The sultry, pleasant melody of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” filled the IU Auditorium, and Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity danced across the stage.
GenderF**k, an inclusive drag show put on by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality and the IU Student Association, had commenced.
Suddenly, the couple saw a beam of light — no, a person. Who could it be? “GenderF**k!” announced the narrator in booming tones, and so GenderF**k burst onto the stage in a studded tan leotard.
As GenderF**k danced energetically to the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity backed away, made disapproving gestures, and eventually fled the stage, leaving behind a sun hat.
“I never thought I would be a performer,” said Bloomington community member Zuryvette Reyes Borrero, who played GenderF**k. “Back home — home is Puerto Rico — I never took (dance) classes but I locked myself in my room and danced like an idiot.”
Now she does drag at least once a month and recently joined Bloomington’s drag king troupe Gender Studs. She said she looks up to Vicci Laine, a performer and
As Reyes Borrero left the stage, she twirled the abandoned sun hat with a flourish, and Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity returned. Another person approached.
“Is it a friend, another well-intentioned stranger or a menace?” the narrator asked.
Gothika Darling, covered with glitter and blue paint from head to toe, entered, danced fluidly and lip-synched to Katy Perry’s “E.T.” and was later joined by another performer with one blue leg.
Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity continued to clutch hands and cower on the side of the stage as the performances continued. “This is not right,” the narrator verbalized for them. “An unconsidered value has been broken!”
Then the People’s Diva Argenta Peron danced in red fishnets to Livvi Franc’s “Now I’m That Bitch.”
As Evelyn entered the stage, replete with corset and black leather to dance and snap a multi-colored whip to Rihanna’s “S&M,” Mr. Heteronormativity stroked his chin in consideration.
“It’s awesome because of the fact it’s not just a drag-show,” Argenta Peron said. “It expresses a vision of what gender really is.”
Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity began to play with their gender expressions as the show progressed, donning various clothes, wigs and make-up as they became more comfortable with themselves.
“I believe it’s (the show) more inclusive even for people not in the LGBTQ community,” freshman Amanda Brown said. “It doesn’t take a traditional form.”
Haley Blorstad, graduate of Bloomington High School South, said she laughed and enjoyed the dancing.
“It’s really inspiring to watch them on stage and be so comfortable with themselves,” Blorstad said.
While the event was free, donations to Middle Way House were encouraged. Caleb Baker, a graduate student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs who was staffing the table, said the organization provides shelter for victims of domestic violence and job opportunities, including in the group’s catering service Food Works.
“We can use all the funding we can get,” Baker said. “I hope the community kicks in.”
The show continued with umbrella-twirling in red lingerie, cotton-candy blue hair, cartwheels in blue-checkered skirts, high-leg kicks and suave dancing to Dean Martin’s “Mambo Italiano.” Glitter flew from the dancing performers.
“I liked all the glitter,” said Maggie Block, graduate student in library science. “The original intent of androgyny and gender queerness is really exciting and cool to see.”
By the end of GenderF**k, Mr. and Mrs. Heteronormativity had come so far “They find they no longer wish to return,” the narrator announced. All of the performers and some SAGE members then danced to Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.”
The audience clapped to the strong beat as the dancers dispersed throughout the auditorium and gave high-fives to their fans.
“Being able to please the crowd, hearing them say they loved it and want to see it again — it’s absolute bliss,” Reyes Borrero said.
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