Drag convention draws international acts, U audience

More than 50 professional and amateur drag acts performed at the show.

University students and others packed the Radisson Hotel Metrodome ballroom Friday night for Dragdom, a karaoke drag show.

The event kicked off the International Drag King Extravaganza’s weekend convention.

The show gives performers the opportunity to meet drag kings and queens from all over the world, said Sexy Galexy, a drag king from Australia who has performed for 10 years.

“The drag scene in Sydney isn’t as big as America. I kind of felt like I was doing everything myself there,” Galexy said. “Coming here is kind of my chance to do my homework.”

More than 50 professional and amateur drag acts performed at the show, including acts from Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia and Gemany, said Corey Dalpee, the show’s master of ceremonies and one of the convention’s organizers.

Heather Franek, a chemistry senior and University Queer Student Cultural Center volunteer, said her favorite act was Fox Smolder’s performance of the “Chicago” song “Razzle Dazzle.”

“It’s great here,” Franek said. “I really love the music.”

The weekend convention included an academic conference, a film festival and a second drag show billed as featuring the best 30 drag king acts in the world.

“This is a forum for everybody,” said Karmen McQuitty, conference housing coordinator. That includes drag kings, women performing as drag queens and academics, she said.

This is the first time the Columbus, Ohio-based International Drag King Extravaganza has gone on the road, Dalpee said. The previous conventions were held in Columbus.

“The Twin Cities has historically had a very strong drag king community,” Dalpee said. “There’s lots of support here.”

Dalpee said he hoped the convention would organize the Twin Cities area while offering people resources.

“This convention is all about binding the drag king community together,” Dalpee said.