Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Gender distinctions blur at Dragfest

For Dusti Thurman, President of Coalition Against Homophobia, Dragfest marked the ending of a very successful week. “This, I think, is the first time we’ve successfully pulled off drag week,” said Thurman. “Our Transpanel brought in a lot of people.”
As Drag Week’s crowning glory, Dragfest is the playful ending to a week dedicated to broadening people’s conception of gender. “Dragfest is primarily a fun event. At the same time, however, it shows how gender is much more fluid than most people think,” said Thurman.

Dancing in Reid Ballroom during Dragfest. | Photo by Eduardo Duquez.Proving gender’s ability to be fluid were the hundreds of people who showed up to the event wearing clothes from the opposite genders; following the event’s theme of “Alice in Wonderland,” men came dressed up as Alices while women came dressed up as Mad Hatters.

For junior Amy Kesler, the importance of Dragfest lies in its ability to counteract sexism. “Dragfest is important because so much of society is of the mindset that people can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect them. This belief is just another form of sexism.”

This belief is shared by Ben Gannon, who feels that the event is a freeing experience. “Dragfest is a great event because it gives men the opportunity to put on dresses and still feel safe.”

To most people, however, Dragfest is simply about dressing up, getting drunk and having a good time.

Sharing the sentiments of many Whitties, Leslie Beach, dressed up as a pirate, passionately expressed her love for the event: “Dragfest is fantastic. It is my absolute favorite event of the year.”
This sentiment was echoed shortly afterwards by Gordon Hansen, who said that the event was a big “part of the reason [he] decided to come to Whitman.”

Whether people are just having fun or trying to make a statement, Dragfest is a mind-blowing, gender-bending experience.
For Anon Levy, a sophomore living in the Fine Arts House, the event helped to view life from a guy’s perspective. “Being a guy makes me feel more comfortable. It also makes me wonder what type of girl I’d like had I been born a guy. I like being a guy, I wish I’d been born one,” Levy said.

For Celi Schoenike, dressing up as a guy was a matter of convenience. “I love not worrying about my purse. The pockets of my guy’s pants are big enough to be two of my purses,” she said.

Perhaps the event’s most interesting effect is its ability to blur the distinction between man and woman. By the end of the night, the barriers between genders began to erase as few cared to remember who was what.

This effect was arguably best expressed by Kirstin Wiant, who, after coming out of the women’s bathroom, looked very confused. “I’m a guy and I was in just in a girl’s bathroom.”

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