Washburn hosts Gaypril drag show


Roni Simeon

Jaharia Vondu’s first round performance. Washburn University Gaypril’s Drag Show, entitled “Hello Darling,” took place April 15, 2022.

On Friday, April 15, Washburn Student Government Association teamed up with Washburn University’s Office of University Diversity and Inclusion as well as Washburn Queers & Allies to host a Gaypril drag show. The event was held in the Bradbury-Thompson Alumni Center at 7 p.m.

Six drag queens from Kansas City were invited to perform at the show. Both WSGA and Queers & Allies were looking to bring a different experience to Washburn.

“This event is one: important for campus. And two: important for people to get out there and experience something they may have never experienced before,” said Megan Dorantes, diversity and inclusion director for WSGA. “I just wanted to bring the art and culture on campus and overall celebrate Gaypril.”

Anticipating great performances, the audience roared when the first queen, KiYanna Uchawi, was introduced. Uchawi danced around the room, mesmerizing the audience and continued as the host of the show to introduce other queens.

Uchawi has been in stage performance for 20 years and started drag in 2020.

“As a queer person, going to the bars and watching ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ on TV when I was a kid, since season one, it was everything,” Uchawi said. “I’ve always wanted to be a drag queen and just perform. It’s just so much fun.”

During the show, the queens walked into the room with poise, dressed in extravagant costumes, capturing every eye. Each of them showed off their talents, which included dancing, dropping into splits and even doing flips throughout their performances. They danced to songs by Cardi B, Doja Cat, Lizzo and Evanescence. Every step they took was watched carefully by the audience, each thrilled to see what would happen next.

“For me, it’s about making people smile and feel something. That’s the point of drag. It’s to show that we’re just people with wigs on and we like to dress up and show our fantasy. If you can live for that fantasy, then we can have a party,” Uchawi said.

To finish the show, the drag queens took the stage for their final performance of the night. Afterwards, they happily opened the floor to meet the audience members and talk about the show.

“This was everything, everything. I loved this,” said drag queen and artist Zanny Ex.

Dorantes was excited with the outcome of the event and glad it happened.

“My voice is out. My bank account is empty and I will be awake until tomorrow. This was my first time going so, the cherry has been popped. I am no longer a drag show virgin and I enjoyed every bit of it,” Dorantes said.

After the turnout, both WSGA and Queers & Allies hope to have another show next year.

Edited by: Simran Shrestha, Kyle Manthe, Glorianna Noland

Writer Bio: Aja Carter, [email protected], is a sophomore contemporary journalism major.