Historic Drag Show draws hundreds to Navajo Nation, Funds raised for LGBTQ+ Scholarship

The Diné gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit community hosted an historic Christmas Drag Show on the Navajo Nation in December. An estimated 200 people attended the fundraising event to benefit the Diné Pride LGBTQ+ Youth Scholarship.

The official line-up of entertainers included local performers like Paige Smith from Sawmill, Arizona, Chanel Ticey from Lybrook, New Mexico, and two former Miss Apache Divas - Té Diamond and Leslie Lewinsky - both representing the White Mountain Apache and San Carlos Apache Nation.

The Blackout Girls from Albuquerque coordinated the show under the leadership of Pride Entertainment Director, Tomahawk Martini. This is her fourth year in the role and is planning an epic show for Diné Pride 2020.

Our entertainers are just as fabulous as they are diverse. We aim to honor the lives of our young people. That is why we brought a drag show to the Navajo Nation capitol. Our event raised funds for a scholarship that will send one of our LGBTQ+ students to college so that they can return home to lead our movement one day.
- Thomas Martinez, Pride Entertainment Director

Indigenous trans rights activist and community leader, Mattee Jim, led the audience in laughter bringing awareness to suicide prevention and youth empowerment. Ms. Jim is a 2019 honoree of the prestigious Vanguard Award by the Transgender Law Center and is the official Pride hostess this year.

A “Red and Turquoise Christmas” was the theme that included a Navajo Taco Sale and Silent Auction. Sponsors included Ashí Beauty, Tanners Indian Arts, Art by Roberta Begaye, the Navajo Nation Museum, and Delegates Nathaniel Brown and Charliane Tso of the 24th Navajo Nation Council.

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Diné Pride is honoring & celebrating our LGBTQ+ relatives & reaffirming the sacredness of their heritage. There are many social disparities that affect our community & our Pride event hopes to reintroduce Navajo teachings that kept our LGBTQ+ relatives safe & revered - the way our culture recognized at one point in history.

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