Findlay drag shows celebrate uniqueness and pride through song and dance
Levi Austin, fellow drag kings and queens bring fun, laughter and unity to Findlay
FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - This month, LGBTQ communities all throughout the world are celebrating pride month after decades of prejudice and injustice, and one local group in Findlay is spreading awareness through song and dance.
On the second and fourth Friday of each month, the small and quiet town of Findlay comes alive with song and dance from drag kings and queens, and this month, they’re celebrating uniqueness, while hoping to unite all.
“I think a major misconception, I don’t know how to put this … that we’re not normal,” said Levi Austin, the host of Freakin’ Friday’s, Findlay’s drag show.
Levi started his show four years ago, bringing together the LGBTQ community with an outlet to be themselves. But the process of keeping the show alive wasn’t always easy. After two years of the show and losing a venue, Austin struggled to find a place that would hose a drag show in Findlay, until he found The Social.
“I’m actually shocked that they’re having drag shows here and I would be excited to actually see one. It’s never something I thought would happen in a community I grew up in,” Findlay resident Shauna Comway said.
And the show grew overnight, with nearly a hundred people attending each performance.
“I just hope people see that we’re just like everybody else,” says Austin.
As a newly transitioned trans male, Levi performs as a drag king along with his fellow drag kings and queens, and his wife cheering him on.
“It’s an outlet for me to be funny, creative because I’ve always said if I can make one person smile, that’s my job,” said Austin.
Yet for some, the shows still remain unknown. Hancock County resident Lee Houck said, “Honestly, the drag shows, I didn’t know anything about them either. Coming to Findlay, that’s your choice. To me, it’s not my thing, but it’s somebody’s thing and I’m good with it.”
“I absolutely love this community. They are so welcoming of whoever and whatever you are, it just doesn’t matter,” said Barb Myers, Austin’s manager and promoter of Freakin Fridays.
“I wanted people to see that, you know, we’re not wrong, we’re not a mistake, we’re just people. So that was really one of my inspirations for doing the show,” said Austin.
And they have the support of Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn who shared this statement: “For me, Pride is about ensuring that every citizen within Findlay knows that regardless of their race, religion, socioeconomic status, education, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. they matter, and I value them choosing to be a part of our community. This is an opportunity to celebrate our community’s diversity, educate about the prejudice that exists, and ensure that our citizens know they belong.”
For more information on upcoming shows, go to https://www.facebook.com/FreakinFridaysFindlay
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