A DC company chose to show support for abortion providers after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with a drag show.
Drag queen Mari Con Carne headlined a benefit concert at The Trade on June 30 in support of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Commerce within a week of the June 24 Supreme Court ruling scheduled artists and organized a promotional effort via social media. The June 30 event featured performances from Jane Saw, Dirty Sanchez, Bombshell, Entropy and Derrick Star.
“We were stunned like everyone else at the Supreme Court’s decision and kind of let ourselves watch as I think a lot of people were like, ‘What can I do to help? ‘” Business owner Ed Bailey told the Washington Blade. . “We’ve all felt some sort of powerless moment where we have the energy to want to do something, and where do we put that energy?”
The performers earned $2,328 in tips and, thanks to Trade’s promise to match donations, the total doubled to $4,656 in support of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
“It was remarkable how much money was raised in one evening, just spreading the word quickly in a few days and saying, ‘Hey, come by Trade and try to see what we can do here'” , Bailey said. “And it was very heartwarming to see people supporting him and hopefully raising funds that will eventually help the women and their families. Kind of a weird time that we’re getting into.
Bailey added that despite the normalization of the drag platform, its socially subversive acts provide an opportunity for activism.
“Drag queens and kings were at the forefront of the fight and stood up and said, ‘No, you know, that’s not who I am, so stop telling me who to be or how. act,'” Bailey said. . “He is seen outside of our community in a more political way, either positively or negatively. And there’s something about the platform that drag creates for people to have a little bit more of a voice than anyone else in the community sometimes.
Drag shows have recently sparked controversy online, particularly outrage over children attending the shows.
“It’s just a system, an invented thing to be afraid of, to somehow motivate your voter base and it’s just the latest version of that,” said Bailey. “You know, it sort of lines up with, we have to be afraid of trans people and trans people competing in sports. It’s all part of the same strategy to divide people and create fear in some people.
Entertainer Drew Gaver, known as “Bev” when performing in drag, has opened up about performing in front of kids.
“I’ve taken the opinion of other drag queens where it’s like I didn’t sign up to be with kids and read storybooks to them, I’m primarily a nightlife performer” , said Gaver. “You are making the decision as an informed parent to put your child around a drag performer and all that entails. This feigned outrage about children being surrounded by sexual deviance and all this narrative that has come out lately is hysterical .
Gaver also stressed the importance of using the drag performance platform for activism.
“Drag is on a much bigger platform than I thought, and it’s important for those of us on this platform to use our voices for the greater good and gain attention. on the causes that require this attention,” Gaver said. “If we don’t use this platform, it’s a missed opportunity. Drag started out as activism and over time I think it’s become very commercialized and it’s important that we remember that being a drag performer and having this opportunity still has to stay in activism and use your voice for the greater good.”