The University of Indianapolis canceled the 15th annual drag show, previously announced as one of the largest campus events, that was supposed to take place on March 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UIndy Pride Co-Chair and senior anthropology major Jordan Borden, the cancellation of the event is a disappointment not only for him, but for other performers in the show.
“It puts me in a sad mood and [makes me] depressed, I would say, because it is such a huge event,” Borden said. “It’s great to see people come out and support performers, like myself and others. I’m sad that I’m not able to perform, but what I’m really sad about is the rest of these performers. The rest of these people who might be doing this for the first time, or might be doing this for the last time.”
The event intended to include a contestant from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Alexis Michelle, as a performer. In previous years, the drag show has included guest performances, the 12th annual show had guest singer-songwriter Boy Gorge, according to the Reflector archives. UIndy Pride Co-Chair and senior music education major Emily Larmore said she is upset that people are not going to witness the hard work that everyone put into preparing for the drag show.
“It was really upsetting,” Larmore said. “The entire [UIndy] Pride Board has been working their butts off along with Theatre Pride… to make the drag show what it is. There was a lot of meetings, collaboration, planning. It’s just a crazy amount of work.”
The UIndy drag show is being rescheduled for a two-day event during the next school year and new performers are encouraged to try out for the event, Larmore said. As for the location, according to Borden, the drag show will remain in Ransburg Auditorium. In previous years, the drag show has donated its proceeds to charity and will continue to for the rescheduled event, according to Larmore.
“What we do is we switch [charities] year from year,” Larmore said. “Last year, we donated to IYG, which is the Indiana Youth Group. They help local LBGTQ kids who have been kicked out of their homes when they come out, or just have really bad situations due to their sexuality or gender orientation. We made about $1,500 for IYG last year. Then this year we, or this next upcoming drag show, we’re going to be donating to Gender Nexus, which focuses on donations to nonbinary and transgender individuals.”
While the cancelation of UIndy’s drag show was upsetting amongst the pride community on campus, Larmore said she wants people to remember that they are not alone and to continue to look forward to the upcoming rescheduled show.
“You’re totally not alone,” Larmore said. “We really appreciate all the support and enthusiasm the drag show has gotten. It’s been announced [as] the largest campus event for the past 14 years. We’re definitely not going to let you down next time it comes up and we’re going to make it bigger and better than ever.”