October 20, 2020

VIDEO: LGBTQ’s Drag Ball brings cakes, presents and drag performers to Sweet 16 celebration

Stephen Perry and Sarah Mooreland drew tattoos on the arms and chest of Lana Williams, or rather, Sleazy F. Baby. They carefully imitated Lil Wayne’s tattoos, including teardrop tattoos below the eyes.

Perry, a freshman, and Mooreland, a sophomore, prepared Williams, sophomore, for Webster University’s 16th annual Drag Ball on March 24.

“I always drag as Lil Wayne,” Williams said. “I don’t drag as anyone else.”

Williams hit the stage in Grant Gymnasium in a black V-neck and baggy jeans revealing red boxers. She rapped to a Lil Wayne medley of “Gonorrhea” and “6-foot, 7-foot.” Her long braids sprung up and down as she bounced to the beat.


Video by Gabe Burns

Williams is communications coordinator for the LGBTQ Alliance, the group that sponsored Drag Ball. The LGBTQ Alliance executive board kicked off Drag Ball’s Sweet 16 celebration with a performance to Ke$ha’s “Sleazy Remix 2.0.” Siren, a popular St. Louis drag queen, hosted the show. Siren has hosted Drag Ball in the past.

“Seventeen (16) years of cross-dressing at Webster University — I’m sure that puts other universities to shame,” Siren said.

Freshman Sage Featherson, or “Misty Morgan Daniels,” was the first amateur to perform a solo. Wearing a green and black corset and tight black mini-skirt, Misty Morgan Daniels walked on stage to the belting voice of Christina Aguilera. “Show Me How You Burlesque,” from the movie “Burlesque” played. It was his first time performing in drag.

He chose the song because he got to dance one of his favorite moves — the Charleston.

“I love the Charleston and being able to do it in heels is something you have to show off,” Featherson said. “I’ve done music performance and when you have your own little nifty skill, you show it off.”

Another first-timer, Erin Coleman, freshman and LGBTQ Alliance secretary, performed to Matt and Kim’s “Cameras.”

“It’s just a really fun song. It’s really easy to get into it and dance to it,” Coleman said.

Before the show, Coleman said she looked forward to performing, despite her nerves. Coleman said she decided to participate in Drag Ball because she is a fan of androgyny.

“Dressing in drag is a perfect way to express that,” Coleman said.

A steady flow of people entered Grant Gymnasium from 7 p.m. when the doors opened until the start of the show at 7:30.

Jordan Gelencir, senior animation major, waited in line with her younger brother and two friends who attend Drury University and Saint Louis University. Gelencir has attended Drag Ball since her freshman year. Gelencir, a fan of St. Louis drag, said she came to support the GlitterBomb performers from Attitudes Nightclub, including her personal friend, Rydyr, a popular St. Louis drag king. GlitterBomb is a group of drag queens and kings who perform across the St. Louis region.

Robyn Hearts performs at the 16th annual Webster University Drag Ball in Grant Gymnasium on March 24. Robyn Hearts was one of many GlitterBomb Productions performers to dance for the show. GlitterBomb Productions is a group of drag queens, drag kings and performers who regularly have shows at Attitudes Nightclub in St. Louis. PHOTO BY BRITTANY RUESS

“The first drag show I ever saw was four years ago for this Drag Ball. I don’t know how to really describe (my love for drag),” Gelencir said. “I (grew up) watching ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ Tim Curry in drag and David Bowie. (Bowie’s) style fits the drag culture almost.”

GlitterBomb performer and Webster alumnus Eli Chi, or “Sum Yung Wang,” participated in solo and duo performances throughout the night.

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