“It’s really difficult because I spent the first five or six years of my life on a stage as a woman and then I was living as a man,” Angelique Young, drag show host and queen, said.
Young has been the host of RockOUT’s annual drag show for six consecutive years. She first got involved with drag when she visited a club in Pittsburgh during her college years. Young said that was one of her first experiences with drag queens and she thought ‘oh my God this is awesome.’
“I was like, I can do that,” Young said. “I went to the Halloween store, bought an angel costume and a pair of heels and was like ‘I’m a drag queen, hi’ and I thought that I was the shit.”
Young hosted the night, telling stories, answering questions and introducing her fellow drag queens. Along Young, three other queens performed, one of them being an SRU Alumni.
Jade Uzumaki, Phoenix Fatale and Silver Uzumaki, mother of Jade, were among the other drag queen performers at the event in celebration of Pride Week.
RockOUT’s President Frankie Walker, a junior public relations major, said that it’s important for the community to have a big celebration throughout the week.
“I celebrate Pride Week every week of my life,” Walker said.
Similar to Walker, Young emphasized celebrating little things that happened in life, which led her to see silver linings during her transition. Although, Young was not as entirely successful as she would have hoped in her first pagent, placing fourth. She returned to the pagent the following year and has won every pagent she’s been in since then.
“If you fail the first time, don’t give up,” Young said. “The chances are, if you keep doing it, you’ll be better than most people.”
Similar to Young, Phoeniz Fatale, an SRU alumni and a coach of SRU cheer, emphasized the importance of finding your worth. During the Q&A session, Fatale gave students advice on how to focus on what makes them happy.
“Focus on what you can do to improve yourself,” Fatale said. “If you learn to love yourself then other people can learn to love you.”
A similar theme about loving yourself and your image emerged during the Q&A session as Silver Uzumaki told a story about how she sometimes would go to the grocery store with blind contacts and draw on cat whiskers because she felt like being a cat that day.
“Be yourself,” Uzumaki said. “When you look in the mirror and are happy with yourself, no one can take that away from you.”
A unique factor was added to Uzumaki’s performance when she said she wanted to be introduced as “Voldemort’s girlfriend, from the fiery pits of hell and mother of all ghouls.”
Finding their look didn’t always come easy to the queens. Jade Uzumaki, daughter of Silver, has been doing drag for about 10 months and originally wanted to be a pretty drag queen and do pageants. However, she said that came to end when she learned she couldn’t dance.
Inspiration struck when Jade Uzumaki took a trip to Colombus, Ohio which has an alternative drag scene.
“I realized that I loved alternative drag,” Jade Uzumaki said. “I love being death, spooky and pretty.”
Jade Uzumaki said that when she tells people her name, the reference is always to Naruto, however, she claims that aside from the clips on YouTube, she has never watched anime and just found her way in an anime family.
Similar to Jade Uzumaki, Phoenix has a childhood story that helped to shape her drag persona. When Britney Spears first came out with Oops I Did it Again, Phoenix watched the video over and over again until it broke.
“I think that’s when Phoenix was born,” she said.
Phoenix started doing drag about five and half years ago but had entered the drag scene as a backup dancer for her friends that were queens when she was 18 and has grown close to her group of friends in the gay community.
“Surround yourself with a good group of friends that you feel 100% yourself around,” Phoenix said. “Whenever you feel yourself, and you’re being yourself then you can express yourself and not feel judgment from people.”
President of RockOUT, Walker, said that the club is a sanctuary for anyone, and students don’t have to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to join it.
All four queens that performed were enthusiastically welcomed by the audience. Young, hopes to come back to the drag show next year to host and perform again.
“I love it,” Young said. “I’m very happy. It changed my entire lifestyle this year and I’ve never been happier.”