Photos and Story by Reana Gibson/Contributing Writer
On Wednesday, October 30, MT LAMBDA–the oldest LGBTQ+ student organization in Tennessee– held its 2019 Annual Benefit Drag Show.
MT LAMBDA began hosting drag shows in 2010. Prior to the 2017 Holiday Drag Show, it had been roughly five years since LAMBDA held a show at all.
“In the past it’s been used as a fundraiser for other LGBTQ+ organizations in the community,” states LAMDA president Maxwell Pearson. “This year we chose True You Tennessee.”
True You Tennessee is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to providing foster homes and safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. They are the first and currently only group foster home dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth in the southeast.
Stephanie Lowe, the executive director of True You, said that the short term goals of the organization include purchasing a group home and reaching out to youths who cannot or are not able to come into the system.
“Our long-term goals include hoping to provide transitional housing to LGBTQ+ youths that are aging out of the foster system and just providing a safe space to be able to come back home to,” she comments.
The night was kicked off with host and MTSU alumnus Willian Langston (Veronica Paige) introducing the event. Four performers took the stage that evening, including True You board member, co-host and fellow MTSU alumnus Christopher Michael Maupins (Michaiah Marvel) and Mister Nashville Gay PRIDE 2016, Trey Alize.
First-timers and returning attendees were in the crowd that night as old school hits and custom remix numbers took the stage. True You was introduced during the intermission, before the second half of the performances continued.
The night ended with a full cast number. The performers brought members of the audience to the stage and proceeded to finish off the night with what became a dance party.
“Knowing that I’m helping children that I know that are on the road and are kicked out of their houses gave me more of a drive tonight to make this show everything it possibly could be,” stated Michaiah Marvel at the end of the night.
The tips collected during the night were donated to True You Tennessee.
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