Drag show raises fraternity scholarship money

Kara Taylor

An eager and excited audience cheered as the 6-foot-3 Mary-Kate Rockafeller graced the stage in a glittery, blue body suit and stole the show as she performed Gloria Gaynor’s disco hit, “I Will Survive.”

Gaynor, who later performed a Miley Cyrus hit, danced up and down the aisles and entertained the 100-plus people in the Kiva Monday night as Kent State’s chapter of Delta Lambda Phi hosted its annual drag show to raise scholarship money for its members.  

“I have performed in every drag show event we have ever had here on campus,” said Rockafeller, whose off-stage identity is Jonas Birch, a member of the Kent State’s Delta Lambda Phi fraternity. “I helped create this program, so it is very near and dear to my heart.”  

The show opened with commentary from Rockafeller, who hosted the program.  As the audience entered the Kiva high energy techno-pop music blasted through the speakers to create an exciting atmosphere.

During the show, one queen would perform a lip-synched song with a dance routine and joke with the other queens between acts.

The other queens that performed in the show were brothers in the fraternity. Delta Lambda Phi, an international social fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, requests its brothers perform in the shows instead of asking people outside of the brotherhood.

Dakota Stephens, president of Delta Lambda Phi, said the annual show is a traditional past members brought to campus.

Stephens said the event was created by  alumnus, and they strive to make the drag queen show event that takes place every year. Kyle Dunn, the sergeant in arms service director and brotherhood director of the Delta Lambda Phi, said the fraternity is the only one on campus who organizes a drag show.

“I think this will be a big step towards the LGBTQ presence here on campus because most of them know what a drag queen show is, and appreciate it,” Dunn said. “If you have the right drag queens you will have an amazing show.”

Dunn said this event was special to him as he was in its planning and execution stages from the beginning.

“During the planning we had to pick a good time and day for the event, how we were going to sell tickets and designing posters and tickets,” said Kyle Dunn. “I actually designed the tickets and the posters myself, and we had to make sure the event was promoted effectively.”

William Mathews-Rufus, an alum of the chapter and member of the fraternity, said the in addition to the planning, the talent and crowd interaction make the event a yearly success.

“I am an alumnus of the chapter that is hosting the event, I love the crowd interaction with the drag queen,” said William Mathews-Ruff, an alum of Kent State and member of fraternity. “If you have a good drag queen she will spark a positive energy throughout the audience.

Audience members expressed their love and excitement for the drag queens and the show.

“I previously went to the sex week drag queen show and they are always very fun and entertaining, I love them,” said Andrea Cotugno, a freshman fashion design major. “I am looking forward to the performance tonight.”

Contact Kara Taylor at [email protected].