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Draggieland defunded by A&M but student organizations ensure the show must go on

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 13:40:32-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Draggieland one of the most loved and controversial events that Texas A&M has held on campus since it originated in 2020. The LGBTQ+ community finally felt welcomed until this year. Now they're sharing their story.

Drag was once a small community in College Station.

”Most people didn’t even know that drag existed out here, I didn’t know,” said Casey Mackey, or Jessy B Darling, queen of Draggieland 2022.

Until the LGBTQ+ community began stepping in their truth and Draggieland was born.

"Having stuff like Draggieland is a step in the right direction whether or not people agree with it,” said Mackey.

An event that was once held here at the MSC building was stripped of its funding and moved to the rudder theater. Student organizations came together to support the LGBTQ+ community ensuring the show must go on.

“I was disappointed, but I wasn’t really super surprised then whenever I saw how many people were so adamant about bringing it back, it really made me feel super hopeful for the community,” said Mackey.

Casey Mackey also known as Jessy B darling--won the title of queen of Draggieland in 2022.

Mackey says the LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to controversy.

And in 2020 the event also received backlash they were able to overcome.

“It was cool to see people come together then and it’s cool to see people come together now in a much bigger way because this time we didn’t have the backing of the funding of the school,” said Mackey.

All those playing a small role to bring Draggieland to life say the message they relayed meant so much more.

”I’m very happy that I got to participate in something that I know is going to go down in history, you know it’s only the third year that they’ve done it. But this year really meant a lot more than just can we put this on. We proved to them that all we wanted was a space and we created one,” Marco or Nirvana, Host of Draggieland 2022.

And the impact it’s made has also changed the lives of participants like Jessy B.

”To be a part of that legacy it’s really rewarding, so I'm very thankful that I ended up ... I got to be a student at that time that all this was happening,” said Mackey.

Now organizers of the event look forward to hosting another Draggieland come this December, one that will be sure to sell out--time and time again.

“I have to come back to go to Draggieland 2023 and pass down my crown,” said Mackey.