Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Some of Puerto Vallarta's finest straight men went out on a limb last Sunday, donning garish make-up, wigs and dresses and parading around in high heels to raise money and awareness for victims of domestic violence in the Banderas Bay area.
What started out in 2015 as a fun way to raise money and awareness for victims of domestic violence in the Banderas Bay area has become one of the season's most anticipated events, selling out every year. And if you've ever attended What a Drag! you know why. Every year these men trade in their boots for high heels and get up on stage (in drag) to bravely and brazenly entertain the audience with their hilarious antics - all to raise money for the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter.
Thanks to Puerto Vallarta Mayor Arturo Dávalos Peña, What a Drag! 2018 was held at Teatro Vallarta, where there were plenty of seats for the 450 Puerto Vallarta residents and visitors who showed up to support this worthy cause. Watching these brave straight men "come out" on stage to bravely and brazenly vie for the 'Miss What A Drag 2018' crown was an experience they won't soon forget.
The fabulous Kim Kuzma joined in the antics, singing "I'm Every Woman," which had all seven contestants prancing across the stage. Hedda Lettuce came back out to ask each contestant a juicy question, then, after a quick costume change, each contestant showed off their 'special talent' from painting to dancing, singing and lip-synching. Each one had their own personal style, staying true to their drag personas.
After the last 'Drag Queen' had amused the audience with his/her uproarious antics, everyone in the audience was asked to vote for their choice of winner. During a short intermission, the votes were tallied...
...and the Winner Was:
Between the 7 contestants who dealt with stage fright, aching feet, itchy makeup and all of the 'tucking' that had to be done; the "Fairy Drag Mothers," who helped turn the guys into 'girls'; the event's fabulous Show Director, Javier Martinez, Emcee and Guest Performers; the volunteers who went above and beyond; the restaurants and catering staff who served pre-show nibblies; the event steering committee, Freda Thompson, Tammy Carruthers Prust, Ray Vallarta, Vicki Stuteville, Jim Lee, Kim Flippen, Lori J. Bumgardner and Lisa Purcell-Wald; all of the event sponsors; and the management and staff of Teatro Vallarta, almost 100 people worked together to produce the comedy event of the season.
Mil Gracias go out to all of the local business and members of the community who sponsored this over-the-top event in support of the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter, and the many local businesses that donated the pre-show appetizers and gift certificates for the contestants and Fairy Drag Mothers. There are too many to list here by name, but you know who you are.
Special thanks also go out to the generous crowd who bid on everything from boat cruises to shows, cooking classes, custom designed jewelry and more donated by local businesses, and especially to Danny Mininni, Oscar Cisneros and Alfonso López of Act II Entertainment who pledged $10,000 pesos from the next performance of "The Rocky Horror Show" to the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter and publicly challenged other business people to donate the same amount. Eleven local business owners, individuals and entertainers stepped-up, bringing in an additional $110,000 pesos.
When all was said and done, the fourth annual 'What a Drag' competition was a complete success, packing the house at Teatro Vallarta and raising $920,000.00 pesos for the women and children at the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter.
About The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter
The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter is working with Vida Reavivida/Compassion for the Family Inc. and Mexican Social Services to provide an immediate, temporary and safe living environment for women and children who are the victims of domestic violence; to prepare them to be financially independent through jobs, education, English second language education, non interest small business loans; and to assist them in living a life free of violence through professional counseling.Vida Reavivida A.C. is a not for profit charitable organization that is registered with the state Jalisco. For more information about Vida Reavivida A.C. and the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter, please visit CompassionForTheFamilyMx.org, find them on Facebook, or contact David Zude at compassionforthefamily(at)yahoo.com.mx.