Prime drag stars, LGBTQ celebrities together with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Adam Lambert, and superstar allies of the queer group banded collectively Sunday to stage Drag Isn’t Dangerous, a telethon to lift cash to fight anti-LGBTQ laws.
As anti-drag and anti-trans bills proliferate throughout america — equivalent to Tennessee’s ban on public drag performances (which has been temporarily blocked by a decide) — the telethon brought in more than $500,000 from 5,000 particular person donors. In response to the organizers, “all web proceeds from the occasion will likely be divided amongst accredited charities (GLAAD, GLSEN, Headcount, Black Queer City Corridor, The ACLU Drag Protection Fund, Trans Justice Funding Venture, Victory Fund) that assist LGBTQIA+ causes and drag performers in want, particularly in states the place they face discrimination and bans.” The fundraiser, held by way of GoFundMe, continues by way of Tuesday.
In the course of the greater than four-hour telethon, Hollywood allies making appearances — each dwell and pre-taped — included Charlize Theron, Leslie Jones, Jesse Eisenberg, singer Joey McIntyre, Melissa McCarthy, Sarah Hyland and Idina Menzel.
Marcia Homosexual Harden appeared dwell, sitting down with occasion co-host Adam Shankman (director of Disenchanted and Hairspray) to debate what drives her to assist this trigger.
“What drives me is as a result of it’s proper and what’s occurring proper now could be fallacious,” mentioned Harden. “What drives me is — my youngsters are all queer. My eldest youngster is non-binary. My son is homosexual. My youngest is fluid. And you realize, they’re my youngsters they usually train me every single day.”
Talking in regards to the wave of anti-LGBTQ laws, the Oscar-winning actress added, “That is so fear-based and it’s spreading that type of worry and hatred amongst different folks. I imagine this nation will battle that.”
Additionally on the telethon, Theron, who has a transgender daughter and is a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights, appeared with a bunch of buddies in a pre-taped phase during which she advised the drag group, “We love you queens. We’re in your nook and we’ve obtained you, and I’ll fuck anyone up who’s making an attempt to fuck with something with you guys.”
And in a press release which appeared to reference gun violence, Theron added, “There are such a lot of issues hurting and actually killing our children and everyone knows what I’m speaking about proper now and it ain’t no drag queen — as a result of if you happen to’ve ever seen a drag queen lip sync for her life, it solely makes you happier, it solely make you’re keen on extra, it makes you a greater individual.”
The night was produced by Producer Leisure Group, a administration agency, file label and manufacturing firm, that represents drag stars and different LGBTQ expertise.
The night time’s lineup included a who’s who of the dragocracy, from Jinkx Monsoon (who had been scheduled to seem on the MTV Film and TV Awards earlier than the dwell telecast was cancelled), Trixie Mattel and Ginger Minj to Candis Cayne, Laganja Estranja and Sherry Vine, lots of them taking calls from donors in the course of the telethon.
One name got here from a instructor in Florida, the place Gov. Ron DeSantis has pushed by way of the so-called Don’t Say Gay Law. “I make certain all my youngsters are liked,” mentioned the instructor, “and I would like everyone to know we love you in Florida. We’re right here to guard all our children. Particular like to all of our trans youngsters and trans households. We’re grateful for you.”
Together with Shankman, the night time’s hosts have been comedian Justin Martindale and drag stars Alaska and Peppermint. Menzel appeared dwell from the Bourbon Room on Hollywood Boulevard with composer Tom Kitt in a bunch efficiency of the music “Mild,” whereas Bob the Drag Queen appeared dwell from the Troubadour in West Hollywood performing the music “Bitch Like Me.”
The livestream included segments during which drag performers talked about how doing drag modified their lives and has offered them with a method of free expression and during which they denounced anti-drag and anti-trans laws for demonizing them and, they contended, stoking violence towards the LGBTQ group.
Drag performer Nina West appeared in a phase chatting with the harassment he has encountered, together with an individual with airhorns displaying up at his home whereas he was doing a drag queen story hour on Instagram; being doxed and having his deal with and his mother and father’ deal with put on-line; somebody placing an indication in his yard labeling him a “groomer,” and encountering threats of violence whereas on a drag Christmas tour final yr.
“We had protesters exterior of each present,” West mentioned in regards to the tour. “We had bomb threats, bomb-sniffing canines and, sure, we needed to be pushed out of 1 metropolis with a police escort so we wouldn’t be pushed off the highway … We are able to’t sit again. We are able to’t permit this to proceed. We can’t be the punching bag for individuals who don’t know what our group is about.”
Additionally included have been information clips detailing not solely the most recent wave of anti-LGBTQ laws, but in addition displaying politicians and right-wing media personalities castigating queer folks, equivalent to commentator Michael Knowles who said earlier this year at the CPAC conference, “transgenderism should be eradicated from public life totally.”
The telethon began with a (principally severe) comedy bit during which drag performer Kelly Mantle shocked Ginger Minj by teleporting in from a dystopian future during which the far-right had succeeded in precisely these goals.
“I simply got here again from the longer term. I simply escaped and I got here again to make this PSA. … Sooner or later, there’s no extra drag, they banned it. They banned all of it. They banned duct tape. They banned drag. They banned pleasure. … They rounded us all up and threw us into camps … And there’s nobody to host bingo. There’s nobody to host drag brunch. There’s nobody to avoid wasting Broadway. There aren’t any extra cut up, no dips, no extra hair clips, no shablam,” Mantle mentioned.
The telethon could be considered at moment.co/dangerous. Moreover, Drag Isn’t Harmful — whose supporters embody Warner Music Group’s ADA Music, the ACLU, the Grammy Museum, Amazon’s Glamazon worker affinity group, UTA and OUTtv — has launched a charity single, additionally titled “Drag Isn’t Harmful” and that includes Javelle and Ocean Kelly.
Additionally making pre-taped remarks was actress, director and producer Elizabeth Banks who mentioned, “Anti-drag payments have been launched in a dozen states and that’s together with practically 375 anti-LGBTQ+ payments concentrating on queer folks.”
“And make no mistake,” Banks continued. “These payments aren’t simply undemocratic, making an attempt to take rights away from our fellow residents, they’re harmful. They’re making a tradition of discrimination that places drag performers, trans folks and others into severe elevated danger for violence.”