Betty Wilson spoke to Drag Society about their plans for the semester despite the challenges of the pandemic.

The autumn semester was inevitably going to be a tough one for all societies, particularly those which are based around in-person events such as drag shows. The current restrictions imposed by the lockdown mean that no live drag performances are currently able to go ahead, nor are any face-to-face social events. Sadly, this means no glitter fuelled Grapefruit shows or in-person workshops full of glitz, glamour and creativity, and for a society that relies on performance not only for fun and community but also for promotion, this is an obvious blow.

But drag is an art form that can’t be shut down, as Sheffield’s Drag Society is proving. Despite not being able to meet new and returning members in person, the society is committed to maintaining the essential community spirit and support of the group through regular online sessions including Get Ready With Me videos, makeup tutorials and Instagram lives. 

Perfection performing last year
Source: University of Sheffield Drag Society

Drag Society Vice President and Secretary, Ruben a.k.a Perfection said: “We hold weekly online meetings every Wednesday where we discuss all things drag related and also put together ideas for potential performances. We have something very exciting planned for the end of this semester and we would love for you to be a part of it!” 

Alongside this, they are planning to run Give It A Go events aimed at those looking to join the society this semester and, hopefully, they will be able to put on a virtual show later in the year that would allow for its members to perform again, albeit in a very different setting.

 Like many societies this move to online events and socials has made it much harder for new members, especially freshers, to join, but Drag Society has a simple message: come once to an online social and you’ll definitely want to come back for another! This spirit, alongside the passion of the committee and members for their art, is the driving force behind the society and their community ethos. 

Drag Soc is a place for people of all identities to feel valid, accepted and safe,” added Ruben. “We welcome everyone who shares a love for drag and we encourage all drag artists regardless of their gender or sexuality to join us and grow with us.” 

The Drag Soc Committee
Source: The University of Sheffield Drag Society

Whether you fit the glamourous RuPaul’s Drag Race portrayal of drag queens, you’re an AFAB queen, you’re a drag king, or if you still want to figure out your drag, there is space for everyone.

 It is in times like these where we need artistic communities more than ever. Societies like Drag Soc allow you to escape the many stresses of 2020 by building a new persona, making new friends and having fun – something that we can all admit has been lacking this year. Whether you are missing the buzz of performing live or the thrill that comes with doing a full face of makeup in a backstage room with your mates, Drag Society will try to fill that void and provide a bit of glamour and fun to this semester.

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