Leading up to the culminating event of FUSA’s Celebration of Unity, many students express excitement to attend FUSA’s first-ever drag show hosted at Fairfield University, while others take to Fizz to condemn such a performance at a Jesuit Catholic institution. 

“FUSA’s Fabulosity: A Night of Drag”, will be held on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. and feature drag queens Mystique Summers, Crystal Starz and Sparkle A. Diamond as the night’s “fabulous” entertainment. Mystique Summers performed on the popular show, RuPaul’s Drag Race.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, “Drag is a performance art that uses costumes, makeup, and other tools to present exaggerated forms of gender expression to critique gender inequalities and imagine a transformational future where people are truly free in how they express themselves.” 

Recently, Drag Shows have experienced threats, hate and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments – sentiments that are being expressed at Fairfield University in anticipation of its first-ever drag show. “We don’t need this woke s*** on campus,” one Fizz user writes. 

Over Fizz’s first full academic year at Fairfield University, it has become the most widely used anonymous forum for students to talk about campus culture and life; however, multiple Mirror articles have found that it has also become a breeding ground for racism and now LGBTQ+ hate.  

After the fall semester, which saw “numerous” reports of homophobia and racism – data that is on trend with United States colleges – the necessity to promote inclusive events is a belief held by many students. 

“It’s important that FUSA host events like this to provide inclusive events that promote and represent queer culture. Sacred Heart University is also a Catholic University and they have been doing Drag Bingo consistently for years! I think it’s time for Fairfield to wake up and smell the coffee,” voiced Nicholas Garofalo ‘25, President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. 

Sophomore Gracyn Reed finds it “interesting” that they’re hosting a drag show. “It’s cool that they’re incorporating something like that. In the past, they would have never hosted a drag show. It shows how much the world has evolved and how they’re comfortable doing events like that,” she believes. 

This is not the first drag show to be held on campus, as Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosted a drag show event titled “Gender Bender” in 2019, adds FUSA President Aliyah Seeanuth. “We have been requested numerous times by students throughout the years to host a Drag Show, and we are excited to see it finally come to fruition,” she states.

 “It is important to have these events that promote inclusivity because we have seen the demonstrated need for them on Fairfield’s campus – that is the goal of the Celebration of Unity Series. We hope that FUSA’s Fabulosity can serve as a safe space to welcome and embrace all identities,” Seeanuth states. 

Other universities like fellow Jesuit institution Fordham University have been hosting Drag Nights since 2018. In October of 2023, students at Notre Dame University protested against a drag show, with one Notre Dame student stating that drag shows “defile femininity,  and most importantly, promote the disordered ideology that gender and sexuality are fluid – in direct contradiction to the Catholic Church’s teaching.”

But unlike Notre Dame which saw student protests, letters to the editor and emails to the deans of schools, student pushback at Fairfield remains online and behind a wall of anonymity. 

In response to FUSA emails about the drag show, students on Fizz cited the religious affiliation of Fairfield, believing that a Jesuit Catholic university should not host a Drag Show. Students posted the FUSA email and captioned it: “So-called Catholic college” and that “Ignatius is rolling over in his grave.” 

Others on Fizz respond to the twisted use of religion, “I pray you learn to practice the love and compassion Jesus showed.” Another put aside their personal beliefs about the Drag Show, “Even if I don’t agree with it, they are allowed to do as they please. This won’t indoctrinate anything about this campus.”

The drag bingo event offers an educational component where students will learn about LGBTQ+ history and Drag culture, “We feel this allows for a space of entertainment and enjoyment, but also one where students can walk away having learned something,” Seeanuth states.  

Junior Nohea Breeden is not shocked about the response of some students: “I’m not surprised about the comments on Fizz, look at the demographics of the school,” she states. She’s not deterred though, adding that “I’m excited to see what happens. I like the kine’ RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Students on Fizz echo Breeden’s sentiments and claim that the student body demographic would not be open to such events: “FUSA must forget most people at this school come [from] wealthy Republican families. Who [is] going to a Drag Show?” 

FUSA Health and Wellness Committee board member Molly Cotjanle ’24 speaks directly to students who attack FUSA programming: 

“Students on Fizz need to be more aware of what FUSA actually is. The kids next to them in class run FUSA. You’re talking about a peer of yours and you should be more mindful of those who plan the events for the student body,” she declares.  

“I’m excited to go to the event and to see the Fairfield community come together in a unique way,” Cotjanle concludes. 

Amidst negative comments, positive student response seems to prevail. Junior Bianca Piniero can’t wait for the event. “I love to see my queens slay. As one of my professor’s artwork displays, ‘Drag is not a crime, it’s an art.’”

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