Leading front and center on Wednesday evening for the LGBT Center’s Drag Bingo event was Mankato’s local drag queen Princess Blue Rose. The bingo event focused on having a fun night of prizes and drag exploration.
The whole idea behind Drag Bingo was to create a “fun, engaging, and safe environment for students to express themselves,” according to Stephen Thomas, the interim director for the LGBT center.
Even the prizes focused on being fun and safe. Some of the prizes handed out were weighted stuffed plushies. Like the idea of weighted blankets, the plushies help students focus and calm down when stressed out. Other prizes included diffusers and essential oils, which can help students reduce their stress levels.
“I wanted to get prizes that students would enjoy but also help with relaxation and comfort,” said Thomas.
In addition to Drag Bingo, future drag workshops will occur throughout the semester, and the semi-annual drag show will be in the first week of April. All these ideas and events come down to being inclusive and being “student-focused,” according to Thomas.
“Students who have never done or seen drag before will get to learn about it and practice it. They can go to workshops to learn about makeup, costumes, and body design,” Thomas said.
With the drag show at the beginning of April, Thomas wanted to give students a chance to try drag through workshops that will be scheduled at the end of February and March. Students will have the opportunity to explore what drag means to themselves and others at these workshops.
The workshops also allow students to practice for the semi-annual drag show that will occur within the first week of April. Students can take the skills they learned from the workshop and show them off on stage throughout the event.
“It’s going to be important [to have these events], especially in this day and age, where drag performers are getting a bad rap,” said Thomas.
In the last few months, there has been negative media coverage of drag events within the US, so it is essential that the LGBT center offers students a way to make their own impressions of drag. Thomas wants to make sure students have time to learn what drag is and how it is done at MSU so that they can form their own opinions.
“I want people to feel welcome at these events and understand what is going to be happening with them. I want people to have a good time,” Thomas said.
Through these events, the LGBT center and Thomas want to reduce the lack of knowledge about drag and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Drag is just a fun form of entertainment, and I want people to see that. I want people to go into these events with an open mind and good energy because we want to make sure all our events are safe and welcoming for students,” Thomas stated.
Header Photo: Princess Blue Rose, pictured above, hosted a drag bingo in the upstairs Centennial Student Union yesterday night. The event had a massive turnout, as many packed into the room to play. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
Write to Kendall Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org