Phoenix Pride: The New Significance for Drag Queens in 2021



The 41st annual Phoenix Pride is being celebrated in Phoenix with diverse activities, including live music, honoring the LGBTQ+ community. The event also serves as a platform for allies to show their support and is particularly significant for drag queens, who have been under scrutiny following a bill proposed by Arizona GOP lawmakers that would criminalize bringing a minor to a drag show. Notable participant Richard Stevens, a drag queen known as Barbara Seville, emphasizes that drag is a form of expression, akin to music or poetry, and uses opportunities like the festival to educate others about the art form.

Phoenix is hosting the 41st annual Phoenix Pride Festival, a celebration of all kinds of love featuring live music and activities for the LGBTQ+ community. This event also serves as a show of support by allies.

Renowned Phoenix drag queen Barbara Seville, aka Richard Stevens, will be a major attraction this pride weekend. Despite drag having historic roots dating back to the Shakespeare era, it recently faced scrutiny from Arizona GOP lawmakers. This includes a bill proposed last year that aimed to criminalize bringing a minor to a drag show, leading to outrage within the LGBTQ+ community.

Richard Stevens finds this year’s festival particularly significant for drag queens, following a period of criticism. He believes pride festivals provide an opportunity for drag queens to demonstrate their artistry and enlighten others on the essence of drag as a form of expression.

Stevens had the opportunity to address Capitol Hill, sharing about drag, an experience he found profoundly impactful.

If you’re interested in joining the parade, it commences at 10 a.m. between 3rd Street and Thomas Thomas Road, culminating at Indian School Road. Attendees can look forward to music, singing, dancing, and a joyous celebration.

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