Kings and Queens drag show

Performer Adam Goodlay, captured by the Daily Nebraskan, exiting the stage after a performance at last year's Kings and Queens drag show.

Performer Adam Goodlay, captured by the Daily Nebraskan, exiting the stage after a performance at last year’s Kings and Queens drag show.

By: Audra Moore

When people talk about kings and queens, usually it is about actual monarchs; maybe Queen Elizabeth or King Henry VIII. Some different kinds of kings and queens will take over the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Union on Friday night. More specifically, drag kings and queens.

Performers are working hard to be ready for show time, too. Two UNL students, JD McCown and Tanner Reckling, are just a couple of the show’s participants. This is McCown’s third show, and Reckling’s fourth. McCown performs as one of the drag kings and goes by “Vic Ticious.” Reckling is one of the drag queens whose drag name is “Vanilla Wonderbread.”

McCown retold the story of how she started performing.

“Last spring, they needed more kings and my friends and I had been talking about doing it. We decided that if one of us did it, we all would. I ended up loving it.”

Performing comes with its own set of challenges, too.

“Deciding who you want to be and if you want to keep that persona for a long time is difficult. Or, maybe you want to change it up,” McCown said.

Once performers decide who they want to be, they choose a song to lip sync and dance to, and then they find their outfit. For McCown, the best part is “being whoever you want to be, and bending gender. It’s great that people show up to support us,” she said.

The only regret McCown has is that she did not start performing sooner.

At first, Reckling was hesitant about performing. Once he had a few performances under his belt, he realized how much fun it really is.

Reckling, an art major, enjoys being able to have free creative range and create a whole new person.

“You get to meet a lot of nice people and you get to look pretty nice most of the time, and help raise money for a good cause,” he said.

As a drag queen, Reckling sometimes spends a pretty penny on outfits, wigs, and make-up. Despite some of the costs, he says it is worth it.

“It feels liberating to do your own thing. If you even consider performing, I think you should just dive in and do it,” Reckling said.

McCown and Reckling both agree first timers attending the drag show should expect to have a lot of fun.

“Some people tell me they are scared to go the first time because they don’t know what to expect or don’t understand it. But once you see it, you won’t regret it,” Reckling said.

The LGBTQA+ Resource Center, Spectrum UNL, and The Change are putting together the show. Kings and Queens starts at eight o’clock and is free to all. Pepsi products will be provided and popcorn and concessions are sold at the show. Donations and tips will go towards travel funds for leadership conferences the groups attend next school year.

Vanilla Wonderbread and Adam Goodlay backstage at a drag show.

Vanilla Wonderbread and Adam Goodlay backstage at a drag show.

Tequila Sunrise belts out a high note. Taken by the Daily Nebraskan.

Tequila Sunrise belts out a high note. Taken by the Daily Nebraskan.

Adam Goodlay poses backstage at a drag show.

Adam Goodlay poses backstage at a drag show.

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