Felipe Storch, Contributing Writer||

Organized by the campus Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered, and their Allies organization, LGBTA Club, the 6th annual Gender Bender Ball filled the atrium of the College Center with women in suit and tie or drawn-on facial hair, men in skirts, dresses, and wigs, and everything in

“The event is a night of fun and a great release from gender norms and
stereotypes,” said Jim Andrascik ’16, co-president of the LGBTA Club.

The night started with the Chessmen performing three numbers in drag: “It’s Gonna be Me” (N*Sync), “In the Still of the Night” (Boyz II Men), and
“Accidentally in Love” (Counting Crows).

Professional drag queen Kahmor Vixenn, and her “drag daughter” Nevaeha Le’Vixenn, kept the crowd excited with performances including Nicki Minaj songs and reference to the famous drag queen TV show run by RuPaul.

Students also showed their lip-sync skills and dance moves in the Ball’s King & Queen

After performing to “Sexy Back” (Justin Timberlake) and “It’s Raining Men” (The Weather Girls), a King and a Queen were chosen by a panel of five judges from the co-sponsors of the event. The winners won gift baskets including $50 gift cards. The over 300 people who participated could also have their photos taken by Chris Aviles Photography.

This year’s Gender Bender Ball had the largest attendance ever since the event was first held in 2009.

The Ball garnered great support from Ware College House, The Women’s Center, The Inter-Fraternity Council, F&M Options, Panhellenic Council, Hillel, and the Office of the Chaplain.

To some people it’s a night of dress-up, but to others it’s a release from the gender norms that society has programmed.

Amalya Levy ’16, a participant, decided to be non-binary (neither completely male or female) and was happy to see other people
doing something similar.

Levy thinks that events like this are an opportunity to learn about the wide spectrum of gender

“I think that the Gender Bender Ball is great because it’s not just a fun party; it’s a way that people can step into their shoes, even if just for one night,” she said.

The Gender Bender Ball is one of many activities organized by LGBTA Club, in addition to Day of Silence/Night of Noise in recognition of the National Day of Silence in the spring semester.

The club also holds weekly meetings on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. in the basement of the College Center in the Allies Resource Center. All members of the college community, whether LGBT-identified or otherwise, are welcome.

Junior Felipe Storch de Oliveira is  a contributing writer. His email is fstorchd@fandm.edu.