Kent State vs University of Akron Charity Drag Show

Nicholas Garisto

Kent State and the University of Akron hosted the first annual charity drag competition at the Interbelt club in Akron Sunday night.

The charity event was a collaboration between Kent LGBTQ Student Center President Ken Ditlevson and President of Akron LGBTQA, Julie Ann Boylen.

“We are here to start a new tradition between our two schools,” said Ditlevson. This competition was the “inaugural battle of the wagon wheel,” as Ditlevson put it, to raise awareness for the two charities that the proceeds of the event went to.

Kent’s charity was the LGBTQ centers emergency fund, which provides LGBTQ identifying students as much as $500 in cases where parents or guardians shun them for their identified sexuality.

Akron’s charity was for Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative. They are a “nonprofit organization dedicated to HIV support services and LGBTQ advocacy in Summit and Portage counties” according to the organization’s website. Boylen was very excited to raise awareness about the organization.

“I’m so happy I’m doing Jazz Hands,” said Boylen, “CANAPI provides so much for our community and it means so much to be able to help them continue to offer those needed services.”

By the end of the night, the charities split the 793 dollars raised between the two of them, according to Boylen.

Each school had five contestants for the competition. The first round of contestants lip-synced renditions of their favorite songs to a panel of five judges. The judges then eliminated six of the contestants to have two from Kent State and two for the University of Akron.

A winner from each school was crowned Mx, a Mr/Ms gender neutral title. The two finalists were Tatiana James from the University of Akron and Demi Sexton from Kent State.

The first annual Wagon Wheel was awarded to Kent State’s Demi Sexton.

Nicholas Garisto is the Women and Gender Issues reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]