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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 15
Lady Chablis birthday, $$$$$$ for Youth Suicide Prevention Program
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Lady Chablis birthday, $$$$$$ for Youth Suicide Prevention Program

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Lady Chablis reigns supreme as the queen of R Place. Nearly every night of the week, fans and friends can watch one of Seattle's most recognizable drag entertainers bring down the house with one amazing performance after another. Chablis does it all. The Chablis we all know and love can have you in stitches one moment as she dons a fat suit and does her best Aretha, or have you dabbing tears away as she lip-synchs a song that tells you that, when she dreams, she dreams in color. She is a firecracker of an entertainer, a dedicated member of our community, and a staunch supporter of equality - and we love her for it.

A drag queen with a microphone can be two things: a powerful force or a hot mess. Chablis is the former. Over the years she has used her status as an entertainer (with a loyal, built-in audience) to help raise money for causes near and dear to her heart. Her birthday celebrations are no exception. On April 29 and 30, Lady Chablis is asking you to join her in a celebration of her birthday and, in doing so, to donate to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP) to help save the lives of LGBT youth.

'People can donate whenever they want from now until April 30 at any of my shows,' Chablis told Seattle Gay News. 'I will add up the donations and announce the grand total at the Lady Chablis Birthday Extravaganza: A Celebration of Life For Our Gay Youth finale on April 30.'

The money that Chablis and the community raises will go to YSPP's OUTLoud program, which provides public education (through trainings and community outreach) focusing on LGBTQ youth and their risk for suicide, self-harm, and depression, and also focuses on bullying and bias-based harassment and the links these experiences have to lifelong negative mental health outcomes.

Chablis has set a goal of $3,000 for her birthday extravaganza, and she needs your help to get there.

Anyone that has ever been to a Chablis show can tell you she brings it every time! 'The audience can expect a fun show with lots of drag queens and friends,' she told SGN.

Chablis says that friends show up at her birthday party and do their best impersonations of her. 'One year, R Place manager Floyd Lovelady dressed as a 'big woman' and lip-synched to Jennifer Holiday. I still have nightmares,' she joked.

Helping to raise money for YSPP has become something of a tradition for Chablis. During the holiday season, Chablis rallied with Seattle Gay News and Absolut Vodka for the Tree of Life program. In just four days, Chablis raised over $1,600 dollars.

'When I heard about the Gay youth who were committing suicide, my heart just crumbled,' recalled Chablis. 'I asked myself, 'How does a child put a gun to his head and pull the trigger?' I began to question myself about what I was doing to reach out to these kids. How many more will there be, and when will it stop? I thought about the hate groups that were taking joy in my little Gay brothers and sisters destroying themselves, and I got pissed, turned my anger into motivation, and decided to do something about it.'

From then on, there was no turning back. 'It's so important to continue to fight,' says Chablis. 'It's crazy that we give or reach out when disaster strikes and we all care at the moment, but then we forget a couple of months later. Well, we may not see it on TV or the newspapers every day, but LGBT youth are still harming themselves. These kids need us and they need a program that they know they can come to when they have no other place to go. I was bullied as a kid and it's not a comfortable feeling, especially when you know you're different from others.'

Chablis says that local entertainers 'should take a piece of their talent and use it to help the community.'

'When I hear that a drag queen is hosting a fundraising event and demands payment, that tells me that they are only doing this for themselves,' said Chablis. 'If a queen can ask for donations to buy a new dress for a pageant, then by all means, they should turn around and give back to the community. There are many queens out there I respect because they know that drag is an inspiration to others, and we should use it in a positive way.'

'We have an obligation, and that is to protect and support our Gay youth,' concluded Chablis. 'It's important to give. Please come out and support the cause. That will be the best birthday present you could give me.'

For more information about the Youth Suicide Prevention Program and OUTLoud, or to make a donation, please visit www.yspp.org.

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