Daisy Perez, Scene Senior Reporter

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Jack Lambert
A young boy attended his very first play, Cinderella, at the McConnell Auditorium. He watched intently at the stage as Cinderella transitioned into her iconic sparkling ball gown. It was one of those big moments for him when he realized being on stage could be magical.

That little boy grew up to become Aquasha DeLusty.

She said that her first drag show 15 years ago was a “hot mess.” She wore bright blue eye shadow up to her eyebrows. While performing to a song by Britney Spears, she whipped her head back and her wig came off. She thought, ‘[Eff] it, just go with it!’

DeLusty has directed a lot of shows for community theatre. She said she has grown as a performer and an artist; she is now a professional drag queen. DeLusty will be one of the co-hosts of this year’s Professional Drag Show.

One drag show at CWU that stood out to her was when an audience member brought their young daughter to the show.

“I wasn’t expecting it at a college show,” DeLusty said. “If I would have been exposed to drag shows [at a young age] I would have ended up there at some point in my early years if that had been happening when I lived in Ellensburg. [The girl] danced right along with me.”

In the past, drag show audience members have attended the shows dressed in drag or have come with friends to see what the show is all about. There is a welcome speech at the beginning of the show to let the audience know that everything is light-hearted and nothing is meant in the spirit of malice. Everything is meant to entertain audience members and forget the troubles of the day.

“Some [students] have their first drag experience at the Central show…freshman especially [because] it’s their first time away from home,” DeLusty said. “Some of them have never heard or seen what a drag queen is, then they see the show and it’s like, ‘Oh, wow!’”

DeLusty and her co-host, Jenuwine Beauté, will introduce everyone who is set to perform and keep the crowd entertained.

“The CWU drag show is my favorite show of the year…It’s the one big show I look forward to,” DeLusty said. “It’s all about having fun and celebrating yourself.”

Beauté and DeLusty became the co-hosts for the show when they were approached by CWU alumni Tina Sparkle, who was the president of EQuAl. Sparkle told them that she and Beauté should consider co-hosting the show because they would be fun. They have now co-hosted for about nine years.

DeLusty said that students and community members should attend because “Drag is a huge part of the queer culture…and it’s a celebration. We’re kind of the welcome wagon to the LGBT community.”

Beauté agreed and added that the show “provides a fun atmosphere and it broadens your mind.”

Cole Gilomen, a senior majoring in elementary education, with a minor in teaching English as a second language, is the publicity coordinator for EQuAl. Gilomen is organizing this year’s two drag shows: one with professionals and one with amateurs.

He joined EQuAl because he wanted “to find a way to get more involved in the LGBT community…and doing so gave me a great outlet for meeting more of the community.”

He expects crowd of 70 people for the Amateur Drag Show and about 800 people for the Professional Drag Show. The Professional Drag Show will feature six highly skilled drag queens and kings from all over the Pacific Northwest. The winner of the Amateur Drag Show will perform again the night of the Professional Drag Show.

The Glow with Pride Dance is another event for Pride Week. Ryley Brunn, an undeclared freshman, is the organizer for the event. Brunn became the organizer for the dance because of his participation in EQuAl. He will be next year’s president of EQuAL.

Brunn joined EQuAl because he came from a high school in a conservative region. The school didn’t have any club or any way for Brunn to get more involved with the LGBTQ community.

When he was driving into Ellensburg before he started fall quarter, he saw that “there were all these Trump signs and then there was the KKK… [And I thought] what am I doing here? I should transfer.”

Brunn has four other people helping organize the event. They reached out to the high schools to invite students to the dance. Brunn spoke to someone from the office and asked if the school had a queer club they could speak to. The person asked what he meant. Brunn was in awe at the lack of knowledge of what queer means.

“I think it’s an important topic and people should be educated on terms,” Brunn said.

Brunn said that everyone from the community should attend the dance to have fun and relieve some stress before finals. He expects 50 people to attend.

The Glow with Pride Dance is a casual event that will have glow sticks, neon and of course, dancing.

“I’m just really excited to be with people who share the common goal of just accepting people for who they are and having fun,” Brunn said.

The Amateur Drag Show will be on June 2 in the SURC West Patio at 11 a.m. The Professional Drag show is also on June 2 but will be held in the SURC ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Both shows are free to all students.

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