DragOut, one of the spring semester’s most energetic and popular events, is just around the corner. Taking place this year Thursday, Feb. 27, the event will feature professionals and newbies together in celebration and support of the LGBTQ+ community.
The annual event is hosted by SpectrUM, UM’s largest undergraduate LGBTQ+ organization. Now in its seventh year, DragOut features performances from drag queens and kings from the Miami area.
The emcee for the 2020 event is once again Tiffany Fantasia, a South Beach drag comedian. So far, confirmed participants include UM alum Miss Toto, fan-favorite king Spikey Van Dykey and DragOut newcomer Aurora Whorealis.
SpectrUM president Alexa Skolnik, who is a senior double majoring in psychology and gender and sexuality studies, has been involved with DragOut since her freshman year.
“The overall goal of the event is to highlight drag and drag culture, along with the amazing drag performers we have here in the UM community,” Skolnik said. “I have so much fun being able to see friends of mine competing in DragOut. Many of them are nervous, and I get to see their acts come together.”
Skolnik and other SpectrUM members have been organizing the event since last summer, as it is one of the organization’s largest events of the year. Judges for this year are also Miami locals, with representatives coming from the Toppel Career Center, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and local business Gaia Consulting.
“I don’t believe that anyone who is a judge this year has ever been a judge before,” Skolnik said.
Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the YES Institute, a Coral Gables non-profit organization focused on preventing suicide and ensuring the health of LGBTQ+ youth in the Miami area. So, even though the event is free to the community, cash donations are encouraged.
Skolnick has a message for anyone on the fence about attending DragOut:
“This event means a lot and is important for UM because there’s not any other event like this on campus. It brings awareness to drag and its history, as well as LGBTQ+ history. We can give back to the community and the area as a whole. Plus, when do you get the chance to see a free drag show? Never. Come and tell all of your friends. It’s going to be awesome.”
IF YOU GO:
What: DragOut, hosted by UM LGBTQ+ organization SpectrUM
When: Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.
Where: Shalala Student Center Ballrooms
Price: Free, but donations accepted for the YES Institute