The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2

Kent Wired

The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2

Kent Wired

The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2

Kent Wired

Former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant headlines Kent State Drag Show


Destanee Cruz

Coco Montrese performs to a mashup of Ariana Grande songs at Kent State’s Sex Week drag show Oct. 26.

Clara Wicinski, Reporter

With one dollar bills clutched in hands, students gathered at the Kent State Ballroom on Wednesday night to watch Sex Week’s annual drag show.

On stage, dressed head to toe in flashy attire, was Coco Montrese, a prominent drag queen who earned her fame on season five of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Montrese performed two numbers in elaborate costumes, including a bedazzled wig.

In between numbers, Montrese praised Kent State and Kent Interhall Council for hosting Sex Week, emphasizing that sex education is important.

“A week like this means a whole lot,” Montrese told the crowd. “There are a lot of kids elsewhere not getting this, it’s amazing to see.”

Co-hosting alongside Montrese was local Kent drag queen and student, Frutisha Punch. Punch got her start 18 months ago and has since felt an abundance of support from the rapidly growing local drag community.

“Drag is something that I want to see become a part of Kent’s culture before I leave,” Punch said. “It’s really exploded and become a community.”

Constant laughter erupted from the ballroom as onlookers watched the comedic banter between Montrese and Punch. Last year, the show was held to a 700-person limit. Those new to drag had a show this year that looked a lot different than last year, as the ballroom was at its max capacity of 856 people.

“If you’ve never been to a show, I will say expect the unexpected,” Montrese said.

Five other local queens performed alongside Montrese and Punch, lip-syncing music ranging from songs by Ariana Grande to the show tunes of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Monica Mod, a sophomore fashion design major, shined her flashlight into the audience as she performed her “Scooby Doo,” inspired number. Mod also had advice for first-time show-goers.

“We’re like Tinkerbell, we feed off of energy, applause, and attention,” Mod said. “Go in with an open mind because you never know what you’re going to see.”

Behind performing their elaborate dance moves and flaunting their daring costumes, Montrese and Punch got serious. Montrese emphasized the importance of the first rule of drag: there is none.

“There’s no rules,” Montrese said. “That’s the fun part about drag.”

Punch’s rule, which was stated bluntly at the end of the night, was straightforward.

“If drag offends you, don’t come,” Punch said.

At the end of the night, students went home, but Montrese hopes an important message from the show will carry on within them.

“Stay true to yourself,” Montrese said. “There’s going to be a lot of people that you love and admire, and you just have to take what you admire about them and put it into your own words.”

Clara Wicinski is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]

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