On October 20, my three daughters and I went to the Draggin’ Youth Hallowe’en Show at the church. We hadn’t been for a while, so it was nice to go back. It was the best attended of these events in the two years they have been running and a terrific night.
Perhaps you don’t know much about drag shows. They are performances where individuals dress up (often extravagantly) and take to the stage lip-syncing to some popular song. Most often the performers portray characters of the opposite sex – men become drag queens, women become drag kings. But in this age when gender fluidity is becoming more recognized, even those lines have been tossed.
So what is Draggin’ Youth? Well, drag shows generally have been open only to adults and often took place in bars. These days more and more young people are coming to terms with sexuality and need safe places to explore. Last month we discussed the idea of sanctuary and safety in our community.
Many in the LGBTQ2* community have seen our church as that kind of safe space for a long time. So Chris McSheffery and Kim Pizzey approached us and asked us to co-sponsor drag events for youth. They saw it as a great chance for young people to find affirmation in their search of self-discovery.
Watching the show on Saturday – the boisterous and entertaining show, I was struck by the mood more than anything else. No matter their age or talent, no matter their gender or body shape, every performer felt the love that night. Everyone appreciated. No one criticized. It was a very safe space, a space for exploration, a space for fun and most importantly a space for everyone to just be who they are.
It was a great time (and cheap at $5) and the money raised all goes to youth charities.
See you in church,