Multicolored lights zigzagged across Bobcat Ball Saturday as some attendees clad in bustiers and stockings for the event’s burlesque theme danced to electronic music at Bar One 41.
The biannual event, hosted by Lambda at Texas State, raised funds for the on-campus lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied community group. Members of the Texas State and San Marcos communities came out to show their support for Lambda. Attendees included Bobcat Ball emcee Kelly Stone, family and consumer science lecturer, and Thom Prentice, former city council and mayoral candidate.
“(Lambda) provides a safe space and an outlet to socialize,” said Lambda president Terena Cloud as she checked to make sure her stick-on mustache
was in place.
Fake sideburns, red pants with suspenders, a black-and-white striped shirt and a fur coat completed Cloud’s ensemble. Cloud said the opportunity to dress in costume is one of her favorite aspects of Bobcat Ball.
Cloud said the event has provided a positive way for people to celebrate the LGBTQA community and bring them together since it began in 2000.
“We have a really good, supportive administration (at Texas State),” said Jesse Almazan, former Lambda president. “I’ve heard and I’ve experienced it’s one of the best ones—they’re really open.”
As the music pulsed through Bar One 41, Corpus Christi resident Alizae Marie Riverton prepared for Bobcat Ball’s amateur drag queen and king show with members of the four-piece “Riverton Clan.”
“(Drag is) basically an alter ego,” Riverton said. “You get to bring yourself out like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. It’s pretty much like that and how you get your point across.”
Riverton, originally from Houston, said he found out about the event from Shannon “Gaga” Cantu, now “Gaga Riverton,” a former Texas State student known as “drag momma.” They met through another drag queen in Corpus Christi.
This was Riverton’s first time attending Bobcat Ball, and he prepared approximately 45 minutes beforehand for the event. Donning a long, curly brown wig, neon green bra and a form-fitting sparkly, black leotard, Riverton was ready to perform his lip synch and dance routine to Bobcat Ball attendees.
“You have to be humble because if you’re not humble, then you’re pretty much not gonna get anywhere,” Riverton said, adding he plans to undergo hormone therapy soon. “You have to be strong minded, and you have to have the power to do it. It takes a lot of guts to get in drag and to step out on stage. It really does.”
Cigarette smoke and fog from a machine on stage hung loosely in the air as emcee Stone, who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, introduced the 10 drag queen and king contestants.
After some technical difficulties, Riverton performed first. Though his “Texas hair,” as Stone referred to the wig, may not have been enough to win the contest, he placed in the top three. Two male strip teases followed, causing audience members to giggle, cheer and reach for their wallets, but neither of them were crowned the winner.
Before audience members chose the winner, Stone’s brown chaps provided much fodder for some. Three volunteers, after being asked, attempted to rip the chaps off and expose the denim shorts underneath. A brief “make out” session between Stone and a volunteer subsequently ensued. Then, it was time to crown the winner.
Drag queen Regina Silverthorn held a paper crown on top of his head with “X” marked hands. Stone questioned Silverthorn about how he would solve world peace, and he said it would be done through liposuction.
Bobcat Ball concluded the night’s formal festivities with back-to-back performances by Cantu, who lip synched and danced to two songs by Lady Gaga.
“I do Gaga—I do whatever I feel like doing,” Cantu said.