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Naomi Smalls to headline 20th anniversary Charity Drag Show, March 23

Naomi Smalls wearing top of intricate lace and a bejeweled crown

Naomi Smalls

For two decades, Illinois State University has been home to one of the largest drag shows in the region.

Naomi Smalls from season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race will headline the 20th anniversary of ISU Pride’s annual Charity Drag Show at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center. Returning to host will be fan favorite and Illinois State alum Sharon ShareAlike. The annual fundraising event showcases performances from multiple professional drag queens, kings, and royalty as well as student performers.

Naomi Smalls is a 7-foot glamazon, inspired by 90s supermodels, pop culture, and fashion. Her name hails from the edginess of Naomi Campbell coupled with the freshness of Biggie Smalls. She was one of 12 contestants to compete on the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and finished as a runner-up alongside Kim Chi. Born Davis Heppenstall in Redlands, California, Smalls originally performed around Los Angeles, but is now in demand around the globe.

Drag performer with plumed costume on stage.

Drag performer Sharon ShareAlike at the ISU Pride annual Charity Drag Show.

Tickets are on sale now at the Braden Box Office, and are available through ticketmaster. The show generally sells out quickly, but if tickets are left, they will be available the day of the show at the Braden Box Office. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for community members.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Friends of Central Illinois, which links people living with and affected by HIV to essential resources to support long-term wellness. They also serve as a community resource for sexual health awareness, counseling, testing, and referral.

For more information, email, or follow Pride on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Those who need special accommodations to fully participate in this event, please contact Pride at or the Braden Box Office at (309) 438-5444. Please allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

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