Last Friday was The Sahara Davenport Memorial Show at Club XL in New York City, where drag artists, including Manila Luzon, came together to pay their respects to Sahara after she passed away earlier this year. Manila (whose partner was Sahara) performed a super touching tribute to Toni Braxton‘s “Unbreak My Heart,” and if you don’t feel something while watching this, you are a robot.
All right, so a little personal story here: Earlier this month, someone in Toronto’s gay community lost her son after he had been fighting HIV for seven years. Unfortunately, he was from Britain, and since he wasn’t a citizen, health care wouldn’t cover his anti-retroviral drugs. So his mother came here to help take care of him, and she did so up until he passed. Unfortunately, after he died, the Canadian government decided to deport her back to her home country because … well, bureaucracy is a bitch, that’s why. Since it’s only a couple weeks before Christmas, we organized a charity gig for her. We got a Toronto drag queen to do a number where all the tips went to help this poor woman off-set the costs for the funeral and the move back, and in three minutes, we raised over $1000 for her. My point here is that Drag isn’t just an excuse for gay guys to throw on fabulous dresses and hair and make-up and be sassy. Drag is, at its best, an art form, and a way to connect us, and a way to give back to the community. So a big thank you to everyone who tipped Manila during her performance, and who showed up to support her.