By Vivian Murphy
Roughly 50 students joined PRISM and two drag queens in the Brower Student Center Room 100W for Big Gay Bingo on Thursday, Oct. 17.
PRISM, the College’s first queer-straight alliance club, hosted the heroes vs. villains themed event “to spread awareness about drag culture, as well as to host a fun night for queer students and allies on campus,” said Forum Modi, a sophomore computer science major and treasurer of PRISM.
Big Gay Bingo consisted of drag performances from Lady Celestina and Rhedd Rhumm, followed by an engaging and stirring game of bingo hosted by the queens themselves.
The event was co-sponsored by Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc., the Black Student Union, Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
Rhumm and “It’s great to see that there are co-sponsors for this event. A lot of campuses don’t do that,” Celestina said.
The room, decorated in red and blue with superhero decorations and candy, lit up when Rhumm began her dance to “Juice” by Lizzo. She spiced up her lip-synch routine with leg kicks, dips, flips and by strutting out at the end for a quick change.
Celestina then came on, lip synching “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease the Musical and wearing an Emerald City-inspired shiny green coat with matching tophat and sunglasses. Her perfect synching of every riff got the audience roaring into laughter and applause.
Some students decided to attend the Big Gay Bingo event because of the drag performances.
“The queens are really fun, and they’re really nice,” Modi said.
However, some students went simply to play bingo and have a fun time.
“I’m competitive,” said Rory Bruno, a graduate student studying special education. “I’m here for the grand prize, and if there’s a bingo event, count me in.”
The night consisted of dancing, excitement, games, and laughter. The queens hilariously hosted the bingo games, making jokes like “I hope this tumor is… B9.”
The grand prize was a self-care package, including tea, essential oils, face masks, bath bombs, a coloring book, lotion and even a sex toy.
With three students winning bingo at the same time for the grand prize, the queens devised a plan to find the final winner — LGBTQIA+ trivia and, eventually, a game of rock, paper, scissors.
The event provided a way to contribute to Queer Awareness Month, as some students reflected on their campus at the all-inclusive event.
“TCNJ is a generally accepting campus,” Modi said. “But we still have a long way to go. The school tries its best to be inclusive and accepting of everyone, but some of the students aren’t exactly there sometimes.”
Rhumm, who has been performing at the College for five years, and Celestina, who has been performing at the College for two years, put on an astonishing closing number of “One Night Only” by Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé, where they danced and synched their hearts out together.
Celestina reflected on her time working with the College.
“Everyone has been super welcoming, super kind, super excited, and I think that has a lot to do with the work that PRISM has done on campus in terms of visibility, awareness, and doing events like this to raise understanding of drag culture,” Celestina said.