Atlanta drag queens rallying for Orlando victims

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Drag queens in gay Atlanta are about to lip sync, dance and twirl their way through two benefits in the coming days for the victims of the Orlando gay bar massacre.

More than a dozen performers are already in the line up for A Benefit for Equality Florida, an event organized by Wild Cherry Sucret (photo) and set for Saturday at Jungle. Four days later, on Wednesday, the lesbian owners behind 18.21 Bitters are hosting Phoenix for a benefit at Ten.

It's part of an emotional outpouring of support from LGBT Atlanta since Sunday's tragedy that left 49 victims dead – including two with ties to Atlanta. On Sunday, two vigils drew hundreds of people to Midtown. On Tuesday, some 30 LGBT and progressive groups are hosting a vigil and community gathering at the Center for Civil & Human Rights. 

And the events provide a stark contrast to the response from anti-gay trolls. WSB host Erick Erickson blames LGBT activists for politicizing the massacre and wants to scrub gay from any discussion of it. And U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican from Augusta, offered prayers to the victims – just weeks after he prayed for death for LGBT people.

Organizers of the event on Saturday said it will make you cry and remember as much as laugh and heal. 

We will start by having a sensitive moment with scrolling photos of the impacted loved ones to allow our attendees to Cry and Remember the tragic event and all the loved ones impacted in Orlando. We will also be hearing from a representative from 'Equality Florida” – 100% of all donations accepted at this event will be sent to “Equality Florida” to be used to help support the victim's families and survivors.

The second part of our event will incorporate the Love, Laugh and Heal portion of the evening as we will have some of Atlanta's finest Drag performers from past and present performing their best numbers! In the end, we hope to be able to help everyone who attends our show to move forward, if even just a little.

A long list of performers will join Wild Cherry Sucret, including Alexia Markova, Angelica D'Paige, Bubba D. Licious, Edie Cheezburger, Evah Destruction, Fantasy Girls, Jaye Lish, Lena Lust, Lucy Bowels, Shavonna Brooks, Tina Devore, Trashetta Galore and Vivian Valium.

Funds raised at the event will be donated to Support Victims of Pulse Shooting, which was created by Equality Florida to help victims of the massacre and their families. More than 80,000 people have donated nearly $3.7 million to the fund since it launched on Sunday.

On June 22, 18.21 Bitters is hosting a cocktail party – Benefit for Victims of Pulse – at Ten for the Orlando victims. Drag performer Phoenix is on tap and proceeds from the Absolut 18.21 Cocktail will be donated to help the victims of the attack.

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