Drag’s not dead; nor are protests in days ahead

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If you thought drag was dead and civil disobedience a lost art form, think again gays. Both are seeing a resurgence in Atlanta. We’re not sure what’s fueling this convergence of nightlife and daylight activism, but it’s sure providing a much-needed pick-me-up.

Maybe nightlifers and activists alike are ready to shake off the winter doldrums and take action. For some, that means hitting their favorite watering hole for a weeks-long drag cabaret. For others, it means chasing down a bigot in the halls of the Gold Dome.

But whatever your taste – cheering on men dressed as women lip-synching their favorite divas or shouting down anti-gay stalwarts who relish the attention – there’s something for everyone in the coming days.

imageSo pack your wallet full of dollar bills – you gotta tip those ladies! – or put your favorite equality slogan to poster and get ready. Here’s the rundown:

Shows



The weeks-long Dragnique that ended last month at Jungle crowned an emerging queen and added some fresh juice to Atlanta’s drag scene. The crowds came and the reality series proved such a success, it’s spawned Dragateria! to fill the few weeks before the second season of Dragnique gets rolling.

Dragateria! – like Dragnique, the brainchild of former Armorette Eve Michaels (top photo right) – launches on Friday, March 4 at Jungle with the likes of the Atlanta Sisters, Chad Michaels, Dragnique winner Janelle Brooks (second photo), Phoenix, Alissah Brooks and several others. The kickoff show is “Reel Drag,” featuring movie-inspired performances.

On Saturday, Mary Edith Pitts returns to the stage for a birthday fundraiser for Jerusalem House. It’s not her birthday, mind you, but that of event organizer Richy Pugh, who is celebrating his 40th with a big party. Drag queens included. There’s even a hunk auction. Doors open at 6 p.m.

imageOn Sunday, the Armorettes (third photo) continue their homecoming with their second installment at Burkhart’s. Yes, we know it’s confusing. They started 32 years ago at the Armory, moved to Burkhart’s, then to Blake’s, started a monthly burlesque at Heretic, got booted from Blake’s, and now they are back to Burkhart’s. But what’s important to remember is they raise money for HIV charities. Showtime is 7 p.m.

On Monday, it’s Dragamundo at Las Margaritas. Yes, the Latin restaurant that pumps money back into LGBT groups through sponsorships and fundraisers at the Cheshire Bridge Road eatery now hosts Bubba D. Licious and her crew for fun and festivities each Monday. It’s the former Dragamaki from Nickemoto’s, freshened up and now with a Latin twist. The queens get cranked up at 8:30 p.m.

That’s just an overview – many more drag shows populate our nightlife calendar, from weekly shows to one-time special events. Take a look to find out more.

Showdowns



Not to be outdone, those gays who protest are also staying busy and mobile. They kicked off several days of activism on Thursday when Southerners on New Ground joined with other progressive groups to rally over a controversial immigration bill under consideration by state lawmakers.

SONG’s Paulina Hernández tells the GA Voice that House Bill 87 will especially impact transgender people and individuals who do not fully pass in their gender presentation. Hernández says the bill will set “the cross-hairs on folks already vulnerable in our community.”

imageBut there’s no rest for the protesting weary.

On Saturday, a small group of die-hards is expected to join educator David Dixon at Buchanan Square in Haralson County in a show of support for a student in Corpus Christi whose request to form a gay-straight alliance was rebuffed. Rally time is 1 p.m.

On Monday, dozens of LGBT students and their allies are expected to peacefully protest the lecture of Matthew Franck (fourth photo), an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage and gay issues, by wearing purple shirts affixed with rainbow stickers. Franck’s appearing at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, an event that is drawing scrutiny from gay students, and was invited by a professor who compares homosexuality to incest.

“I was just getting so infuriated that he was coming to our school,” says Brittany Weiner, a junior at the campus in northeast Atlanta who is organizing the protest along with her partner Jess Graner. “Nothing is more personal to me than saying I can’t marry the person I love. Oglethorpe is such an accepting community that I couldn’t believe it,” she adds.

imageOn Tuesday, members of at least two grassroots LGBT groups head to the State Capitol in downtown Atlanta to find state Rep. Bobby Franklin (bottom photo). The Marietta Republican has rejected their calls to apologize for anti-gay comments he made last month. So the groups – Queer Justice League and GetEQUAL Georgia – want a face-to-face to present their demands for an apology and sensitivity training. Call time is 11 a.m.

On Wednesday, we rest – if only to get in a few hours of shuteye before the next show. Or showdown.

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