HBO’s ‘We’re Here’ drag show draws large crowds to downtown St. George
Friday night, HBO’s drag show “We’re Here” drew hundreds to Town Square Park in downtown St. George, going off without a hitch despite a day-long debate between some people from the city government and the LGBTQ+ community.
The event started at 9 p.m., but attendees started pouring in at 6 p.m., with many mingling until and during the show. People of all ages showed up to dance, sing and celebrate Pride Month, which began June 1.
As the event was taped for television, attendees were not allowed to share or post photos, with Eureka O’Hara, one of the show’s stars, asking people to wait for the airing of the episode.
“We’re Here” began filming earlier this week at several local St. George locations, including Feel Love Coffee, a local downtown cafe.
The show’s stated mission is to visit smaller, conservative towns like St. George to host a drag show and facilitate discussion between members of the LGBTQ+ communities and other residents.
Performing under names such as Tonylicious and Pauper Cherry, some local drag queens and kings joined the event, including Micha Barrick, director of a local advocacy group called Pride of Southern Utah.
The show’s creators, Johnnie Ingram and Stephen Warren, said they expected this to be the biggest drag show appearance they’ve put on for the show so far. More than 1,000 people registered to attend.
“There’s a beautiful, thriving LGBTQ community here in St. George and I think what you’re going to see tonight is that representation of not only that, but also our allies and supporters,” Warren said. “And I think you’re going to see that a regular drag show here in St. George might be worth exploring.”
The show lasted until the wee hours of the morning, with attendees saying they were having fun after a sometimes tense week in which it looked like the city of St. George might change venues or otherwise alter plans for the show. of dragsters.
Some city officials said they object to holding the event in the town square, where the local children’s museum, public library and public park are located. City Council member Michelle Tanner said she thought the drag show was inappropriate in a place where children might be present, a thought echoed by some speakers during a public hearing at City Hall on Thursday .
Catch up:LGBTQ+ residents protest St. George’s efforts to ‘hide’ HBO’s ‘We’re Here’ drag show
Most speakers at the meeting were supportive of the event, however, with many saying any concerns about the event were based on discriminatory ideas about the LGBTQ+ community.
Fans and members of groups like Pride of Southern Utah and Encircle smiled for most of the event.
“This drag show event meant more than pure epic entertainment,” said Linda Stay, a longtime local activist. “It was a powerful show of support for our LGBTQ+ community and our allies that we are here for them. The event was life changing and life saving for many”
Many attendees said the event was an emotional experience for them. Several of them could be seen sobbing and holding each other in various places.
“It will definitely show people who we are,” said Tui Lorentzen, one of the participants. “I was born and raised here all my life, so I haven’t seen anyone like me, maybe two other people in my high school. . And it was just very hidden.”
“We’re Here” is working on its third season, and St. George will be featured in one of the episodes slated for release in 2023, according to Entertainment Weekly.
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