Legendary Drag Queens Of San Diego Honored At The San Diego History Center Exhibition

In conjunction with the groundbreaking exhibition LGBTQ+ San Diego: Stories of Struggles + Triumphs, the San Diego History Center will shine the spotlight on the performance art of drag in San Diego. Running from June 21 – September 8 at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park, the Legendary Drag Queens of San Diego will help commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history.

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Curated by internationally known scholar and six time Lambda Literary Award winner, Dr. Lillian Faderman, and in collaboration with the Imperial Court de San Diego, one of the oldest LGBTQ organizations in the region, the exhibition will feature elaborate, glittering costumes, jewelry, photographs and other materials loaned by nine leading “drag queens” who have made their name locally and nationally. Honorary Chair of the Exhibit is San Diego’s First Lady Katherine Faulconer.

“Long before San Diego native RuPaul became an international star and household name,” says Faderman, “drag queens used sartorial flair and performance skills to raise money for San Diego charities, including AIDS organizations, scholarships for needy youth, Christmas toy drives, and a winter blanket drive for the homeless in San Diego and Tijuana.”

Lifelong Latino gay rights activist, San Diego City Human Rights Commissioner, and chair of the International Imperial Courts system, Nicole Murray Ramirez thinks the addition of the Legendary Drag Queens of San Diego to the History Center’s LGBTQ+ exhibition is a fitting tribute to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

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“Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Stonewall is thought to be the beginning of the gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn is the New York nightspot that was the site of the first LGBT resistance to police harassment. The exhibit at the History Center will shed an important new light on the historic good works of the drag community in this country. Drag Queens were at Stonewall in the beginning and have been raising money for charity and the equality movement ever since. Many of our most respected LGBTQ+ organizations were started with money raised by drag queens.”

In addition to RuPaul, included in the exhibit are: Empress Nicole the Great, Chad Michaels, Tootie, Glitz Glam, Franceska, Paris, Babette Schwartz, Lalatoo and Norma.

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