/Spectrum hosts drag bingo event 
Two drag performers, JoAnn Crawford and Pluto Stardust, at a Spectrum Event hosted earlier this semester. Photo by Ashley Williams.

Spectrum hosts drag bingo event 

By Ashley Williams 

On Feb. 27, Spectrum invited students for a night of bingo in Farmer Hall at 6 p.m., where drag artists performed on stage. Spectrum is a student organization dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community on UM’s campus. They seek to provide a positive, comfortable environment for those who want to learn, grow and freely express themselves. 

At the event, drag performers JoAnn Crawford and Pluto Stardust served as hosts and performers.  

Stardust started the show with a lip sync to “I’m Just Pete” by Pete Davidson. Later, Stardust and Crawford did a duet lip sync to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. To end the show, Crawford did a lip sync performance of  Cher’s “Dark Lady.” 

Afterwards, the audience played four rounds of bingo. Winners were given a choice of a bag of candy or a light up ball as a prize. During the rounds, Crawford entertained the audience with jokes and celebrity impressions. 

During the third round of bingo, she asked the audience trivia questions, and those who got a question right were able to receive candy or a ball as well.  

For Crawford, the goal of Spectrum is to provide events and safe spaces for queer students. 

“Being queer is beautiful, being queer is fun. It’s not queer people who make being queer awful, it’s conservatives and homophobic people who make being queer hard,” Crawford said. 

According to her, Safe Zone Training is a great way to support the LGBTQ+ community on UM’s campus, where educators are taught how to support queer students.  

“I feel like that would be really good for the general populace also, especially now that we have noticed an uptick of slurs on campus. It’s getting really scary to be queer in Alabama especially. Just recently, there’s a Senate bill that could potentially wipe away this club on campus,” she said. 

Crawford believes doing drag is harmless and many people are blowing it out of proportion, as states around the country seek to criminalize drag performances. 

“They’re trying to define what drag is and make it criminal and that itself is a criminal idea because it’s violating so many people’s First Amendment rights,” she said. 

What Crawford wants people to take away from this event is to have fun and laugh, because her view on life is to laugh more than to suffer. 

According to Stardust, community makes drag important to him.  

“Being your true authentic self without people judging you in a safe place is really important and that’s why I do what I do, cause I know that I can be myself and nobody would judge me,” he said. 

For people who are considering doing drag, he advises them to just do it.  

“It’s like a euphoric transformation. You don’t really know it until you do it and I think that you will feel more free and happier as a person,” Stardust said. 

He also says people can show their support of local drag artists by going to drag shows and boosting the performers on social media and online.  

“Research how you can help keep local drag alive because all of these bills are passing and it’s scary for drag performers. So go out and do the best you can do,” Stardust said. 

Dalton Brown, a mass communications major, was one of the bingo winners at the event, where he learned that multiple students on campus are interested in drag. He said the main reasons he wanted to attend UM was because of the LGBTQ+ community and that he wants to be a part of celebrating them in every way. 

“It shows that there are organizations on campus that are still showing up and having a space on this campus that celebrates people just being themselves with fun, entertaining events. I’m excited to see what other events they come up with that are as great, if not better than this one,” Brown said. 

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