A Tau Kappa Epsilon brother stumbled out in heels onto the Lisner Auditorium stage Monday night with a giant plush bear at his back and a crop top stretched over his chest. Then he stuck out his tongue and twerked.
His Miley Cyrus impersonation was part of the second annual Allied in Greek, the philanthropy event and drag competition that brings Greek chapters together to raise money for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
The show, hosted by Allied in Pride, the Inter-Fraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, hit the stage Monday night with performances choreographed by over 20 fraternities and sororities. Judged on their costumes, choreography and overall drag queen performance, 12 fraternity representatives competed for the title of champion.
The only rule?
“When your fraternity comes out, you better yell and scream like you are Honey Boo Boo at the buffet and they told you there are no more tater tots,” said Chanel, a panel judge and professional drag queen.
But it wasn’t all spandex and stuffed bras – half of the profits from the event went toward The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization aimed at providing support for LGBT youth who are in crisis or contemplating suicide.
After performances that included a rendition of “twerking in the rain” by the brothers of Sigma Chi and an on-stage costume change (in other words, a striptease) from Sigma Phi Epsilon, the event concluded with a three-way tie between Beta Theta Pi, Pi Kappa Phi and Delta Tau Delta.
When the judges resorted to adding a final dance-off to the agenda, students spilled into the aisles to cheer on their favorite performers. Attendees left their seats as the entire auditorium erupted in spontaneous dance to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” inching towards the stage with electrifying energy.
Delta Tau Delta was crowned winner at the end of the night and will split the other half of the proceeds between philanthropy projects with its sorority partner.
Nick Gumas, president of Allied in Pride and recently elected Student Association president, said the need for increased support and acceptance of LGBT youth does not end here.
“It’s easy to sort of forget that just because we go to GW, and we’re generally more accepting, it doesn’t mean that other places around this country still don’t have a lot of problems and still don’t present a lot of challenges for members of the LGBT community,” Gumas said.
Freshman Allied in Pride representative Spencer Perry echoed Gumas’ concerns, urging GW students to recognize the need for support systems like Allied in Pride for students both on campus and beyond.
“I think what we’re trying to do here is show that [drag culture] is a cornerstone of the LGBT community, and it’s something that should be celebrated and embraced by the community. And it is, but not by everyone,” Perry said.