Celebrate Pride Week with Bucknell’s Annual Drag Ball

Kelly Troop, Contributing Writer

Bucknell University’s Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) will be hosting a Drag Ball on Saturday April 1, beginning at 8 p.m. in Uptown.

This event hosts a number of local drag queens, as well as members of the Bucknell community such as student and faculty performers. All the professional drag performers come from the State Queens, a group from the State College area. Alizee LaCreame, Dallas, Alonya Chest and Sarabesque, are all returning performers from last year’s ball. This year, the ball is also welcoming Ariana Autumn, a new performer. 

Bucknell University is a Greek life-central school, making the social scene mainly dominated by parties thrown by fraternities and sororities. Drag Ball helps to give students an energy-filled party separate from this traditional culture, and instead creates a social space for allies and members of the LGBTQ+ to meet each other and feel safe doing something they love. 

At last year’s Drag Ball, GSA gave attendees a chance to participate in traditional Drag Ball culture by throwing custom paper dollars at performers. These were available for purchase, in which the money would go towards a LGBTQ+ centered charity or organization. The event allows anyone in the audience to participate as much as they desire, with plenty of standing room and drag queen or king interaction.

This year, students are encouraged to bring real dollar bills, but GSA is still offering a chance to donate. At each event, there has been a jar to collect money to be donated to the Transgender Law Center, in light of recent legislative changes in America.

“Drag is an art form, one that comes from LGBTQ+ culture and history, but just like any other art form, and especially those that come from underrepresented groups, it is important to allow for its expression and use it as a tool of education,” Iona Pitkin ’25, GSA Vice President and incoming President, said. “Many people on campus have never been to a drag show, so this event allows for an introduction to a new culture.

“Additionally, currently throughout the country, many anti-drag bills are being presented and passed,” Pitkin continued. “Many are trying to frame drag as predatory and indecent, and making the case that exposing children to drag is going to ‘corrupt them.’”

“Drag is not inherently sexual — other forms of art (music, poetry, film, etc.) can all be sexual, but they are not always,” Pitkin said. “Having this reminder for drag is powerful and needed now that drag artists and gender nonconforming people are being further attacked. Drag Ball is going to be a very fun and energetic event, but it is also an act of resistance toward all the homophobia and transphobia that continues to plague Bucknell and the rest of the world.”

Drag Ball is the final event in a string of events part of Bucknell’s annual Pride Week, running from March 26 to April 1. To kick off the week on Sunday, the LGBTQ+ affinity Fran’s House hosted a potluck where students could bring their own dishes to share with their peers. In coordination with the upcoming annual Trans Visibility Day, GSA hosted a transgender speaker on Monday, March 27 in Walls Lounge of the ELC. 

On March 28, GSA encouraged attendees to tap into their creative side with a canvas painting night hosted at the Seventh Street Studio & Makerspace. Following their break from activities on Wednesday, this creativity continued with an art showcase in the ELC Samek Museum on March 30. This specific event was sponsored by one of GSA’s breakout groups, Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC). On Friday, the Berelson Center hosted the highly attended annual Pride Shabbat. 

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