A week before Global Pride, NYC Pride, and Stonewall Day put on their digital events, over 100 drag performers are staging their own virtual estival. Welcome to "Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens."
Pride has consistently been one of the busiest moments of the years for drag performers. The bookings go up, and with the rising corporatization of the event, checks get bigger. But all of that is set to take a major hit with the pandemic. So New York City drag staple, and New York City Council candidate Marti Gould Cummings is hosting this new effort to support queens including RuPaul's Drag Race Stars like Jan Sport, Heidi N. Closet, Nicky, Doll, Shuga Cain, Milk, and more, as well as other local performers that weren't on the show.
“Since before Stonewall our drag community and our trans community have rallied to stand up and fight for equality and justice,” Cummings said in a release. “As we grapple with the new normal of our daily lives we must continue in the footsteps and carry on the spirit of Pride. We may not be able to meet in person this year but Pride will live on as we gather digitally to celebrate our drag community and honor the legacy of Masha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and the activism that so many LGBTQ icons ushered in.”
The festival will stream on both the NYC Pride and GLAAD Facebook pages from 6:30 p.m to 8 p.m. on June 19, 20, and 21. Viewers will be able to tip performers through Venmo and other donation platforms.
"You cannot have Pride without a little (or a lot) of drag," Shawn Kobetz, Partnerships Manager at NYC Pride, said. "This performance of gender expression has been a staple of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout its history, bringing with it a sense of vibrancy and power that can be felt at every NYC Pride event. We at NYC Pride are proud to stand with our drag friends and family from around the world during these trying times. We hope this event provides much-needed support and entertainment for our community."
Other talent to be included include Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Merrie Cherry, Bootsie Lefaris, Rify Royalty, Pissi Myles, and more. Myles notably made headlines when she turned up at Trump's impeachment hearings in full drag. Boylesque performer Jake DuPree, who also recently made headlines as the focal point of homophobic backlash on Instagram, will also make an appearance.