Cynthia Lee Fontaine discusses self-love at Drag Queen Bingo

Destinee Sims, Features Editor

Cynthia Lee Fontaine called the shots on Oct. 14, getting to know Runners while announcing the lucky bingo squares during CSU Bakersfield Campus Programming’s digital Drag Queen Bingo event. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and OUTober, Drag Queen Bingo gave Runners the chance to have fun, chat with Fontaine, and win prizes. 

Full of energy and looking forward to the night’s fun to begin, Fontaine encouraged students to get loud and express their excitement when it came time to shout “bingo.”

With approximately 53 attendees sticking around for the duration of the event, five lucky students had the chance to win e-gift cards to Amazon. The first win of the night went to Kimberly Cerecer, giving Fontaine an opportunity to answer attendee’s questions while Campus Programming verified Cerecer’s win. 

Collage provided by CSUB Campus Programming. (Christian Rodriguez)

Gloria Gamez Gill, a junior mathematics major, wrote that she would likely be using her own Amazon gift card to get redecorate her room and some perfume.  

Attendees submitted questions in the Zoom chat about a variety of topics, asking Fontaine about her favorite makeup products, about her experiences as a drag queen, and personal life. Along the way, Fontaine reminded students how it took time to get find her own style as a queen.  

Multiple Runners expressed their own interest in trying their hand at creating their own drag looks, with some having already tried it on themselves or on friends. 

“I would love to try drag makeup, but I’ve never even worn everyday makeup,” Gill wrote. 

One anonymous Runner replied that she had tried dressing her boyfriend in drag, getting as far as the makeup application before he determined it just was not for him.

The key to creating a fun and successful drag persona is practice and dedication; Fontaine is just one of many iconic queens who went through a “glow up” period.  

Fontaine, known for wearing eye-catching colors with detailed makeup looks, told students how it used to take her two hours to do put together her style; she expresses that practice has allowed her to cut her preparation time down to an average of 25 minutes each time. 

“I really like the contour. Just making the face […], the feminine face,” Fontaine said when asked about her favorite part of getting into full costume.

Cynthia Lee Fontaine offered a warm greeting to students, expressing her excitmen t for the night to begin. (Destinee Sims)

As the rounds progressed, attendees were told of the importance of being a well-rounded queen, with Fontaine herself having a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and her studies in psychology. As a performer, Fontaine understands that her income is not guaranteed for life. 

“Education is the key to success,” Fontaine said, “In the future, I may not have a career as a performer.” 

Nevertheless, Fontaine told Runners how her persona was worth the hard work and practice. She stated that there is something “amazing” about watching “yourself change into this persona.” 

When Runners were asked how Campus Programming could improve the next Drag Queen Bingo event, each wrote that they would like the event to be more than an hour in length. Suggested additional prizes included gift cards to local businesses and the campus bookstore, and CSUB merchandise, such as blankets and cups. 

Looking to future Drag Queen Bingo events, students expressed their excitement at getting to see more of their favorite queens call the numbers. Students stated they would enjoy seeing queens like Bianca Del Rio for future games. 

“I would love for another LGBTQ+/POC icon to host the next event, like Stephanie Beatriz,” Lynna Ha, senior human biology major, wrote. 

Choosing a variety of special guests that bring their own personal experiences and cultures with them gives students the chance to not only feel heard, but understood and accepted.

Destinee Sims

“I feel that getting to meet and speak with public figures and influencers like Cynthia gives an opportunity for students to feel comfortable with themselves, and with it being a CSUB event, feel connected to our school and stay involved through the virtual semester,” Chloe Shadduck, a sophomore liberal arts major wrote. 

While a user tried to troll the chat room with inappropriate messages, Campus Programming was able to remove both the disruptive message and user quickly. Ultimately, students concluded that Campus Programming achieved their expressed goal to create a fun event with a safe, inclusive environment. 

Campus Programming urges students to remember that the code of conduct is still going to be enforced during virtual eventsInappropriate statements going against the code of conduct will still be subject to the same consequences as they are when in person 

While students may only be seeing one another online, students must remember that their actions have real-life effects on themselves and others.  

Fontaine told students that no matter what others think of them, the most important thing is that they are happy with themselves. 

“Be happy with your sexual orientation; be happy with your prepositions. More importantly, share [that happiness] with the world,” Fontaine said. 

Fontaine’s reminder to work on self-love and acceptance extended beyond sexuality and gender identity, however, as she told attendees that is equally important for them to understand their culture. 

“Just be yourself and never forget where your ancestors came from,” Fontaine said.