After a day of silence, there was a night of being loud and proud Friday on Clarion campus.
Allies hosted its fourth annual Drag-Talent Show Friday night, entertaining a nearly full Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room as part of Allies Week.
A total of 14 acts took the stage to showcase their talent, courage and support for equality to the 350-plus audience, including five professional drag queens.
Among those who performed was Miss Erie, Misty Kall. Kall performed a lip sync/dance mash-up of several Katy Perry songs.
Other professionals included Cece Dashawn, Vanity Von Vegas and Kimmi Moore from Jamestown Community College, and Sasha Alexander from Erie.
“That’s what made the show was having real professionals out there who know what they’re doing. It’s definitely going to be on our top priority list next year,” said Allies Vice President Morgan Woodin.
Friday also marked the annual Day of Silence. The audience, led by Clarion University President Karen Whitey and her spouse Peggy Apple participated in a few moments of silence to protest the silencing of LGBT people from harassment and bullying.
“I’m proud of the students for getting out and engaging on drag,” said Whitney. “What’s extremely impressive to me is all the different university groups that come together in a show of unity and support.”
Student performers competed for first, second and third place prizes.
Winners were determined via live text voting. After the first try at voting ended with the online poll freezing, Allies got the professional drag queens to judge winners based on crowd reaction.
However, after more deliberation the online polls were tried again. The second try also resulted in the polls freezing after a certain amount of votes. Since the votes were consistent with the first round, the results stood.
Easton West (Allies President Katie Ellinger) featuring Butta (Angelina Rodkey) took first place for their take on Angel Haze’s “Same Love Remix.”
Second place went to Flynn Neptune (Janet Calipo) for her rendition of “One and Only” by Adele and Butta and the Funk Intervention (Angelina Rodkey and backup singers) took third place for their cover of Mick Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.”
“We had tried it, and it worked, but we didn’t try it with a large crowd,” said Woodin on the voting system. “Hopefully we can get that fixed for next year. I know it frustrated a lot of people.”
Woodin and Ellinger said they wanted audience members to take with them in mind that Allies “has fun.”
“We’re obviously about promoting equality, but we try to have fun. That’s the whole purpose of having a drag show, to cap off the end of the year with a great event,” Woodin said.
“Our main thing is that we can get people together in one space and there’s no name calling or insults. We are full of diversity,” Ellinger said. “We just want to see people as people.”