What does a burgeoning organization do in the battle to get younger LGBTQ voters of color to the polls? Train, weaponize and deploy a nation of drag queens to hit the front lines, of course.
That’s exactly what went down when the national Drag Out the Vote campaign tapped local performer SHI as an Ambassador from Georgia. And the queen says the need is critical,especially when those voters may feel disenfranchised and disconnected from traditional outreach methods
“We need to count every single vote in our community,” says SHI, who is known in other circles as activist and LGBTQ advocate Bentley Hudgins. “Voter suppression and disenfranchisement is real in every election. It’s important that all of us use our right to vote to elect people who will make the concrete changes we want see.”
Drag Out The Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit with a mission to educate, register, and turn out voters of all types through drag, but especially queer people, 18-25-year-olds, people of color, and queer people of color. It’s a role SHI was born to play.
“In my day-time job at New Georgia Project, I also work to build real power for QTBIPOC through the work to defend democracy, get out the vote and hold elected officials accountable to the people that they represent,” the performer says. “Voting is one of the many ways that we can do just that. It isn’t the most we can do, but the least. We still need to continue to march, rally, protest, lobby and activate.”
We asked SHI to lay out a quick 101 on the program, her ambassadorship and the need for voter participation from all corners.
What does a Drag Ambassador do?
Drag Out The Vote’s Drag Ambassador Program is a first-of-its-kind initiative to mobilize drag artists in all 50 states to increase voter participation in their communities this November. They will be providing drag artists with the tools and training they need to register voters and make their voices heard.
Once trained, Drag Ambassadors are equipped withresources and tools to help use their platform to get folx registered and voting.
What can people do who want to help or participate?
I need those who are taking the time to read this article to check their voter registration status. You can also go to the Secretary of State’s website to view your sample ballot for the upcoming election.
Drag Out The Vote also has a voter registration link [below], and if you would like to be an ambassador with me, visit my socials and send me a message.
Anything else you’d like to add? Tips for staying the course?
Stay plugged in on my pages for resources, job opportunities, political education and volunteer opportunities.
The most important things we can do right now is to drink water and fight for justice.