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It’s to die for: SWANS hosts their first ever drag show

Lisa Lilianstrom, Staff Writer

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When Alana McKirahan was six years old she was diagnosed with social anxiety, since then she has always tried different things that are out of her comfort zone, one of them was competing in SWANS’ (Students Who Are Not Silent) first ever drag show.

“I wanted others who deal with the same problems look at me and hopefully that can inspire them to get out of their comfort zone, as well as see that things do get better,” McKirahan said. “I also wanted to do the drag show because I always liked the concept of drag. I always wanted to see myself as a male so this show gave me the opportunity to bring that to life.”

The drag show took place on April 27, and the theme of the show was based on the Seven Deadly Sins. McKirahan went by the name Dante Royale and represented Wrath, Justin Contreras went by Shanita Dee and represented Greed, Jay Harmon went by Suzy Saturday and represented Sloth, Tyson Jenkins went by White Mystery and represented Lust, Erin Humpfer went by Daddy Trumpfer and represented Gluttony, Kay Wendt went by Kitty Flawless and represented Pride, and Maggie Sherman went by A Lesbian named Samara and represented Envy.

Prior to the drag show Wendt did not have much experience with the drag community but with help of her fellow contestants, she learned how to make her character her own.

“My fellow drag stars showed me many drag examples,” Wendt said. “I ended up with the sin Pride and I decided I would go hyper-feminine because I am a tomboy. As I was looking around why don’t I go with a Hollywood actress? They have the sass and spark, and at the end of the day, that’s exactly what I was doing.”

The competition consisted of a fashion show and lip sync battles. They started off with individual lip sync battles which the judges scored and then they chose the final four to move forward in a lip sync face-off.

Humpfer was a last minute addition to the cast when a contestant had to drop out early from the show. Prior to the show, Humpfer had never seen any drag performances not even on TV.

“It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I love the fact that it is inclusive and that anyone is welcome, and it doesn’t matter what their sexuality is, it doesn’t matter what their gender is anyone is welcome to the show and anyone is welcome to do drag,” Humpfer said.

During the judging process, College Programming Board president, Kayla Tackett, challenged SWANS’ president and host, Ismael Cordova (Coura Dova), to a lip sync battle where they sang “Its Raining Men”.

Ultimately the winner was Contreras (Shanita Dee), he went home with the crown and a $500 dollar scholarship. The winning contestant did a celebratory dance and the crowd celebrated and danced to the music.

“The whole show is just to be fun and show the colors that Elgin Community College has. I hope people who have never seen a drag show come so they get out of their confront zone. I know the people who come will definitely enjoy it,” Wendt said.

When asked if she would do it again McKirahan said she would because of how much fun it was.

“The whole process was so much fun,” McKirahan said. “I was always so excited on our practice days. I will admit that sometimes were tough during practices, but overall it was amazing and I would love to experience it again.”

About the Writer
Lisa Lilianstrom, Writer and Photographer
My name is Lisa Lilianstrom and I am getting my Associate in Arts degree with an intent to transfer and major in Journalism. Besides the Observer I am also the service officer in United Students of All Cultures (USAC), I am also an ally for the LGBTQ+ club Students Who Are Not Silent (S.W.A.N.S), I...
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It’s to die for: SWANS hosts their first ever drag show