As he threw his wig into the crowd, Minor Misdemeanor brought Britney Spearsâ€™ and other pop artistsâ€™ flair to CSU, stripping out of a makeshift Target bag dress down to straps of leather and bold dance moves on the Lory Student Center Main Ballroomâ€™s stage Saturday night.
A performer from Tracks, Denverâ€™s premiere GLBT nightclub, Minor Misdemeanor, or Sebastian Mazur, brought sex to the stage, whipping glitter into the air and onto the crowd as the â€œplace about to blowâ€ from Ke$haâ€™s song â€œBlow.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t know Target bags could look so d*** sexy,â€ said one of the nightâ€™s emcees, Esther Daniels. And as the crowd stood in one of the nightâ€™s few standing ovations, it was clear they agreed.Â
With a flourish of leather, sequins and black lingerie, the Spring Drag Show brought volunteer queens and kings from across Colorado to strut their fashions for a crowd of more than 1,000 people â€“ one of the largest turnouts in the eventâ€™s history.
Organized by the Student Organization for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender, the drag show is a night for individual expression and fun, not labels or social binaries.
â€œAnyone can be anything they want to be tonight,â€ SOGLBT president Jess Cytron yelled to the crowd, and with all ages in the audience, the event showed the life and energy the GLBT community and its allies have in Fort Collins.Â
The event also did its part to help the community at large, donating part of the the nightâ€™s proceeds â€“â€“ which totaled $2,212 â€“â€“ to the Northern Colorado AIDS Project, a local non-profit organization that helps issue HIV/AIDS tests and medical care to the Northern Colorado population.Â
Itâ€™s that donation, said SOGLBT treasurer Richard Senser, which means a lot to the groupâ€™s officers.
â€œAll the money goes to a non-profit organization, but that organization advocates for us (the GLBT community),â€ he said. And by promoting their work, the event helped get NCAPâ€™s message out to more than 1,000 people â€“â€“ an accomplishment Senser said SOGLBT is glad to help with.
According to Cytron, NCAP representatives estimated it would be able to purchase at least 50 HIV tests with the eventâ€™s proceeds.Â
Aside from the profits, the drag show was a celebration not only of the GLBT community but also of its allies and their support, Cytron said.
And of course, it was about the style each volunteer brought to the stage.
In what she called â€œsexercise,â€ Jane Fondel, or Andrew Griffin, a senior at CSU, led a workout that took his neon latex-wearing crew through moves like â€œhumping jacks,â€ â€œbend and snapsâ€ and of course, â€œscissor sisters.â€
A true gym leader, she sprayed the performers and audience with water as the crew burned through the raunchy workout.Â
SOGLBT leaders took the stage too, with Cytron, or Trey Songz, bringing male drag out with â€œBottoms Up,â€ a first for Cytron.Â
â€œI felt like I wasnâ€™t myself,â€ she said of being on stage. â€œIt was like I had stepped into a different person. I didnâ€™t feel like Jess, but like Trey Songz.â€
Sassy Leprel, Senser, donned her heels and faded jeans and styled her red mohawk to new heights, proving to the crowd with her fellow performers and edgy dance moves that she was â€œbulletproof,â€ as La Roux sang over the loud speakers.
In the midst of the â€œhot hot messâ€ backstage, as Senser described it, â€œâ€¦ you can see every performer before they go on standing in a sort of trance or in a zone.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re so focused on the task at hand, â€¦ going through (their) routine over and over,â€ he said.
But while they strive for perfection, Senser said it wasnâ€™t about a flawless act but about the courage to get out there and perform.
â€œThe audience isnâ€™t there to boo you off the stage,â€ he said. â€œThe drag show is meant to show who we are and that weâ€™re proud of who we are.â€
â€œItâ€™s incredible to have a bunch of friends and not be judged,â€ said Gabe Ortiz, the DJ for the event.
â€œThey have an open heart here, and so much unconditional love,â€ he said of SOGLBT, the expression of which has kept him coming back to help with the show each semester.
For Cytron, itâ€™s about highlighting not only the GLBT communityâ€™s talent, but also the spirit and support it offers its members.
â€œWhen people walk into the ballroom, no matter how they identify, seeing 1,000 plus people, the enormity of the event, is moving in itself,â€ she said.
â€œAs a whole, itâ€™s about the support, â€¦ the cause and helping the community,â€ she said, â€œbecause when youâ€™re a community like ours, youâ€™ve got to have something like this.â€
â€œIâ€™m proud as hell to be a part of this organization,â€ Senser said.
Design Editor and Copy Chief Alexandra Sieh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.