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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 22, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 21
"Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens"
Section One
ALL STORIES
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"Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens"

Over 100 of NYC's greatest drag performers join Marti Gould Cummings & The Only Productions' virtual performance event

NEW YORK (May 19, 2020) - Political activist and New York City drag staple Marti Gould Cummings and The Only Productions today announced the largest digital drag festival during Pride 2020. More than 100 performers are scheduled to appear during "Pride 2020 Drag Fest," an official event of NYC Pride and supported by national LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD. The virtual performances will run each day from 6:30 to 8pm EST beginning on Friday, June 19, and through Sunday, June 21, 2020. The video events will stream on NYC Pride and GLAAD's Facebook pages. Viewers can contribute directly to each performer during their scheduled time through donations to their Venmo profiles and donation platforms highlighted during the broadcast.

"Since before Stonewall our drag community and our trans community have rallied to stand up and fight for equality and justice," said Marti Gould Cummings. "As we grapple with the new normal of our daily lives we must continue in the footsteps and carry on the spirit of Pride. We may not be able to meet in person this year, but Pride will live on as we gather digitally to celebrate our drag community and honor the legacy of Masha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and the activism that so many LGBTQ icons ushered in."

Performers slated to appear during "Pride 2020 Drag Fest" include "RuPaul's Drag Race" alums Jan, Heidi N. Closet, Nicky Doll, Shuga Cain, Brita Filter, Milk, Honey Davenport, Jiggly Caliente, [and] Dusty Ray Bottoms, plus NYC drag stars, including Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Sherry Vine, Shequida, Pixie Aventura, Horrorchata, Merrie Cherry, and over 100 others. For a full list of talent, visit www.nycpride.org/events/pride-2020-dragfest.

According to Vice.com: "While nearly all businesses in the US have been threatened by the outbreak, bars and nightclubs that cater to the LGBTQ community are particularly vulnerable because they already operate under extremely small margins." Many drag performers have started hosting virtual performances, while several LGBTQ bars and nightclubs have launched crowdfunding pages to support employees.

"You cannot have Pride without a little (or a lot) of drag. This performance of gender expression has been a staple of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout its history, bringing with it a sense of vibrancy and power that can be felt at every NYC Pride event," Shawn Kobetz, partnerships manager for NYC Pride. "We at NYC Pride are proud to stand with our drag friends and family from around the world during these trying times. We hope this event provides much-needed support and entertainment for our community." Last week, NYC Pride began announcing virtual events to celebrate Pride 2020 and bring NYC's LGBTQ community together, including a special broadcast event with WABC-TV Channel 7.

Marti Gould Cummings is a NYC-based drag artist, television personality, and political activist. Throughout their nearly decade-long drag career, Marti has been a regular fixture in the nightlife world who uses their platform to spread a message of equality, acceptance, and kindness. Marti has appeared across media outlets including the New York Times, the New York Daily News, People, and "Good Morning America" online, to speak about LGBTQ issues and, most recently, about COVID-19's impact on LGBTQ New Yorkers. Last year, they became the first drag performer to formally interview a major presidential candidate when they interviewed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand during her presidential candidacy. Marti has sold out concerts at 54 Below, Lincoln Center's Big Apple Circus, and Dixon Place, and they regularly tour the world with Atlantis Cruises. They have also been seen on Fusion television's "Shade Queens of NYC," "The Marti Report" on LOGO, "Dragged" on Yahoo!, and "The X Change Rate" on The Build. Marti has been named to the OUT 100 list and serves on the board of directors for the Ali Forney Center for Homeless LGBTQ Youth, the advisory board of Equality NY, and the NYC Nightlife Advisory Council, and is a national co-chair of Drag Out the Vote.

"COVID-19 has closed LGBTQ safe spaces, including community centers, bars, and nightclubs that served as lifelines for so many LGBTQ people, and it has also delivered an unexpected and urgent financial loss to talented performers and employees who worked in these spaces," said GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro. "Both during Pride month and beyond, our community needs to join together to support drag performers and other talent who have always supported us."

More information about "Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens" visit www.nycpride.org/events/pride-2020-dragfest.

Heritage of Pride, Inc. is the volunteer-directed organization behind the official NYC Pride roster of events. Heritage of Pride's mission is to work toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. It does this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate, and celebrate our diverse community.

GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

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