41 Photos of Drag Isn’t Dangerous Fundraiser That Raised the Big Bucks for LGBTQ+ Rights
Drag Isn’t Dangerous organizers were thrilled to announce that the event raised over $560,000 for the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. According to the event’s creator, Producer Entertainment Group partner and talent manager Jacob Slane, the one-night-only telethon held Sunday was a smashing success.
Actor, writer, and comedian Justin Martindale hosted the live-stream event. Martindale also served as head writer and cohosted alongside drag superstar Alaska 5000, director and choreographer Adam Shankman, and actress and drag entertainer Peppermint.
The show featured live and pre-taped performances by prominent drag queens, LGBTQ+ actors and comedians, and straight allies in the entertainment industry.
Performers included Jinkx Monsoon, Bob the Drag Queen, and Ginger Minj. In addition, Idina Menzel, Trixie Mattel, Joey McIntyre, Marcia Gay Harden, Leslie Jones, Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, and Melissa McCarthy were among the stars who came out to support the night’s cause.
A live celebrity phone bank operation enabled callers to make donations during the program.
All images by Jacob Ritts.
Jai Rodriguez, Kerri Colby, Sherry Vine, Trinity the Tuck, and Laganja Estranja helmed the phone operations.
Slane tells The Advocate that recent attacks on the drag community are based on a disingenuous argument made in bad faith to scapegoat the LGBTQ+ community.
Republicans have targeted drag queens because they are relying on a recycled tactic of othering those who appear different to retain power over marginalized communities, he says.
Although the fundraiser was successful, Slane says that he plans to continue his efforts on these issues and promises at least one more event to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
“I think of every day of my job as a form of advocacy because our whole mission here is helping marginalized queer people become mainstream successful in entertainment,” Slane says. “That’s been our company’s mission, and we’ve been doing it, but to me, that has felt like activism.”
He says that he realized that he and an opportunity to do more in the philanthropic space and decided to plan this fundraiser six weeks ago.
“So this was sort of a proof of concept for us and how we do that,” he says. “And I want to do more.”
Some famous names have noted the astonishing moment when an entire community is attacked just for being themselves.
“I wish I could say that I am glad to be here, but I am appalled I have to be at something called ‘Drag Isn’t Dangerous,’” Michelle Visage said in a press release. “Imagine a world where dancers are told they can’t dance; imagine a world where artists are told they cannot take paint to canvas…because it is ‘bad for children.’ That is what is happening to drag right now.”
An angry Leslie Jones said, “Drag isn’t dangerous, but Leslie Jones IS!”
“All my children are queer. … One is nonbinary, one is gay,” said Marcia Gay Harden. “My first boyfriend was gay, and my conservative naval officer dad loved him. Why are we having to advocate for creativity and imagination? It is so fear-based. We know what love is.”
Margaret Cho added, “Drag brings hope, truth, and laughter to a community that desperately needs it. We need to fight for drag rights because we need to fight for gay rights. For our rights.”
In addition to supporting LGBTQ+ causes and drag performers in need, net proceeds from the event will be donated to charities (GLAAD, GLSEN, Headcount, Black Queer Town Hall, ACLU Drag Defense Fund, Trans Justice Funding Project, Victory Fund) that fight discrimination and LGBTQ-related bans in states.
You can still donate here.
All images by Jacob Ritts.