Anti-drag legislation spurs Desert Stonewall Democrats, ACLU, local drag community to rally

PALM SPRINGS — Drag4Drag, a rally being organized in response to the recent wave of anti-drag legislation sweeping the country, is set for Tuesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. at the Forever Marilyn statue in Downtown Palm Springs.

Desert Stonewall Democrats, the Coachella Valley’s foremost LGBTQ political organization, is partnering with leading members of the local drag community and ACLU Desert Chapter to organize the rally.

Attendees are encouraged to don drag attire and carry protest signs to express solidarity with drag performers. Social Ambassador and Hostess with the Mostest Bella da Ball will serve as Master of Ceremonies, accompanied by celebrated local activist DJ Galaxy.

Hostility and prejudice toward individuals who engage in the art of drag has increased in recent years. A ban on public drag performances in the state of Tennessee goes into effect on April 1. Lawmakers in at least 15 other states so far have proposed legislation that would censor drag shows. In addition to legal challenges, drag performers have also faced hostile confrontations and even violence from rightwing extremists.

Local performer Sabyrna Williams became a target of threats and online abuse last year after a video of a child dancing at a popular brunch was posted online.

Sabryna Williams will be taking the stage at the Drag4Drag rally, where she is scheduled to speak alongside event organizer Christopher Durbin.

The full speaker lineup will be announced at a later date.

“Drag is such an important and vibrant part of our community,” said Bella da Ball, Drag4Drag Master of Ceremonies. “We are especially pleased and thrilled to be partnering with the Desert Stonewall Democrats and so many supporters on this important issue with local and national connections. Please join us.”

Before the main event, a pre-event mixer and fundraiser will take place at Hunter’s on Thursday, March 30 at 6 p.m. hosted by the beloved local drag queen Rusty Waters. Drag4Drag event organizers will share planning details and Palm Spring Police Chief Andy Mills will be present to address any security concerns that may arise.

The pre-event mixer will feature a lineup of local drag queens performing to raise money for the cause, and other fun surprises.

Image Sources

  • Bella Da Ball: Bella Da Ball