Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - 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 some of Puerto Vallarta's finest straight men trade in their sneakers for stilettos 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.
And What a Drag 2020 - held on Sunday, March 8 at Teatro Vallarta, where there were plenty of seats for the many Puerto Vallarta residents and visitors who came to watch the seven straight men who got 'all dolled up' to entertain them - was the best yet!
Each contestant had a Fairy Drag Mother to help them with costuming, makeup and talent - from hilarious skits to singing, dancing and lip-synching - and a sponsor to help cover the costs of transforming these "brave princes" into "beautiful princesses."
Watching these brave straight men "come out" on stage to bravely and brazenly vie for the 'Miss What A Drag' crown was an experience that those who witnessed it won't soon forget.
The competition began at 8:00 pm, with the legendary "Green Goddess of Drag," Hedda Lettuce, who served as the Master (or Mistress) of Ceremonies, introducing all of the contestants: Todd Bates (aka Hot Toddy); Steve Uselton (aka Marie Anne Twanet); Doug Rockne (aka Tiddly Winks); Steve Macatee (aka Hugs Honey); Gus Hellthaler (aka Luna Azul); Rob Scherer (aka Don-a-lash) and Mark Schellhammer (aka Ima Notsure) - who were dressed to the nines in evening wear.
Each contestant was asked a juicy question, then, after a quick costume change, entertained the audience in a variety of styles that ranged from lip-synching to singing and dancing. Every one had their own personal style, staying true to their drag personas.
After the last 'Drag Queen' had amused the audience with his uproarious antics, everyone in the audience was asked to vote for their choice of winners. During a short intermission, the votes were tallied...
...and the Winner was:
"Marie Ann Twanet," aka Steve Uselton, who, with a little (or a lot) of help from his 'Fairy Drag Mother' Poly Muņoz, and sponsor WeLovePV.com, Vogued his way into the top spot, and was crowned 'Miss What A Drag 2020.'
But all of the contestants should be congratulated for having the courage to "come out" against domestic violence. Not to mention dealing with stage fright, aching feet, itchy makeup and all the 'tucking' that had to be done before taking the stage to entertain the audience with their hilarious antics.
Recognition should also be given to the contestants' "Fairy Drag Mothers" and sponsors; the event's fabulous Show Director, Javier Martinez and Mistress of Ceremonies, Hedda Lettuce; Teatro Vallarta, who generously donated the theater and its staff; Mango's Beach Club, who hosted the Pre-Event VIP Party, and Debby Holiday, Mary Porter, Eli Estrada and Kim Kuzma, who entertained there.
And let's not forget the event's sponsor, ReMax Puerto Vallarta; its steering committee, led by Freda Thompson, Tammy Carruthers Prust and WAD 2019 Winner, Donald Prust; all of the members of the community who volunteered and the local business that sponsored and/or donated auction items; Nacho Daddy's Sean Moore, who was an excellent auctioneer, and the generous crowd who, after intermission, bid on everything from stays in luxury accommodations and boat cruises to dining and chocolate making experiences.
When all was said and done, the sixth annual 'What a Drag' competition was a complete success, raising $1,327,486 pesos for the women and children at the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter, and bringing the total amount raised since the event's inception in 2015 to almost $5 million pesos.
About The Banderas Bay Women's Shelter
Operated by Compassion for the Family Inc, a US 501c3 charitable organization, the Banderas Bay Women Shelter provides beaten, emotionally abused and broken women and their children with a warm caring place to live, food, emotional counseling, nursing care, child care, child counseling, job training, life training and, most of all, a second chance at life - free of violence. When each of these women and their children are ready to embark on their new lives, they are provided with a minimum of six-month follow-up support. For more information, please visit CompassionForTheFamily.com, find them on Facebook, or contact David Zude at compassionforthefamily(at)yahoo.com.mx.