A group of budding drag kings and queens from north Queensland are preparing to make their stage debut at a charity extravaganza this World AIDS Day.
Community group Cairns Drag recently partnered with the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) to run an eight week drag workshop, where the group of performers developed looks and characters.
The workshop graduates recently had their first group outing to Cairns Tropical Pride Fair Day, but they’re not stopping there.
On Saturday, December 1, they will present the Haus of Drag Glitz and Glamour Extravanganza with 26 live drag performances, including special guests Polly Petrie and Milly Minogue.
QuAC North Queensland’s Community Development Officer Ben Dawson said the workshops showed the “creative, uplifting spirt and journey of drag” and everyone was excited for the event.
“The night incorporates an amazing light show, stunning costumes, loads of laughs and it’s all set in the most spectacular performance space in Cairns, the Tanks Arts Centre,” he said.
“Our Haus of Drag Extravaganza encourages participants to take initiatives for improved mental health and positive steps in benefiting overall well-being, and just having fun.”
Drag King Leonardo da Inci (Maddi Sivyer) will be among those taking to the stage.
“I’m so grateful for all the love and support in our Cairns Drag family,” Leonardo said.
“As a uni student who spends what feels like every waking moment keeping up with assessments and study, as a chronically ill person, and as a young queer person, it’s been such a relief to find a group of people with whom I can connect and create and maintain strong reciprocal relationships.
“I’m ordinarily quite introverted and dislike social settings but becoming a drag king has enabled me to create a persona who is confident and outgoing, which has helped me step out of my comfort zone and try new things.”
Also performing at the special event are showgirls Kristina Crème of the Southern Sisters (SA), Anita Service (QLD) and Petra Fiedwood (QLD), joining talented Cairns queens Pensilvania, Claudia Izout, Delvine, Donna Perignonn and Roxy.
“Local queens were instrumental in support and assistance to us with our inaugural eight-week workshop series,” Cairns Drag co-founder Stuart Crockart said.
“Together we have created a safe space for eight to 10 new performers to learn, develop and evolve.”
The Haus of Drag Glitz and Glamour Extravaganza will be held in Tank 5 of the Tanks Art Centre on December 1. Entry is $5.00, with proceeds donated to local charity. Book tickets here.
30th anniversary of World AIDS Day
December 1 is globally recognised as World AIDS Day, and this year marks its 30th anniversary as a significant event for the LGBTIQ community.
It’s a day to raise awareness of HIV and remember those who lost their lives to the AIDS pandemic over the years.
Further, it’s a time to celebrate and encourage medical advancements in the fight against HIV, and support those living with HIV and fight stigma.
In Cairns, QuAC joins various community groups on Saturday December 1, offering HIV information and support stalls at 5pm on the Cairns Esplanade.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 6pm at The Western Events Lawn to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS.
In Brisbane, a candlelight vigil will will be held on December 1 from 6:45pm on the Queen Street Mall stage, outside Myer to remember all those we have loved and lost to AIDS and related illnesses since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The candlelight vigil is free to attend and no bookings are required. Candles will be provided and an AUSLAN interpreter will be available.
On November 30, the Brown Sugar dance party in Brisbane, organised by the gar’ban’djee’lum network and IndigiLez, brings together the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy communities to celebrate the rich diversity within our community.
From November 26, several landmarks around Brisbane and in regional Queensland will be lit up in red to mark World AIDS Day.
For more information and the full list of World AIDS Day events in Queensland, visit the website here.