VIDEO: Webster student, Kevin Hamilton, drives crowd wild at Drag Ball
By Sierra Hancock
The 17th annual Drag Ball hosted by the Webster LGBTQ Alliance found a new drag star on Saturday, March 23. Kevin Hamilton, freshman dance major, strutted his stuff all over the stage that night. Hamilton, known as “Christina Rose” on the runway, made $35 in tips during his first drag performance.
“It was great to watch drag queens and the gay community come together and do their thing,” Hamilton said. “To have the audience pay to come [to the Drag Ball] and not make fun of people was wonderful.”
Video by Sierra Hancock
The Webster LGBTQ alliance advertised the Drag Ball for months and recruited volunteers to help with setting up. Vice President Trish Stoverink, junior sociology major, said last year the alliance posted flyers all around the St. Louis area for the show. This year they did not do as much outside advertising, which resulted in a majority of Webster students in the audience.
“We [Webster students] think of ourselves as a really accepting and liberal university, but a lot of people haven’t even seen a drag show,” Stoverink said. “It’s just a cool way for people to experience that for the first time.”
Christian Redden, a prospective Webster student, was shocked there was such an event happening on a college campus. He had never experienced anything like it.
“I’d always avoided going to events like that,” Redden said, “but once I finally went I had fun and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought.”
The Drag Ball Host Tyler Cross, or “Siren,” was happy to be at Webster again this year. She considers drag a beautiful art form that combines makeup work, hair art, costuming, dance and other kinds of performance and comedy.
Siren said she’s been to every local university for a drag show, and Webster has been the most supportive. She believes Webster has the history, prestige and excitement behind it that the other schools don’t.
Forest Burrelsman, freshman film production major, was looking forward to the show all year. He had seen it last year as a prospective student and really enjoyed it. This year Hamilton was his favorite act. Burrelsman could tell Hamilton put a lot of work into it and is looking forward to seeing him on the stage again. Burrelsman tipped Hamilton twice in the same song while he was performing.
Hamilton performed in a short white dress with fishnet tights, a sleek black wig and black heels. He confessed to having cut the high heels in order to fit his feet in; the toes of the shoes were covered with black socks. He said dancing in them and not messing up was the hardest part of the show.
Hamilton also won the amateur award against three other drag queens. The crowd’s applause made him the clear winner. He received two $15 gift cards to MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse and Dewey’s Pizza. He said he spent over $200 for his dress, accessories and makeup to become a drag star.
“It was worth it because I was able to perform and do what I love,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton plans on becoming a professional drag queen and performing more. He will begin drag boot camp at Attitudes NightClub on Friday, April 5.