The Shade Report: Slay the Vote

It’s here y’all, the finale of Fusion’s Shade: Queens of NYC. I am so sad to see the show go, but I could not have asked for a better finale. Our last look at the girls covers Marti Gould Cummings‘ political fight and Jada Valenciaga‘s advocacy for LGBT homeless youth.

This episode meant a lot to me because like Marti, I am very politically active. One thing I can’t stress enough is the importance of voting, especially in your local elections. Marti is the president of Hell’s Kitchen Democrats and heavily campaigned for the election of Marisa Redanty and Tom Shanahan for district leaders. She recruited the help of Chelsea Piers, Paige Turner, and Brita Filter and the team went over the importance of the election at Marti’s house. The star of the show was Marti’s dog George who snuck some cheese from the table. Sure Marti’s political advocacy was important, but George successfully licking a piece of cheese on the table was the most inspiring part of the episode. He deserves the world.

Marti hit the streets with Brita and Chelsea on election day to pass out some flyers and encourage the people of Hell’s Kitchen to hit the polls. Marti encourages people to go out to vote in local elections because low voter turnout leads to every vote counting. The winner of the election can be decided by one or two votes! Hilarity ensues as the girls try to convince people on the street to head out to vote. Quote of the episode was without a doubt Brita saying, “I feel like you have to yell at the gays“, mostly because I think she’s right.

Marti threw a party the night of the election to find out the results. The votes were counted, and the girls’ hard work paid off! Marisa and Tom won the election! Paige reflected on Marti’s political work and decided that though she has never viewed herself as political, she realized she had no excuse now. It looks like the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats have a new member!

We catch back up with Jada as she’s writing a song about the struggles she faced while being homeless, sleeping on a bench in the city. She is so incredibly talented, her voice is absolutely beautiful. She decided to team up with some local dancers and choreographed a routine to her original song. At dance practice, she invited her friend Jasmine to speak with the dancers. Jasmine is an alumnus of the Ali Forney Center, the homeless LGBT center Jada is doing volunteer work for. She shares her story, talking about how her family lost their home before she transitioned. Knowing that her chances of transitioning would be slim in her family’s new home of Pennsylvania, she stayed in New York where she was homeless. Thanks to the Ali Forney Center, she was able to transition, finish school, and get back on her feet. Her story was incredibly inspiring and I applaud her bravery.

Jada decides she’s ready to go back to the bench she used to sleep on. It had been six years. Jasmine met her there to lend her some support. Jasmine comments on how admirable it was that Jada came back to conquer her trauma head-on, and I couldn’t agree more. I think Jada is so inspiring, a truly beautiful soul who turned her misfortune into success. After the bench moment, we got to see her perform her song, and the number ended on that bench. Someone must have been cutting onions or something because my eyes were watering something fierce. What a beautiful way to end the season of Shade: Queens of NYC.

The show wrapped with a huge group number. We officially say goodbye to Marti Gould Cummings, Holly Box-Springs,  Brita Filter, Chelsea Piers, Jada Valenciaga, Paige Turner, Tina Burner, and Jasmine Rice LaBeija on our tv’s every week. I want to thank WERRRK for having me this season! This California girl had a blast getting to know these NYC queens. Make sure you follow each girl on their social media platforms so you can keep up with them even as the season ends!

About Haley Van Horn 15 Articles
One small brushfire away from completing the Serial Killer Triad, Haley is a hell-raising college student and sports journalist. Calling the suburbs of the gayest city in America home, she's sure to bring it to you every ball.

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