By Alyssa Gautieri
Students filed into the Business Building basement on Thursday, Oct. 27, to watch drag queens alumna Davida Sky (’16) and Victoria Courtez host PRISM’s annual Big Gay Bingo.
Sky and Courtez made their way to the stage as they danced and lip-synched. The hosts interacted with the audience and evoked laughter and cheers from the crowd.
“If you’re happy to be at an LGBTQIA+ event, make some noise!” Sky said as students searched for B12 on their bingo boards.
According to Max Nazario, president of PRISM and a junior chemistry major, the hosts had free range to discuss, comment or joke about various topics. So, they didn’t hold back.
“It’s a drag show. We can say whatever we want,” Sky said.
Big Gay Bingo brought PRISM’s Queer Awareness Month to an end with a humorous performance and an exciting chance to win prizes. Attendees were awarded with candy, as well as Starbucks gift cards.
The annual event is not just for members of the LGBTQIA+ community on campus. According to Nazario, everyone at the College is welcome to attend.
“(Big Gay Bingo) ends Queer Awareness Month because this event is intended to be fun,” Nazario said. “There’s no agenda — it’s open to everyone, queer or not.”
Sky and Courtez brought bingo to life with their amusing and interesting performances. Sky, a five-time host of Big Gay Bingo, discovered a passion for performing during her freshman year at the College. Sky called her first time performing in drag “a liberating experience” that gave her the confidence she has today.
“I didn’t jump out of the womb with a bag of glitter,” Sky said. “Confidence is something that comes from accepting the fact that you are who you are.”
Sky, who now performs all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania, exposed her pre-show ritual.
“No matter how confident I come across, I have terrible stage fright,” Sky said. “At the same time, I look at myself in the mirror and I laugh… Just being able to laugh at yourself is a really good ritual, whether you are an athlete, an academic or a drag queen.”
Sky admitted that after five years of performing, she still has her doubts.
“Of course, I will always have reservations about how people see me,” Sky said. “But I have accepted that I can do what I want with my life.”
Big Gay Bingo helps both members and nonmembers of the LGBTQIA+ community accept who they are.
“I think this event is important for everyone, not just people who identify within LGBTQIA+,” Sky said. “It’s important for people to see that they can go out and be themselves.”
However, not all students came out to Big Gay Bingo to be inspired. Samantha McCallion, a sophomore elementary education and history double major, didn’t overthink her reason for attending PRISM’s final event for Queer Awareness Month.
“I came out to have a good time,” McCallion said. “And because bingo’s mad fun!”
While Big Gay Bingo has a deeper meaning for many attendees, the event succeeds in being be a fun and lighthearted experience for the College community.