Drag: ignite trust and acceptance!

Anyone who knows me knows that I became an incredible fan of drag queens last month. I was telling someone new about this little fact, just saying “I just got into it” and my friend, one of The Mirror’s co-editors, Tobenna Ugwu, jumped needlessly with “This literally been a few weeks in. She had lunch and now has tickets for things.

This is of course a slight exaggeration, but I recently discovered the wonderful world of drag and drag queens. In just one month, I have seen almost every season of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” in the US, UK, and all All-Star seasons. I have tickets for a drag show on Halloween weekend and another show in April 2022. I bought some gold fabric and some gold galore boots for my somewhat heretical Halloween costume, completely inspired by the drag.

I’m just one of those kinda obsessive personalities that really get into things quickly, and by the time you finish blinking, I’m on a plane to ‘Drag Queen School’ in Sweden where I’ve bought several. wigs at 4:00 am. But… I think that’s where I get a lot of my charm (at least I hope?). No matter!

But, what I didn’t expect in my newfound interest is this deep understanding of what drag queens really teach us. Trying to avoid insignificance and my rolling-eyed friends, drag queens teach us to have overwhelming self-confidence and a real sense of self.

As a senior at the University of Fairfield, I know how difficult it is to really find yourself here. Fairfield touts Jesuit values ​​and claims that your four years here will develop you as a whole person, graduate, and truly know who you are. But, the typical fear of missing something runs deep into the University. What makes people unique and special is hidden under layers of insecurity and the fear that their group of friends will judge them.

I’m not saying I’m always able to get past this feeling. I lived at Loyola Hall in my sophomore year and my roommate and I watched the stream of kids cross the track on our way back from the townhouses. We would sit down and say to ourselves that we will go next week because it is “the typical college experience”.

It didn’t matter that we both hated parties in a townhouse and preferred to take a really long walk from a very short cliff rather than stay in a townhouse basement filled like sardines. There is just something about watching others ‘having fun’ around you that makes you feel like you are missing something. The endless scrolling of dark instant stories with pounding EDM, as you lay in bed, making you feel like you’re doing all that college thing wrong; that there might be something wrong with you.

But, there comes a time in your life when you grow out of that feeling, or at least I have. When that real depth, “I hate townhouse parties” actually overwhelmed my FOMO and I was able to start doing things I really loved without fear of being judged by my peers. Like going to a production of Rocky Horror Picture show in full costume, or the Milford Apple Festival or drinking a whole box of Sunset Blush Franzia with my roommates.

I think it takes a lot of work to really find out who you are and find out that you’re no less of a person or less cool than all the “popular girls” in school. But, what is it that always keeps me from thinking, “Oh, if I ask someone to go to the Apple Festival with me, will they think I’m weird?” Or “What if someone sees me in the parking lot listening to Rain on Me?” Is the thought of those damn drag queens.

I think if grown men can put their things away, put on a dress and wig to dance in front of a hall of 400 people, we can all find out who we really are. We can have the confidence to text someone to go and have lunch with us at a random location downtown. We can dance the craziest way, laugh the loudest in a piece, and truly become the fabulously unique individuals that we are, without fear of being judged. This is where we can really turn to drag queens. No matter what or who they are on a daily basis, they put on a wig and makeup and become the height of confidence and acceptance. So think about them every day and you will be fine.