Performers dressed as women dance and tell jokes.
By Kyle Sanders
When most people think of bingo, they may imagine a smoke-filled hall with tables of people pushing multicolored markers against bingo cards.
Drag bingo, a Coming Out Week sixth annual event hosted by Gay, Ally Lesbian Alliance, was not your run of the mill bingo.
The event had drag performers Lyn-z Lang Andrews and Alayna Marquez performing renditions of songs and witty banter Wednesday in the craft room of Loftin Student Center.
Marquez opened the show by performing a lip-synced rendition of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in a sparkling blue dress with a red hand-held fan.
The audience of 30 people clapped along with the music as Marquez made her way through the crowd dancing with audience members.
After Marquez finished her performance, two bingo cards were given to each member of the crowd with a cup of beans to mark numbers as they were called out.
“Ladies and gentlemen, for those of y’all who didn’t know, we are actually women,” Andrews said, killing time as cards were handed out.
After a long pause followed by a roaring applause, Andrews smiled, “Just kidding, we’re not.”
The games went from traditional bingo, L-shape, four corners, diagonals, and then black out.
Between numbers, Andrews and Marquez joked around with audience members and joked about dressing as women and performing in clubs.
Throughout the event, some participants left but there was one participating student, who ended up playing with three extra bingo cards that were left.
Andrews noticed that the student was playing with five cards and asked, “Have you won yet?”
The student shook her head no.
“Dang, you’re cheating and you still haven’t won,” Andrews said. The student left empty-handed.
Winners were given a $25 gift certificate to the college bookstore in Loftin.
All participants received bracelets that read, “SAC is coming out for equality,” and flashlights and lanyards that read, “I now pronounce you, Y’all.”
Following the event, audience members took photos with Andrews and Marquez.
Andrews and Marquez explained that most drag performers choose to adopt a stage name rather than use their birth name.
Andrews’ stage name came from multiple sources: Lyn-z is in reference to her mother’s name Linda, Lang refers to her drag mother name, and Andrews comes from her drag mentor’s name.
Marquez’s stage name comes from a friend named Alayna and Marquez comes from an ex-lover.
Marquez has been a drag performer for 15 years, and Andrews celebrated performing for 16 years on Oct. 12.
It was their first time performing at this college.
“It wasn’t as lavish last year, but it can’t always be like the predecessors,” said Jillian Keeton, GALA president and liberal arts sophomore.
What matters most is that the audience was able to be around those with different lifestyles and not even question it, Keeton said.
GALA meets 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the faculty and staff lounge of Loftin.
For more information, e-mail GALAofSAC123@gmail.com.