Campus Life

Pride Week 2023 continues with Drag Lip Sync Extravaganza

Written for The Argo by Victoria Orlowski

On Wednesday, April 19, the Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Center—in conjunction with the Pride Alliance—hosted six drag queens from What’s the Buzz Productions to battle it out in a series of performances. The Lip Sync Extravaganza was another event in a series meant to celebrate queer pride and foster a sense of community.

“Shannon Glover, a senior here at Stockton, came to the WGSC to look for help regarding his Compass Fund grant. Shannon submitted an amazing proposal to start a Pride Fest, a weeklong series of events celebrating Pride on campus. As we are not in school during Pride Month, we wanted to use Pride Fest as an opportunity to still have fun and celebrate one another. After planning all Fall 2022 semester, we were able to nail down the events we wanted to have,” said Van Nhi Ho, the LGBT coordinator for the center.

The Lip Sync was hosted by drag queens Lasha Snark and Cupid Bowe, who actively engaged with the audience and opened the event with solo performances of their own. Lasha Snark and Cupid Bowe’s charisma and banter continued to engage the audience throughout the night.

The opening was followed by a series of solo performances by competing queens Stephanie Steele, Demi Gawdess, Calliope, and TS Destiny. The solo performances were used to demonstrate their performance style before later going head-to-head in the four-way lip sync.

As the queens prepared for their next performance, Lasha Snark and Cupid Bowe hosted an audience game where four members from the audience were chosen at random to show off their best runway walk. Each member was awarded over a hundred dollars in prizes, including tickets to a drag show in AC where Lasha Snark would be performing as well as a gift card to Andrew Christian.

The competing queens then went head to head in duo lip-syncs. Stephanie Steele and TS Destiny competed in a lip sync of “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj. Calliope and Demi Gawdess competed in a lip sync of “Stronger” by Britney Spears. 

There was one more brief intermission for students to grab food before the finale – a four-way lip sync of Into You by Ariana Grande. The winner of the battle was decided by student votes. With a whopping 35% of votes, TS Destiny won the lip sync contest.

When asked about the importance of celebrating drag and queerness, especially considering today’s political climate, Ho commented that “Pride Fest was one of those ways Shannon and I were able to spread the word about being queer on campus. As the LGBT coordinator for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Center, I found that many students were anxious and felt unsupported on campus. Shannon and I knew, that as queer students ourselves, we wanted to provide that representation and offer a brave space for students to be proud of themselves. With the current political narrative on the LGBT community, specifically the trans community, our aim was to provide resources and provide solace on campus. Regardless of what other stigma or misconceptions people throw our way, I wanted to give my community the best opportunity to be themselves.”