Greater Palm Springs Pride Declares Palm Springs Drag Sanctuary City
PALM SPRINGS —To highlight harmful legislation and physical violence targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community, Greater Palm Springs Pride declares Palm Springs a Drag Sanctuary City to honor and celebrate freedom of expression of all forms.
Taking a stand against anti-drag bills and LGBTQ+ extremism and to support the historic form of artistic expression and advocacy, Palm Springs Pride organizers also announced the 2023 Pride Week theme is ‘Drag Now. Drag Forever.’
Greater Palm Springs Pride declares Palm Springs, the Mother Church for Drag in the Coachella Valley, supports drag queens, kings, drag mothers, and baby queens regardless of their realness, flawlessness, disheveled presentation, or fierceness. Drag is not a crime. Drag is art. Drag is entertainment and has existed for hundreds of years and is part of everyday life.
Performers can rest knowing they will be judged by their look and personas and celebrated for serving realness, elegance, and glamor, not just by wit and originality. Drag Queens will be judged by their ability to bring the community together and for their contributions to our city.
A year-round extravaganza, Palm Springs celebrates all. We embrace the authentic and support tea-free and shade-free zones. We declare, for all those who are under attack, including straight allies and entertainers, that in this anti-drag, anti-LGBTQ+ era, this city, in this day, in this time, will be a city of sanctuary and freedom of expression of all forms.
Palm Springs Pride president and CEO Ron deHarte, who is also a City Council memberm said in a statement, ‘Drag Now. Drag Forever.’ is a theme that calls on the community to unite and support the drag community. Drag is not a crime. Our country has a rich history of drag as an artistic expression, standard of activism, and the backbone of fundraising in the community. We call on everyone to support the drag community and fight all anti-LGBTQ+ bills that threaten the freedom and equality of all.”
Facing a legislative landscape of increased attacks on members of the LGBTQ+ community coupled with physical violence, we must gather to support one another and be unified against fear and intimidation, deHarte said. “The fight for freedom continues.”
Pride Week, presented by the City of Palm Springs, is the largest annual event in Palm Springs. It’s also the largest multi-day gathering of LGBTQ+ people in the Coachella Valley. In 2022, official Pride Week events attracted 200,000 attendees and generated a $38 million direct economic impact for area hotels, shops, restaurants, and other local businesses, according to deHarte.
A traditional slate of Pride events to celebrate the power and resiliency of the LGBTQ+ community is scheduled for the 37th annual LGBTQ+ celebration Nov. 3 – 5. The Pride Parade and Festival will return to downtown Palm Springs, featuring multiple stages of live entertainment and an exhibitor marketplace.
Details for Pride Week activities can be found online at pspride.org.
- Drag Queen: Image by kylewhadley from Pixabay