Studs in stilettos

Bryan Wroten

Drag Ball entertains crowd, raises money

Host Shari Turner performed The Cardigans’ “Love Fool,” opening Kent State’s Fourth Annual Drag Ball at the Rathskeller last night. Proceeds from the ball will go to Violet’s Cupboard, a shelter in Akron. PHOTOS BY ALLIEY BENDER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Kent State has a new Mr. and Miss Kent State.

Teddy Trimm and Chris Hreha – in that order.

Kent State’s Fourth Annual Drag Ball entertained a crowd last night in the Rathskeller. Money gained from the show will go to Violet’s Cupboard, an AIDS holistic service program in Akron.

Drag performers Shari Turner and Natasha Nordstrom hosted the competition.

The crowd was too quiet for Turner, who performs at Bounce nightclub in Cleveland. She told the audience she wasn’t expecting such a shy crowd.

“I’m used to working at a bar,” she told them. “You guys are acting like you’re in class. I’m not lecturing on how to put your penis back or how to push your boobs up.”

The crowd cheered in response.

Alliyah Dixon, reigning Miss Kent State, was there to pass the crown to the next winner. Dixon, better known as Jared Fitch, sophomore psychology major, said he hoped his boyfriend, Hreha, would win.

Though Fitch said he finds dressing in drag to be fun and liberating, he doesn’t dress in drag on a regular basis.

“It’s fun, like Halloween,” he said. “You are a different person. You can act and say things you wouldn’t normally.”

Hreha, known last night as Kitty Ravage, said this show was the first time he’s ever dressed in drag in public. He said it was interesting seeing Fitch in drag, as it was his first time he’d seen Fitch this way. Hreha will attend Kent State next year.

Autumn Pillar, event programmer for Kent Student Center Programming, said the competition had several parts in which the judges scored the competitors. She said the categories were modeling evening wear, a question-and-answer section and a lip-synching portion.

Hreha ended up being the only one in his competition, which he said was a disappointment.

“I’ve practiced a lot and put a lot of work into it,” he said. “I would have liked to have had one competitor.”

Freshman journalism major Kelly Cooper, sophomore exploratory major Crystal Leimbach, freshman pre-journalism major Ashley Yelensky, sophomore integrated social sciences major Teddy Trimm and Kent resident Denise Reed all competed for the Mr. Kent State title. Or, as they were known last night, Pablo, Chris, Ash the Flash, T. Diddy and Dennis.

Reed won runner-up in the competition.

Turner seemed impressed by their presence on stage during the modeling.

“It’s just as hard for a girl to walk like a boy as it is for boys to walk in heels,” she said. “That’s why I was born a girl.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].