Werk Witch show celebrates the craft of drag

By Jessenya Guerra
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“We want you all to recognize the history behind [Werk Witch]…the HERstory behind this. How the LGBTQ+ community has so little acknowledgement for the black queens and queer people of color who started all of this. We want to take a minute to recognize all of the folks that came before us that made all of this possible,” said Ulises Duenaz, president of the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Pride Club.

Duenaz, or MC Uli, along with their friend Erika (last name not said), addressed the crowd periodically amidst the performing drag queens and kings. The night consisted of performances from CSUMB students, faculty and staff being judged in a competition of drag queens and kings. There were also a number of performances from local guest drag queens and kings that CSUMB Pride invited to help host the night.

Judges on the panel consisted of local LGBTQ+ allies and local supporters: Jerry Carter, Ullises Polmeno, Jasmine Latier, Angel Gonzales and Riley Skinner. The first judged performance of the night was from a drag queen named “Toni with an I.” Toni danced and lip synced to a song from their daughter’s favorite movie, Frozen. Dressed in a makeshift Elsa costume, Toni with an I revealed a light up tiara and skirt that had been integrated in the performance, stunning the audience.

Another notable performance was by a drag queen named “The Dairy Queen,” who became the night’s winner after a thrilling performance of the 1980’s hit single “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Wearing a blue flannel, short shorts and pigtails, the only bearded queen of the night stole the hearts of the crowd and the judges in an outstanding lip-sync performance. It was no shock to the audience when The Dairy Queen walked off the stage with the first place trophy.

The night ended with an amazing performance from two students making a comment on male fragility. Their choice of songs and poster board signs told a story of a drag queen denying a drag king nude photos, this then led to the drag queen singing a song of a heart break with the drag queen holding up a sign to the crowd saying “Male fragility.” These second place winners, whose drag names were unclear, had a great commentary about the current state of dance culture. “Gender is drag. And you dragged gender roles pretty well, the toxic ones at least,” said Angel Gonzales, one of the judges.

“Let’s make Werk Witch one of the biggest events at CSUMB! I know I’ll be here next year. I hope you all are too,” said Chris Carlisle, a drag king at the event. Overall, the night was a success as the UC Ballroom was fully packed, and students were standing to get a peak at the show.

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