Dragging Out Conversation

Six Kalamazoo College representatives at Stetson Chapel

(Left to right, top row) Candido ’00, Finan ’14, Stutz ’14, Wedding ’12 (bottom), Isser ’13, and Epperson ’13. Photo Credit: Elaine Ezekiel ’13

By Elaine Ezekiel ’13

“Reclaiming Crystal Ball: What Drag Means for Us” was the theme of the Week Eight (May 18) Community Reflection in Stetson Chapel. Sponsored by Kaleidoscope, members of the campus’ LGBT organization offered perspectives on drag and the annual Crystal Ball dance.

Chaplain Elizabeth Candido ’00 recalled her experiences attending Crystal Ball as a student, when the event was much smaller and more private.

Elinor Epperson ’13 discussed her experience filming a documentary about Crystal Ball 2011 and the status quo of male attire: “Women have fought hard to earn the right to wear pants, but men wearing skirts is considered abhorrent.”

Caitlin Finan ’14 spoke about choosing her first Crystal Ball costume: a surprisingly comfortable men’s suit. Kaleidoscope co-president Max Wedding ’12 described reclaiming his feminine side through drag. Craig Isser ’13, dressed in rainbow suspenders and matching platform wedges, described his pre-Crystal Ball routine: “Drag shows us how much fun, how different, how okay life can be when we start to lose the limitation of gender.”

Kaleidoscope co-president Hailey Stutz ’14 spoke about her daily struggle with identity though clothing, not just preparing for Crystal Ball.

Finally, Candido offered the audience advice on how to react to the anti-gay protester on campus throughout the week. “The protester is here not to reason with you,” she said, “Don’t allow your anger or your emotions to amplify his voice.”

Following the reflection, attendees signed a poster with an inclusive religious message, which now hangs in Biggby’s coffee shop.

Community Reflection offers a unique forum for discussion, worship, performance, and community expression each Friday at 10:50 AM (refreshments at 10:30) in Stetson Chapel. The entire campus community and general public are invited. The Week 10 (May 25) and final Reflection of the 2011-12 academic year will be devoted to Student Commission Community Awards, in which the K Student Commission honors the accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff. The new Stu-Com Executive Board will also take the oath of office.