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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Confusion between drag show and druid event

On Saturday, May 4, a large number of events of cultural significance took place. At 1 p.mThe Reformed Druids of North America celebrated Beltane, a Gaelic May Day festival, on the Hill of Three Oaks. And at 9 p.m., Carleton’s a Drag celebrated the boldness and talent of the queer community at Carleton with the once-a-term drag show, held in the chapel. Both events were largely successful and enjoyed by their respective audiences – the only hitch was that due to a campus announcement error, the events were attended by one anothers’ intended audiences. 

This mix-up was only discovered when campus announcements sent out an apology; nobody who had attended the events had observed the difference. We were even able to speak to a student who attended both events and had not noticed the switch. This student, Stu Dent ’27, said “it was my first Reformed Druids of North America meeting, and honestly, I was somewhat disappointed. I thought the faith was more open and original, but they spent almost the whole time talking about sin, holiness, and confession. I did like that they had so many interpretative and performative aspects, I just wish it wasn’t so focused on Christian ideas. The drag show earlier in the day was great, though. Really just incredible. High spirits, so much dancing, incredible costumes. I’m going every term until I die.” 

Other students expressed similar sentiments about what they had believed to be the Druid meeting. Individuals like First Last ’26 said that “the druid event really should not have been held in the chapel. I understand it’s where all the religious stuff is, but the chapel really might not be so much of a safe space for many people who want to attend a druid meeting. And I was expecting a much more open and friendly atmosphere, but they kept calling us sinners and spanking us. I don’t think I’m going back.” Needless to say, the Carletonian was surprised to find that the drag show had had such an intense atmosphere. Was it possible all the attendees had collectively missed a bit? Last suggested “while some of the accusations seemed humorous, it was still really strange. They were complete strangers. The sex jokes were expected, just not the sinning talk.” A couple of students definitely found this dynamic strange. Isaac Kofsky ’27, who is heavily involved in religious life at Carleton, said “well I was just going to the chapel on Saturday night because I was bored. I was somewhat surprised to see a crowd of extravagantly dressed people singing and cheering and behaving generally rambunctiously, but it seemed fun, so I took a seat. Then I realized it was a druid event, and everything made more sense. I’m surprised the Reform Druids of North America have such a robust system of indulgences, though. I mean, they were walking through the aisle with a hat out for cash. I thought most organized religions had abandoned that after Martin Luther’s whole thing, but I guess they are a newer religion.” 

Students who attended the real druid event were also somewhat surprised. Dent said, “I thought all the individual dance numbers were very professional, and the makeup was really good. It just seemed like a nature themed drag show. Honestly, both events were incredible. The two organizations should really collaborate sometime.” When this idea was mentioned to other students, it was received well. Kofsky said, “we at the chapel are enthusiastic about fostering inclusive relationships between different student organizations. If Carleton’s a Drag wanted to do something with the Reformed Druids of North America, or vice versa, we would love to help facilitate that. Have we thought about drag druid brunch?” 

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