Like everyone lately, Producer Entertainment Group (PEG) has been thinking about what they can do to help counter all the recent drag bans, anti-trans legislation, and political noise. We think one of the best ways to help is to raise money, particularly to help local performers in Tennessee, Florida and elsewhere who are not able to work right now.
On Sunday, May 7 PEG is producing a “one-night-only” telethon where all net proceeds go to relevant causes helping drag performers and trans people. PEG is partnering with GLAAD, Queerty, and other major LGBTQ organizations for this special event. They are hoping to get as many artists involved as possible, not just PEG’s roster of drag artists but also mainstream celebrities who are allies. The goal here is to counter the false narrative that drag is a dangerous influence by showcasing the breadth and beauty of the art form in all its diversity.
A coalition of LGBTQ media groups and companies is teaming up to fight back against harmful political and media narratives about drag performers and trans people. The “Drag Isn’t Dangerous” campaign aims to raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ causes and organizations that support drag and trans performers, especially in areas that are under attack.
Led by Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), GLAAD, Q.Digital, OUTtv, Five Senses Reeling, Trixie Cosmetics, SERV Vodka, and other companies, the “Drag Isn’t Dangerous” campaign will kick off with a social media and digital awareness campaign. The campaign’s website, www.dragisntdangerous.com, will offer resources and information on how to support local drag performers and LGBTQ causes.
The highlight of the campaign is a one-night-only telethon on Sunday, May 7, at www.moment.co/dangerous. Hosted by a wide range of drag performers and celebrities, the event will feature a mix of live and pre-taped performances, appearances, and testimonials from drag performers, LGBTQ entertainers, and straight celebrity allies. The confirmed talent includes Alaska, BeBe Zahara Benet, Bob The Drag Queen, Brandon Stansell, Darienne Lake, Desmond Is Amazing, Divina De Campo, Eureka O’Hara, Frankie Grande, Ginger Minj, Jackie Beat, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Justin Martindale, Katya, Kerri Colby, Laganja Estranja, Manila Luzon, Miz Cracker, Monét X Change, Nina West, Peppermint, Salina EsTitties, Sherry Vine, Trinity The Tuck and Trixie Mattel, with many more names still to be announced. All net proceeds from the event will be divided among approved charities that support LGBTQ causes and drag performers in need, especially in states where they face discrimination and bans. None of the performers or organizers are taking fees for their work on the campaign.
“The only place where men in dresses sexualize children is the church,” said drag artist Trixie Mattel, star of Viacom’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Paramount+’s Queen of the Universe and HBO Max’s Trixie Motel.
“The most traumatizing thing about drag isn’t harming kids, it’s getting sent home first on Drag Race. . . but I can’t relate,” said Bob The Drag Queen, star of HBO’s We’re Here and special guest on Madonna’s upcoming world tour.
“We are sick of it. These bans are not just about trans people or drag performers. It is a systematic subjugation of LGBTQ people,” said Jacob Slane of Producer Entertainment Group, the management company behind many of the world’s top drag artists. “Through the ‘Drag Isn’t Dangerous’ campaign, we want to show that drag performers are not dangerous groomers, sexual deviants, criminals or whatever is the latest evangelical slur du jour. We want to raise awareness and funds to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people who are under attack.”
“In a time when bans and attacks on the LGBTQ community continue to escalate, it is more crucial than ever to remind the world that drag is art, drag is inspiring, and the politicians spreading lies about drag are only seeking cheap political points. Not only do our beloved drag performers have to be protected, but they should also be celebrated” said Anthony Allen Ramos, Vice President of Communications & Talent, GLAAD.
“We cover the dangerous rhetoric and anti-LGBTQ bills every day, giving us a front-row seat to the fact that LGBTQ+ people are being used as political pawns on the path to the upcoming election,” said Scott Gatz, the CEO of Q.Digital, whose sites include Queerty, LGBTQ Nation, GayCities, and INTO. “We proudly stand up and fight with the most vulnerable in our community to make people aware that drag queens and trans people are not a danger to anyone. Quite the opposite, they are shining examples of what it means to live our lives authentically, even in the face of adversity.”
“At HeadCount, we believe in amplifying the voices of individuals who have been marginalized in the past!,” said a representative. “One of our initiatives is Vote With Pride in which we encourage members of the LGBTQIA+ community to take action and contact their lawmakers to ensure we are being heard! We are super grateful to join PEG and all the other amazing organizations who are leading the charge, especially now that voting and speaking up are crucial to our community!”
“As an organization whose entire mission it is to amplify queer artistry, we are outraged by the collective efforts to send queer culture, creativity, and people underground,” remarked Jason Brotman, Founder and President of Obsessed, the company behind several worldwide drag tours. “We are devoted now more than ever to creating safe spaces for our brilliant artists and our wonderful fans. We are honored to join forces with colleagues across our industry and beyond to say loud and clear: we are here and we will not be going anywhere any time soon.”
“Drag artists and trans people are not harmful to the community in any way, however, recent legislation is harmful and dangerous to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brad Danks, CEO of OUTtv, the world’s leading LGBTQ+ streaming service. “These extremist anti-LGBTQ+ bills are designed to restrict rights, erase members of the LGBTQ+ community and cause people to live in fear. We cannot stand by and allow these laws to stand. We are proud to join this initiative and we want trans people and drag artists to know that they are not alone, we are in this fight with them.”
“As the proud son of an openly gay pioneering father and as a longtime television, film, and theater producer, I am outraged that my LGBTQ colleagues and friends are still having to fight for equal rights in 2023,” said Matt Weaver, the prolific executive producer of projects like Rock of Ages and the upcoming Drag The Musical, is co-executive producing the telethon. “It is an honor to join this distinguished group of organizations in doing something about it.“