First Annual "Drag Week" Works It at SMC

This past week was Santa Monica College's very first drag week – and I'm not talking about car races.

I'm referring to drag clothing, or, to put it another way, cross-dressing. For those unfamiliar with the terms, it's the act of dressing in the opposite sex.

You may have noticed a large crowd gathering in the middle of the quad last Tuesday and Thursday for what seemed like a fashion show of sorts at first glance. If you turned back around at the spectacle, however, you would have realized that the models were dressed quite the opposite to what would have been expected.

The festivities were hosted and organized by SMC's very own Pride club, which had a brief touch with the drag community last semester in their activities.

"A lot of people were interested and we knew it'd grab your attention. That's why we did it," Jesse Quintanilla, co-president of Pride, said.

The week kicked off Tuesday morning with several cross-dressers displaying their assets accompanied by their own choice of music, while members of Pride walked around the quad and passed around free Mardi Gras beads and popcorn.

The performers came, they danced, and they conquered. One standout performance was by a potential King who sang the very popular comedic song from Saturday Night Live, "D*ck in a Box," with box and all, showing off "his" moves and flirting with audience members. If that weren't enough to pique your interest, then perhaps the last performance would have – a rather flashy rendition of "Paparazzi" that was sure to give Lady GaGa a run for her money.

The next day, several presentations about the drag culture and community were scheduled, along with a special viewing of "Paris is Burning," a documentary pertaining to the aforementioned subculture.

However, it was evident that the peak of SMC's drag week was, in fact, the contest on Thursday. As the club offered free fruit plates to passers-by, the male MC of the show, dressed in a long red dress and heels, entertained the crowd with sultry cabaret songs like, "Don't Tell Mama."

The contest itself consisted of three parts for the judges to critique: Best name, best walk, and, of course, a lip-syncing portion. From those categories, the judges would decide who would be named best Drag King and best Drag Queen.

Contestants first strutted their stuff on their makeshift runway. Queens showed the audience what it actually meant to be fierce, while Kings brought their swagger on, giving it their all to be as masculine as one can be.

Then came the anticipated performances.

Audience members cheered on the contestants as they showed off their moves that left people in slight awe – Just "how" can one jerk in a dress? How can they possibly walk in such high heels, let alone dance?

While all the activities and entertainment did mean to shock, it was clear that all participants, audience including, were having fun and enjoying the amusing shows. Closing the festivities was a type of "drag-off" between two Queens, and it got"scandalous".

The two glared at one another, danced to outshine the other, and eventually, the catfight resulted in an outrageous pulling of wigs. But of course, once the music was over, the two fighters were seen chatting and taking pictures together for their adoring fans.

So, all in all, the week only proved that all is fair in love and war, and make-up – just don't tell mama!