FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) – This month, LGBTQ communities around the world are celebrating Pride Month after decades of prejudice and injustice, and a local group in Findlay is raising awareness through song and dance.
On the second and fourth Friday of each month, the quiet little town of Findlay comes alive with songs and dances of drag kings and queens, and this month they celebrate oneness, hoping to unite all.
“I think this is a major misconception, I don’t know how to put it… that we are not normal,” said Levi Austin, host of Freakin ‘Friday’s, the drag show. Findlay.
Levi started their show four years ago, bringing together the LGBTQ community with an outlet to be themselves. But the process of keeping the show alive hasn’t always been easy. After two years of performing and losing a venue, Austin struggled to find a location that would host a drag show in Findlay, until he found The Social.
“I’m actually shocked that they’re putting on drag shows here and would love to see one. It’s never something I thought would happen in a community where I grew up, ”said Shauna Comway, a resident of Findlay.
And the show grew overnight, with nearly a hundred people attending each performance.
“I just hope people see we’re like everyone else,” Austin says.
As a newly transformed trans man, Levi takes on the role of drag king with his fellow drag kings and queens, and his wife encourages him.
“It’s an outlet for me to be funny, creative because I’ve always said if I can make a person smile, that’s my job,” Austin said.
Yet for some, the shows are still unknown. Lee Houck, a resident of Hancock County, said, “Honestly, drag shows, I didn’t know either. Coming to Findlay is your choice. To me it’s not my thing, but it’s someone’s thing and I’m good with it.
“I love this community. They are so welcoming to anyone and whatever you are, it doesn’t matter, ”said Barb Myers, Austin manager and Freakin Fridays promoter.
“I wanted people to see that, you know, we’re not wrong, we’re not wrong, we’re just people. So that was really one of my inspirations to do the show, ”Austin said.
And they have the support of Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn, who shared this statement: “For me, pride is making sure that every citizen of Findlay knows that regardless of race, religion, status. socio-economic, education, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity. , etc. they matter, and I appreciate that they choose to be part of our community. It is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our community, to educate about the prejudices that exist and to make sure our citizens know they belong.
For more information on upcoming shows, visit https://www.facebook.com/FreakinFridaysFindlay
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