Drag Queen Bingo attracts students from all backgrounds

Trisha Umpfenbach/ Staff Photograph Winning students line up to claim their prize from drag queen's host Sabin Wednesday evening in the University Auditorium. Each winner was given a rainbow bag, after the host picked out the pieces he would like to keep for himself.

“Welcome to Christian Bingo hosted by Ann Romney,” drag queen Sabin said as she hid behind the curtains of the Bovee University Center Auditorium.

Sabin made her fourth time annual appearance for the Drag Queen Bingo event Wednesday night. The event is a part of Coming Out Week.

Senior Bethany Wohlfeil said she came to Drag Queen Bingo last year and recalls it to be one of the most entertaining nights she has had.

“Sabin is a character, and makes such an interesting night,” the Sterling Heights native said. “She is not afraid to tell it like it is.”

The Detroit-area drag queen has been doing drag performances for nine and a half years. She has placed nationally as a top drag queen in the United States. She started out in Florida and has been making it her goal to be different.

“My drag mom named me after a wrestler,” Sabin said.

She said she was originally named Xavier but realized there was already a drag queen with that name.

She said she makes everything she wears except for her shoes. She uses her sarcasm, vulgarity and quick wit to engage the audience.

The drag queen started the night off with a dance number to the Beyonce song “Countdown,” and even dropped into the splits at one point in her performance. She wasn’t afraid to get in an audience member's face and potentially insult them.

“It is always a surprise with Sabin,” Westland sophomore Jered Smart said.

 Shannon Jolliff-Dettore, director of LGBTQ services, said the event is a change of pace from other Coming Out Week events because they are typically more educationally based.
“We use Drag Queen Bingo as a fun and relaxed event where individuals can enjoy laughs, bingo and friendship,” she said.

Jolliff-Dettore said the idea of Drag Queen Bingo came from a conversation with Sabin about different programs the office of LGBTQ services could do for Coming Out Week.

“I come to support the LGBTQ community,” Smart said. “Coming out is the best feeling you’ll ever experience; 1,000 pounds get lifted off your shoulders after."

Although Sabin addressed students with crude humor, she made sure to include all students there by asking audience members to raise their hands if they fell in different categories.

Jolliff-Dettore said she thinks that is the best part of Drag Queen Bingo.

"Just seeing all of the students from all different backgrounds come together," she said.

Sabin ended the night of bingo by going through the rainbow candy bags filled with assorted candy, picking out the ones she wanted to keep for herself.

"It's a social event and we come to see her and just have fun," Wohlfeil said.


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