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Drag Prom returns for seventh year

Performer Vita Mikju at last year's event.


 Life can sometimes be a drag. Sometimes, that can be a good thing, at least when it's the annual Busan Drag Prom.

 The big party returns for its seventh year starting at 9 p.m. July 7 at the 25 Decembris Pub in the Pusan National University area. This year's theme is "90s pop." 

 Organizer Christy Swain said the event, which features plenty of music, dancing and a suite of Seoul-based drag king and queen performances, was created in 2012 because of a lack of events for LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex) people in Busan. 

 "We wanted to create a safe and fun atmosphere for everyone, with no labels or judgment," she said. "Besides that, it's also just a really good party."

 In almost a decade, Swain said Busan Drag Prom has evolved "and become an opportunity for both seasoned and up-and-coming drag stars to showcase their talents."

 In addition to the dancing and drag performances, this year's Busan Drag Prom will remind those of a certain age that the 1990s were two decades ago and are considered retro now. 

 A celebration of that decade's pop and glam cultures will feature performances from the House of Tease Burlesque family as well as a lip sync battle, "which gives new kings and queens a chance to get up on stage and strut their stuff," Swain said.

 Admission price for this year's Busan Drag Prom is 5,000 won. Proceeds from the event will benefit Ivan Stop HIV/AIDS Project (ISHAP). Supported by the Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention (KHAP), ISHAP is based in Beomil-dong (neigh-borhood) and provides free and anonymous HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and sex education. A portion of proceeds will also go to Dding Ddong, Korea's first LGBTQI youth shelter. 

- How to get there: Pusan National University Station (Metro line 1), exit 1. Walk straight several blocks, about five minutes. Turn left at Emart 24 and 25 Decembris Pub is on the left.

- Information: "Busan Drag Prom" on Facebook.