IUPUI hosts drag bingo

On Tuesday night, the IUPUI Office of Health and Wellness Promotion and the LGBTQ+ Center hosted their annual drag bingo event. The event, which was held in the ballroom of the Campus Center, was marketed as a way for students to de-stress before finals. It featured two hours of drag performance interspersed with bingo. 

There was no age verification to attend the event, but it appeared to be intended only for those 18 and over, as around thirty minutes into the event, one drag queen asked if everyone was over 18, to which the crowd cheered. 

Each drag queens’ Venmo was displayed on the screen, and cash tips were encouraged by staff members. Many students who gave received physical contact from the performers in return.

One performer, Miss Ida Kay, shook his breasts directly behind the head of a student, as well as putting his leg on a student in response to receiving a tip. Kay is 31 according to his Facebook page.

Ava Morningstar and Desiree Bouvier also performed at the event.

Kay is a prominent Drag Queen in the Indy Area, and has previously participated in drag queen story hours at the Indianapolis Public Library.   

According to Ryan Anderson, Assistant Director of the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion, who was also involved in planning a canceled bondage class at IUPUI, the drag queens were all paid by the university. The Collegiate Commons has submitted a public records request to determine how much they were paid, and this article will be updated accordingly. 

“It’s the local community that keeps drag alive and well, so always…support local venues,” Bouvier said at one point during the event. “I will be hosting a show for all my 21 plus, where my 21 plus people at?” 

He explained where his upcoming event would be held, and how students could buy tickets. 

Bouvier also repeatedly put his face on the neck of students while hugging them from behind at various points during the event. Later that night, he grabbed the hand of a student, leading him up the aisle and dancing with him for a couple of verses. 

During the closing, the drag queens paraded around the room one last time, collected tips, and posed for photos with students.

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2 thoughts on “IUPUI hosts drag bingo

  1. So you can now see yourselves as crusading journalists because you “expose” a university-funded drag bingo event? Who under 18 would be aware of this event or even be able to attend? (And I doubt if they did attend it would hurt them.) Find more important stories to cover, and stop your “gotcha” journalism. I know, it’s tempting. I was on a daily student newspaper in college back when Watergate had all of us aspiring journalists eager to do investigative reporting. I was sent to cover a possible “scandal” in the geology department. (Really just a faculty disagreement with no great consequences.) There are real matters of concern on our campus and at IU overall that need attention, thoughtful, in-depth reporting. What about the attacks on higher education from our state legislature? What about our Trustees throwing Engineering faculty under the bus with this “realignment”? What about the mental health crisis among students? What about the inability to provide financial aid to undocumented students (Dreamers, living in DACA limbo)? What about the decline of the humanities, needed now more than ever?

    1. We have covered issues with the realignment (https://theindianacommons.com/the-conservative-case-for-indianapolis-students-to-unionize/, https://theindianacommons.com/purdue-students-react-to-iu-trident-on-iupui-campus/, https://theindianacommons.com/faculty-vote-no-confidence-in-iu-president-whitten/), and mental health on campus (https://theindianacommons.com/stressed-here-are-some-mental-health-options-at-iupui/, https://theindianacommons.com/former-atheist-on-psychology/). The decline of the humanities are directly connected to several of the issues we have investigated on campus. I’d be glad to write an opinion article expanding on that point. The phrasing of the other two points you brought up, valid or not, appear to reflect your particular political beliefs, and are not actually something that can really be “investigated,” as the points (the state regulating education and the DACA students not being eligible for financial aid) are already well-known. Our coverage matters more when we focus on the thing that we are actually experts on as students, our campus.

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