Buffy, Burlesque and Drag

Last weekend was Pride in Chicago, so there were all kinds of events going on. My friends and I went to one hosted by All Geeks HQ, “an all-inclusive cosplay series created by Adam Guerino with queer-inclusive production group Outloud Chicago and queer social group Geeks Out”. The theme in June – was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Over the past year I’ve made my way from start to finish through the Buffy series (I promise I’ll get my review of season 7 up soon!) and my friends and I were ecstatic to show off our new love of Buffy – and introduce my boyfriend to it.

First – the outfits. One of my friends was premiering his drag persona, Willa VaWisp, as Glory. I thought about the female characters, and realized there was no iconic LOOK that I really wanted to go for. It would be easy to toss on a leather jacket and say I’m Buffy, or a mini skirt and say I’m Cordelia, but I wanted something more dramatic. And then I thought of my favorite character … Spike! And I absolutely had to do it. Thank god I had a couple queens to help me out with drag contouring, because James Marsters has some cheekbones.

#spike #Buffy #drag #dragking #cosplay #crossplay #jamesmarsters #jamesmarsterscheekbones #pride2016 #pride @allgeekshq

A post shared by Nicole Williams (@nwilliams316) on

To round out the group, we put dog tags on my bewildered boyfriend and called him “Military Xander” and another friend went as Dark Willow. The night started out fierce and only got better from there.

The event started with a 9 pm showing of “Once more, with Feeling!” the famous musical episode of Buffy. We arrived and saw others in costume, and everyone was starting to drink and singing along raucously.

Halfway through the night, there was a brief break. You know that scene at prom, when Jonathon presents Buffy with a “Class Protector Award” and you have all of the feels because she’s finally getting recognition for all her hard work? Well, someone came up, and began with that speech, and turned back to real life and began talking about Orlando. The drunk and cheerfully rambunctious crowd was solemn, respectful, and (personally) tearful. They told us about a raffle that evening to raise money for the victims of the Pulse shooting through the One Orlando Fund (you can still donate here). The prizes weren’t extravagant – tickets to their next Ghostbusters themed event (a $5 cover) and a lovely “Protector Umbrella” handcrafted by one of the queens. Nevertheless, they raised over $500 for the One Orlando Fund, and it was a touching moment to be a part of the community and recognize, as the presenter said, “sometimes we have to be real-life Slayers”.

Of course, the highlight of the night was the performances!

From The Mayor as MC, to Angel and Spike boylesque slashfic, to a bioqueen Glory who slayed, a drag queen Kendra, a Faith burlesque number and several more, the night was absolutely amazing. Every performer was incredibly talented and sexy.

Kat Sass Glory Buffy
Kat Sass as Glory. Photo credit: MarsaKM.com

My friends and I had an absolutely fabulous time, and even though my boyfriend knew very little about Buffy and had only seen a burlesque show once before, he had a great time as well! It was a great way to introduce him into the fandom and I can’t wait to get him watching. Thanks to All Geeks HQ in Chicago for such a great event!

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