Project Drag Ball


  • Fallon poses near the end of the dance, pulling through for a dramatic finish despite the wig slipping off mid-performance. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Drag queen champion Fallon embraces Kalandra Bankhead after being crowned. “I’ve crossed something off my list tonight,” he proclaimed as the audience applauded for the last time in a night of performance, friendship, and acceptance. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Anne Norman finishes adjusting her green tie as she listens to instructions on how to apply a fake mustache. Event-goers who arrived early to the Drag Ball Monday afternoon for the free gender presentation workshop learned about drag culture as they tried on accessories such as fishnet gloves and wigs. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Kalandra Bankhead touches up backstage before the performance. Drag, which usually implies cross-dressing for stage performance, carries influences from theater traditions that emphasize the dramatic use of makeup. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Issa Ramos helps Miranda Grummons draw a mustache. Before the Drag Ball, several event-goers gathered to prepare outfits for the audience drag contest. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Scotty Scheel, stage name “Fallon,” heads towards the stage after a last-minute mascara adjustment. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • In a moment of quiet, Issa Ramos, left, consults Alexis Emperador about the music selection before audience members fill the Student Activity Center Auditorium. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Drag queen contestants file up before the competition, which included a variety of lip-syncing and dance numbers. Each performance was punctuated by educational presentations about the event, such as the types of drag performance and the significance of body positivity. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • The judging panel prepares for the night of dancing to begin. The points were totaled and delivered to the MC for an Oscars-style reveal of the winners. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Kalandra Bankhead crawls towards the audience as part of the dance number, eliciting cheers from supporters. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Nadine Hughes, an honorary judge at the Drag Ball, lip-syncs to the crowd. Many may recognize the full-time drag queen of 13 years as the bouncer for Kiss and Fly, downtown Austin’s only gay nightclub. Hughes first performed at 17 years of age and is currently a contestant for Miss Texas. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Two audience members battle out the title of 3rd place for “Best Audience Drag” by revealing where they would take a girl out for a date. The winning location, which garnered the most cheers, was McDonald’s. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)

  • Billie Green, stage name “Bettie Khyles,” dances energetically in a mix of contemporary and ballet styles. The rousing performance won a standing ovation and the title of second best. (Photo Credit: Zen Ren)