Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

The show might go on…

Jo Early
Students protested the cancelation of the Spectrum WT drag show outside of Old Main on March 22, 2023.

Update: On March 18, WT President Walter V. Wendler sent an email to students, faculty and staff announcing that he denied Spectrum WT’s application to conduct the drag show.

Spectrum WT will host the Don’t Be a Drag show on March 22 at 6 p.m. at Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center at West Texas A&M University. WT students have free entry with their Buff Gold Card ID, general seating is $10 and seats at tables are $15. The show is for individuals over the age of 18, and minors can be admitted with an adult parent or guardian present.

On March 20, 2023, WT President Walter V. Wendler canceled the drag show Spectrum WT had planned, sparking a week of protests. On March 15, the Supreme Court rejected Spectrum WT’s emergency injunction that could have prevented President Wendler from canceling this year’s show. President of Spectrum WT and a senior civil engineering major, Bear Bright, said it is important for Spectrum WT to exercise its right to host organization events on campus.

“We’ve gone through all the proper channels,” Bright said. “We’re within our rights as students on campus to utilize services made for students on campus, we have as much right to host our show as any other organization does for any other fundraiser.”

Proceeds from the show will benefit The Trevor Project, a non-profit suicide prevention organization for LGBTQIA+ youth.

“That’s a resource that is especially needed in regions like this where being queer in any form automatically puts a lot of hate and pressure on you,” Marcus Stovall, vice president of Spectrum WT and a junior political science major, said. “I know that I’ve been told to kill myself because I am X, Y or Z and I’ve utilized those resources through the Trevor Project. So it’s extremely important to be able to put funds towards that resource and, at the same time, let people know, hey, there is help.”

In the email President Wendler sent canceling last year’s show, he said that drag shows are “derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny.” Bright said that to him, drag is an art form.

“I see it, as for me, at least, it’s a celebration,” Bright said. “Changing, manipulation of gender norms and gender stereotypes, as well as just being art; you can think of the makeup you put on as you’re going to stylize it, you’re going to specify it towards the song you’re doing or the performance you want to appear as.”

Stovall said that drag is a way for him to connect with femininity and masculinity and express himself as a trans man.

“Drag’s just like a celebration of gender roles,” Stovall said. “In our society, we’re forced into these very nice little boxes from childhood and drag as a way to kind of push those limits and express ourselves.”

The performers for the show are students from WT and Amarillo College. Myss Myka, a drag performer from Amarillo, will host the show. More information can be found on Spectrum WT’s Instagram, @wtamuspectrum and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

This article was edited on March 18 to reflect the cancelation of the drag show.

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About the Contributor
Jo Early
Jo Early, Editor-in-Chief
Hello, my name is Jo Early and I am a senior digital communication & media major from Amarillo. I transferred from Amarillo College in Spring 2023 and began working as editor-in-chief in Fall 2023. I want to inform the West Texas A&M Community and spotlight student resources. In the future, I hope to work for NPR.

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    AmyantunezMar 26, 2024 at 11:22 am

    It’s a sad day when only certain groups are allowed to have a voice on this campus. I was looking forward to the drag show. We will push on for equal rights for everyone on this campus.