While so many Pride events have gone virtual, it’s still important to hydrate. That’s why it’s fabulous that Bubly sparkling water has paired with GLAAD this Pride Month to help support and amplify New York City-based drag queens and kings whose performances have been put on pause since March due to being so hard-hit there.
Now there’s a color-popping new video celebrating the collaboration with Bubly and GLAAD out that was shot entirely by the local drag stars while sheltering in place.
Drag queens and king Tina Burner, Pixie Aventura, Rose, Lagoona Bloo, Kizha Carr, Zarria, Merrie Cherrie, and Maxxx Pleasure (the king of the group) appear in a new video that is Bubly’s rainbow-hued ode to Pride in Bubly flavors.
Through the campaign that has been dubbed "#dragforallflavors," the participating queens and king will select another local queer content creator, entertainer, photographer, or fellow drag king/queen to be a part of GLAAD’s Pride in a Box initiative and receive a donation via Bubly with the idea of lifting the local drag community until things are back up and running. The initiative runs from June through October, also driving home the idea that Pride is more than just the month of June.
The campaign via Bubly is also creating a donation to GLAAD and to the Center for Black Equity.
CBE seeks to "Build a global network of LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, community-based organizations and Prides dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities through Economic Equity, Health Equity, and Social Equity."
"This campaign is a love letter to drag and the individuals in New York City who lift our community’s spirits during our darkest moments. We are living in unprecedented times, and now more than ever, it is important to look to our chosen family to provide strength and hope for one another,” Matt Conrado of Bubly/PepsiCo said in a statement to The Advocate.
“I am so grateful to be in a position to use my voice to help amplify the community that has helped me grow and develop as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and taught me what it is like to be my authentic self,” Conrado added. “These artists are superheroes and when they get into drag, they radiate strength and confidence.”
“The LGBTQ+ community has yearned for more visibility outside the month of June and I am so grateful to PepsiCo for giving me a seat at the table to magnify what our community has been asking for.”
For drag king Maxxx Pleasure, the campaign is an opportunity to lend exposure for drag kings, who don’t tend to get the kind of national attention some queens do. He hopes other drag kings will be inspired to give drag a shot.
“So often after I finish performing at a show, audience members will come up to me and say "wow! I've never seen a Drag King before!" and express that they've always been interested in trying drag but didn't think there was space for them in the scene. It's times like those that make me especially proud to be out and visible as an AFAB queer drag king,” Pleasure told The Advocate.
“I hope the visibility that I provide at shows and on my YouTube channel will continue to inspire young people to explore their gender and play with their own presentation to discover what feels right for them. Queer visibility in media and in the arts is life-changing,” he said.
Brooklyn-based drag queen and local legend Merrie Cherry is thrilled to partner with Bubly and GLAAD to lift the voices of her community.
“I am completely loyal to this project. And more than ever I feel very appreciative to be a part of this campaign and to have the ability to be visible and take up space,” Cherry said.
The colorful, hopeful, and necessary collaboration of New York City’s drag community with Bubly and GLAAD during this landmark Pride Month highlights the resilience, innovation, and togetherness of the queer community.
“This campaign has so much intention behind every detail and I hope that it shines as bright as I see it. We are in desperate need of restorative content to help us smile and laugh if we are going to continue on a long journey of reform and change for our queer POC’s,” Conrado said. “Marsha P. Johnson once said, ‘We’re all in this rat race together.’ And I truly hope that comes across in this campaign because we all need to show a little love to everyone in our community.”
Watch the spot for the campaign below!