and have an event similar to this, can really humanize those identities and make it less of a foreign or scary thing.”
Flora Fauntay and the other queens thanked Ramirez for bringing drag to campus and providing a platform to embrace themselves. Flora Fauntay announced that the show would be her and Ramirez’ last at CSUF.
“I want to thank you all, whether you’re straight, you’re gay, whatever in between, for accepting us all here at Cal State Fullerton, and loving us and giving us all your energy,” Alessandra Divine said. “At the end, we’re all just one. We’re all human, so let’s just love each other and live life to the fullest.”