“Right now I’m blocking out my brows, which is probably the most time consuming part,” says Riley Chap (Miss Anya Cox) “I would shave them off but I don’t do drag enough to justify it. I need to meet people and not scare all of San Luis Obispo.”
Chap is a drag queen and performs under the name Miss Anya Cox.
“As cute, clean and fresh and beautiful as you want to be, you need to postpone that,” says Chap, ” drag is a process and you need to get down and dirty.”
“I’m going with the grains of my hair in order to get full coverage and lay the hair flat.”
Chap is a fourth year graphic arts major and is graduating this Spring in an event known as “Lavender Commencement” which is a graduation ceremony for the queer students and allies of Cal Poly.
They need to complete half a painting and an entire illustration before they are ready for commencement in the Spring , but drag is a way for them to express themselves outside of schoolwork and stress.”
“I wish I could be like Juicy (a local full-time Drag Queen) and just do drag everyday” says Chap “but it is so expensive and time consuming and I have a degree to get.”
Chaps look was inspired by a social media duo known as Fecal Matter.
They also talk about being heavily inspired by the Club Kid scene of New York during the late 80’s and early 90’s.
“I love club kid fashion. They would do a crazy ass look at midnight in New York city,” says Chap “I would love to do that every day but I ain’t trying to get hate-crimed.”
The struggles of being a drag queen in a world that is close-minded is also something that is concerning for queer students like Chap.
“You need friends who are recklessly supportive,” says Chap “friends who are going to say ‘let’s go put on crazy makeup and get naked in a field.”
Chap may be graduating, but they fully intend to continue drag after commencement along with pursuing a career in graphic arts.
“I’m going to freelance all summer and work at home but drag will always be a part of my life.”
It is times like these where Chap has free time that they love to get in drag and just relax.
“I love doing a full face, smoking a little, listening to Dolly and The Wiz and just staying in my room all night.”
The look was exactly what they were going for with the exception of a minor exception in a few details.
“In an ideal world, I would shave my head for this look, but that is really severe.”
Chap ended the look by expressing their feelings about self-empowerment.
Although Chap is graduating very soon, they hope that the school will put more emphasis on queer artists and the value that they bring to campus.
“Armstrong will never prioritize student lives over money, and that is becoming very apparent to the queer community here on campus.”
With the world becoming more accepting of drag, and drag being pushed further into mainstream media, Chap hopes that one day queer people can live free of ridicule.
“We are all the same deep down,” says Chap “no matter who you love or who you choose to be, we need to learn how to live together or else our time here will be shorter than we hope.”