Staff dresses in drag for GSA’s annual Drag Ball

Rachel Chou, Campus Life Editor

Nearly 100 people showed up for the annual Drag Ball hosted at Uptown Nightclub on March 27. Co-sponsored by Uptown and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), it involved music, dancing, professional and student drag queens, and a special surprise guest.


Taylor Brooks ’15 is the Vice President of GSA and was the primary person who planned the event, with help from her fellow GSA executive members Reid McLain ’17, Taylor Lyles ’17, Turner Stulting ’16, and Nicole Srbin ’16.


“I think the event went really well on Friday. Unfortunately, because we are a small, diversity-based group, we tend to draw a smaller crowd. To hear from people on the Uptown staff that we had that big of a crowd made me incredibly happy and proud both of myself and of our community. People very easily could have chosen other places to spend their Friday night during this specific weekend but instead, they chose to spend it with us at this diversity event,” Brooks said.


The event provided an alternative to the Greek social scene that was occurring on that particularly reputable weekend.


“This weekend has a reputation around Bucknell and it certainly isn’t always a positive experience for diverse students on campus. We wanted a space for people to come and seek entertainment while learning about and enjoying a bit of diversity,” Brooks said.


Drag culture is an important part of queer culture that allows people to express an important part of their identity. It’s entertaining, yet also educates those who may not necessarily be exposed to these issues in their daily lives. This year’s drag ball featured professional drag queen, Kierra Darshell; this was her fourth time performing. According to Brooks, she “yet again, delivered a hilarious, entertaining, and captivating show.”


Director of Campus Activities and Programs Mike Duignan was the special guest of the night. Prior to the event, students had started a petition to get Duignan dressed up in drag, obtaining over 200 signatures. “Heels are the worst,” Duignan said.


Regardless, Duignan says he would definitely do it again.


“I think it’s important to put yourself out there for the students. One of my main jobs is to find ways to connect and support students and their organizations here at Bucknell,” Duignan said. 


“The most interesting takeaway is how all dresses fit you differently, and how that plays with your thought process and self image. In the end everyone should not look around at others or look at their dress size for beauty. The only looking they need to do is in the mirror each and every day,” Duignan said.

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