The show venue was presented by Lago on the East Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland and it was the perfect day for an outside show. When I arrived it was around 5pm and workers were striking the runway, setting out chairs and tables, queens were starting the tedious process of applying their makeup and putting on their faces... Oh did I mention this was a drag benefit?
Oh yes honey, this was an avant garde fashion show that perfectly married wild DIY high fashion with Cleveland's rich rock n roll history with an extra dose of glitter and glam thrown into the mix! Models donned out of this world one of a kind fashions that they created from all types of materials and recyclables and lots of razzle dazzle. They were judged by a panel of celebrity judges (some of whom were RuPaul's Drag Race alumni) that included Jai Rodriguez (I was his celebrity handler!) ChiChi LaRue, Mrs. Kasha Davis and Darienne Lake. The show was emceed by Sister Roma of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with DJ Zoe providing the beats for the night.
Organized by Dare2CareUSA co-founder Don Wismer the event was the first of its kind in Cleveland and the first time Dare2Care- an anti bullying organization that sponsors high school teens with leadership opportunities to bring awareness to bullying in the LGBTQ community- has ever teamed up with another organization for a benefit.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a leading-edge Order of queer nuns. Since our first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday, 1979, the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.
Basically Dare2Care works to stop LBGTQ bullying in high schools and The Sisters focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and promoting good health which is needed in every and all communities. This was my third time volunteering for a Dare2Care event because I really like the organization and what it does. I love to volunteer and give my time because I don't always have much money to give in certain areas, but I can use my time and sometimes my expertise or skills to help out. This time I was a celebrity handler, which really just meant I had to stay close to Jai Rodriguez without being creepy and seeing if he needed anything. He didn't. He liked my outfit and said we were coordinated and he was really nice in the brief little encounters that we had. I did get him a white rum with coke when he sat down at the judges panel. So yeah, I fulfilled my all my heavy duties lol.