Bowling Green drag scene will leave you gagged this fall

by Brittany Bennett
she / her

Bowling Green, Kentucky is of the largest cities in our state. This city houses the National Corvette Museum, Lost River Cave, Western Kentucky University, and an abundance of queer life fighting for a fairness ordinance. An ordinary night out on the town here could include listening to live music at some of the bars downtown on the square without much adventuring into what else might be out there. What most people fail to see on their typical night out is the thriving drag community in Bowling Green that is bringing life, art and community together on Saturday nights. 

Bowling Green has three venues that house performers monthly. One of the most energetic groups of performers that are at Donna’s Bar every second Saturday night of the month is known as the PrimaDonnas.

This progressive group is directed by the talented Gorgina George (they/them.) Gorgina describes the group as going against the grain of what your typical drag show might look like and encouraging all performers to do their own thing. From ages 21-65, there’s something for every person in the crowd to enjoy at a show by the PrimaDonnas.

Gorgina George: photo by Meah Jessup

Crowd levels and energy have been compared to a house party meets a rock show.

“We are an inclusive performance group that is aiding in the progressiveness of queer art and availability in Bowling Green,” Gorgina said.

This is a show we encourage everyone to see for themselves and be wowed by this local talent. On Sept. 11 at 9 p.m., the PrimaDonnas will be hosting Chanel-O-Ween, the original nine cast members will be performing with a special guest. We’ve been told to be on the lookout for all-ages events too.

On the opposite side of town, there’s Doug’s Motor City Bar and Grill. A place to get some of the best mimosas in Bowling Green and home to the Illusions every third Saturday of the month. The Illusions are described as your “classic drag.” Featuring special guests at every show, this is the scene most of us are familiar with when it comes to drag. The crowd has been described as diverse, but also featuring loyal fans who have been supporting these performers for years. The Illusions are currently on hiatus but have plans to return to regular shows this fall. 

Back across town on College Street Xclaim! Inc. is a Bowling Green Youth Theatre by day and home to BG FuZion every first Saturday of the month. FuZion partners with local queens and casts to promote unity within the drag community. The show was an idea from the director, Christopher Cherry (he/him), to promote inclusion and teamwork throughout all casts and performers in the local area. Having their own theater space has helped this new group be successful. FuZion’s first show was in May 2021 and they’ve been going strong ever since. Bringing in a diverse audience from across the city, FuZion is a dedicated LGBTQ+ safe space for all who enter. The next show is September 4 featuring the “Working Girls” of Bowling Green and celebrating Labor Day weekend. Christopher shared that some all-ages events are in the works now as the Miss BG Pride Pageant in October. 

It doesn’t matter what part of Bowling Green you might call home, there’s a venue you’re familiar with that’s celebrating the growing queer community here. September is starting and now is your chance to celebrate and support these performers living their truth, sharing their art, and bringing the community together in a way that we all desperately need right now. All shows and venues are certified LGBTQ+ safe spaces and these performers deserve support for the first-class entertainment they bring to every show.