On Friday, April 10, Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity hosted a socially distanced version of their annual drag show starring Portland-based drag queen group Poison Waters and Friends in Taylor-Meade Auditorium. The show was organized by Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity Projects Coordinator Cal McCarthy, who said that the idea to host a drag show initially sprung from the organization’s other virtual events. 

“It originally started as kind of an extension of queer prom,” said McCarthy. “We really wanted to have an in-person element, just because a big part of the prom celebration is having interpersonal connections.” 

They also explained that putting on a drag performance is a tradition for Pacific students that CGE and the student body did not want to be interrupted as a result of COVID-19. 

“We actually did have contact with Poison from last semester,” said McCarthy. “We usually have a biannual drag show on campus… We were really excited to have some drag aspects this year to keep the tradition going.”

The show began with an exuberant performance by queen Poison Waters, who has 33 years of drag experience under her belt. 

“I get to do drag all day, all night and wherever there is a check,” Waters joked. 

Waters, along with her ensemble of Portland-based queens, came to Pacific from Darcelle XV. The club is run by the queen of the same name who holds a Guinness World Record for being the oldest and longest-performing drag queen in America. 

Waters made her entrance with a lip-sync performance of Pink’s “Bad Influence” in a sparkly, yellow ball gown followed shortly by three other queens from Darcelle XV. Cassie Nova, Syra St. James and Summer Lynne Seasons each performed three songs after Waters, the lip-sync songs ranging from Judy Cheek’s 90’s classic “Reach” to “Domino” by Jessie J. After the show, the queens all lined up on the stage for a short Q&A session. 

“I like any show that ends with a back-and-forth,” said Waters, “when you get to break down that wall and get to know each other. I love that.” — Isabelle Williams

Photo: Drag queen Poison Waters hosted April Showers Bring Gay Flowers for CGE

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Isabelle Williams is a sophomore at Pacific University who is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Theatre. She is from Astoria, Oregon, and enjoys writing political opinion pieces.

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