By Kayla Lafi
Queer Awareness has been a month-long celebration here at the College during the month of October. PRISM held its annual “Big Gay Bingo” event in the Decker Social Space on Thursday, Oct. 29. The event was hosted by Davida Sky, Miss Gay New Jersey At Large, and Cyannie Famouz, a drag entertainer from Trenton.
The event opened with a performance by Famouz. Dressed in a red devil costume, she lip synced to a mashup of various songs, walking through the audience with cheers. According to Famouz, this was her second time at the event.
“I love that TCNJ is acceptable, very acceptable and welcoming,” Famouz said. “The students are just simply amazing. I love coming here. I have been to other colleges but here, you feel at home.”
The second performance of the night was by Sky, a senior English and women’s and gender studies double major. Sky currently holds the title of Miss Gay New Jersey and is a drag performer.
During the event, Famouz and Sky clarified the difference between being transgender and dressing up as a drag queen for the audience — a significant difference that people may not understand at first. Famouz was born as a male but identifies as female, meaning she is transgender. Sky is a natural born male, but dresses as a woman to perform — a drag queen.
“I have been performing for four years and I have won 14 consecutive national pageants, such as Miss Queer New York, Miss Glamour Goddess, Miss Gay New Jersey and others,” Famouz said. “I am more so about putting on a show. I am very into the crowd and being entertaining.”
In attendance that night were counselors and representatives from Trenton’s HYACINTH AIDS foundation who provided free condoms to all audience members to advocate for the practicing of safe sex.
During the bingo game, PRISM gave out three tiers of prizes. A bingo winner had the choice of two tier one prizes or one tier two prizes. The tier three prizes were four American Express gift cards between $25-$50. Tier three prizes were saved for the end of the night. Two gift cards were given to the bingo winners. The other two were given to the winners of an impromptu runway competition.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but it was really awesome,” said Theresa Vitovitch, a freshman open options humanities and social sciences major. “Everyone did such a great job performing. I’m definitely coming back next year.”
The last two performances of the night were by drag entertainers, Miss Virginia Hamm and Duplissa. Miss Virginia Hamm performed “One Night Only” from the Broadway show, “Dreamgirls.” Duplissa closed the event with a performance to “Let’s Have a Kiki” by the Scissor Sisters.
“The purpose of Big Gay Bingo is for everyone to get together and have some fun, enjoy some drag performance, put a wig on and just have fun,” Sky said. “We lock ourselves up in the library all semester.
“We kind of stop to enjoy ourselves… so it’s kind of good to take some time to enjoy ourselves and remember that we are students, we are young, and it’s good to have fun.”