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The Art of Drag

Florida & The Art of Drag: Celebrating Queer Expression Amid ‘Don’t Say Gay’

Latrice Royale

Max's Pop-Up Truck Tour Shines in Miami, Defying Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Legislation.

In a bold defiance of Florida's controversial 'Don't Say Gay' legislation, Max's 'The Art of Drag' Pop-Up Truck Tour emerged as a vibrant celebration, illuminating Miami Art Week 2023 with a powerful testament to the resilience of queer expression. Over two transformative days on December 8-9, the Max-sponsored event became a beacon of LGBTQIA+ pride, featuring drag brunches and free makeovers that showcased the profound impact of drag and queer art.

Latrice Royale, a beloved figure from 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and star of the upcoming Season 4 of HBO® Original 'We're Here,' took center stage as the host, infusing the celebration with a dynamic and empowering dimension. Queens from each venue played a pivotal role, orchestrating full transformations on handpicked individuals within a glass-walled truck during the drag brunch. At R House Wynwood, the talented drag artist Morphine Love Dion, recently announced as a cast member of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 16, worked her magic on content creator Kevin Ninh. Meanwhile, at Palace Bar, drag artist Jahsyra transformed Equality Florida board co-chair Jeff Delmay.

Jeff Delmay holds historical significance as one of six couples who, along with Equality Florida, sued for marriage equality in 2015. Their legal victory marked the swift legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of Florida the very next day. Jeff and Kevin, individuals with lived experiences as queer people of color, shared their personal stories, emphasizing the humanity behind the captivating drag characters.

The makeovers were not merely cosmetic; they delved into the profound power of the art of drag. Conversations sparked during these transformations explored how drag, with its transformative force, can be a catalyst for political action. Each queen, alongside their newly transformed drag mothers, took to the stage, vividly illustrating the undeniable and transformative force of drag.

"We're magical, but we're not mythical. We exist, baby," says Kevin Ninh. Jeff Delmay adds, "We're doing great things in the state. We're fighting, one drag performance at a time."

These shared words encapsulate the spirit of this event. Costumes designed by Patrick Howell, custom wigs styled by Shontelle Sparkle, and makeup from Trixie Cosmetics added to the spectacular celebration.

Faced with Florida's legal challenges, including the contentious 'Don't Say Gay' bill, the Pop-Up Truck Tour became a vibrant counter-narrative—a celebration of queer joy and resilience. Latrice Royale's presence underscored drag's ability to transcend boundaries and amplify visibility. The collaboration with Equality Florida stood as a testament to the LGBTQIA+ community's collective strength in the face of adversity.

As drag queens boldly graced the stage, defying attempts to silence their voices, the 'Art of Drag' Pop-Up Truck Tour symbolized the resilience of queer expression—a vibrant testament to the power of art, visibility, and the unyielding spirit of the LGBTQIA+ community. In a world that seeks to silence, this event stood as a powerful reminder of the unapologetic beauty and strength inherent in the diverse tapestry of queer existence.

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