Bubly, with the help of drag performers, has launched a sparkling effort to assist LGBTQ+ elders during the holidays.
The sparkling water brand, as part of its #DragForAllFlavors campaign, donated $25,000 to SAGE, a national nonprofit dedicated to assisting this community.
Additionally, two LGBTQ+ seniors appear in a dazzling music video alongside 11 drag performers. Directed and shot by Austin Nunes, the below production is styled as an advent calendar filled with queens and the various (14!) fizzy flavors of bubly.
And there is enough drag talent to light up anyone's holiday season. Those that appear in the video include Zarria Powell (@zarria_thediva), Tina Burner (@thetinaburner), Rosé (@omgheyrose), Dr. Wang Newton (@drwangnewton), Egypt (@therealegypt), Lagoona Bloo (@lagoonabloonyc), Maxxx Pleasure (@mr.pleasure), Merrie Cherry (@merrie_cherry), Shequida Hall (@shequidahall), Jada Valenciaga (@jadavalenciaga), and Chiquitettas (@chiquitettas).
Created exclusively for bubly, the music video also features a new track from Nikki Era and Mikey Pop, “I Hope I See You This Christmas."
In addition to being pillars of the LGBTQ+ community, drag performers and seniors were also hit hard by the pandemic. Performance venues have shuttered and isolation remains a real issue for members of marginalized groups, acknowledged Matthew Conrado of PepsiCo north division brand marketing, bubly's parent company, in a statement.
“We recognize the unique challenges the pandemic has created for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for nightlife performers and older members of the community,” Conrado said. “While we may be celebrating the holidays a bit differently this year, bubly remains committed to uplifting and supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community, as we look to bring some sense of normalcy, positivity, and helping people to crack a smile during these difficult times.”
In response to the campaign, SAGE CEO Michael Adams praised bubly for its efforts "to help brighten what can often be a dark time for LGBT elders."
“Because older LGBT people often are socially isolated and don’t have family support – challenges made much worse by this year’s COVID-19 restrictions – SAGE offers an opportunity to experience the togetherness that is so much a part of the holidays," Adams said. "Thanks to great supporters like bubly, all through the holidays, SAGE will continue to run programs like SAGEConnect that link elders to volunteers who care about them, as well as our 24-hour LGBT elder hotline for anyone who needs to hear a caring voice and get support.”
The drag performers themselves stressed the importance of caring for LGBTQ+ elders.
"The SAGE community is our only connection to the queer past. Yeah, we have Google, but to be told about our history from someone that lived it, while looking them in the eyes and feeling every emotion that they feel while telling the story," Cherrie told Pride, The Advocate's sister publication. "You can't get better. I think every LGBTQ+ member should have a few elders that they are connected to. Also, the shoe will be on the other foot one day. Check yourself!"
"It is so important that we continue to strengthen connections with organizations like SAGE — they provide vital resources for LGBTQ+ elders, and our elders are our direct line to our community's history!" Pleasure said.
"Who are we without our predecessors and ancestors? Partnering with SAGE lets us flow the love back to those who had fighting for rights and paving the way for our community," Newton added. "SAGE is true to meaning... they are our wise elders!
Hall concluded with a quip, "bubly giving to organizations like SAGE is amazing because I’ll be a SAGE member soon!"
This is not the first time bubly has supported LGBTQ+ causes. Its #DragForAllFlavors campaign has supported GLAAD with a $95,000 donation throughout the year. It also recently partnered with Kim Petras for a star-studded Halloween song, "Close Your Eyes."
Learn more about the work of SAGE at sageusa.org. And don't miss bubly's cheerful music video above.