Slippery Rock University’s RockOUT club, the campus’s LGBTQ organization, hosted their annual drag show last Wednesday night as part of Pride Week. The event, planned by RockOUT President and senior Michael Putorti, featured performers such as Lola LeCroix, Summer Frost, Angelique Young, and London Shannel, the latter being SRU senior Brandon Gilchrist.
The drag show has been in the works since May when RockOUT began planning all of the organization’s activities for Pride Week, Putorti said. Putorti explained that once the planning for the drag show began, decisions such as deciding which performers RockOUT wanted to spend their funding from Slippery Rock University’s Student Government Association (SGA) were addressed.
“We were given about $1,600 from SGA just to pay for the performers,” Putorti said. “We went over the budget and planned for all of Pride Week but with the drag show being our biggest event, we focused a great deal on planning that.”
Frost, who by day goes by Steve Andrew, said he is a bartender at Cruze Bar in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania in addition to performing in drag shows. Frost, 25, had a question and answer session where students were allowed to ask her questions on a variety of topics ranging from her outfit to how she involved in drag.
LeCroix, originally from Corry, Pennsylvania (part of Erie County), said that she travels a lot to take part in drag shows. LeCroix highlighted that she has been to a variety of big cities such as Los Angeles. She said that she was on television’s Dance Moms and proceeded to call Abby Lee Miller, the show’s dancing instructor, an expletive.
Young, from Tampa, Florida, was the primary host for the duration of the drag show and announced a majority of the performances before they started. She said that she has a degree in graphic design, though she didn’t mention from where.
Shannel was the lone SRU student who participated in the drag show. Shannel, a senior hospitality management major, has performed in the drag show every year she has been at SRU. Wednesday night’s drag show featured her final performances as a drag queen at SRU, which were met with applause from the audience.
Putorti said that he grew up in a very conservative household so being able to have inclusive events, such as the drag show, on campus makes him very “proud.”
“I was always told not to put yourself ‘out there,’ but things have definitely changed,” Putorti said. “Pride Week is all about being comfortable in your skin and just being ok with who you are.”
Putorti said that he hopes everyone who attended the drag show and who participated in Pride Week in some way can take some positivity away with them.
“Slippery Rock has always been a very diverse campus and that is why I love it here so much,” he said.
Putorti said that at the moment, everybody from RockOUT is “drained” from Pride Week. RockOUT is trying not to fall into the pattern of not doing any more events after Pride Week, he said. Putorti continued by saying that he hopes to be able to bring in more speakers and to host more socials this semester.
“November is trans awareness month,” Putorti said. “We will be co-sponsoring two transgender speakers sometime during that time.”
Putorti said that right now everything is just up in the air and will be discussed further at their executive board meeting sometime in the following week.