Rural Oklahoma Pride brings drag to Chickasha
CHICKASHA, Okla. (KSWO) - Chickasha residents gathered on Saturday, November 12, to celebrate a historic moment for the city, their first drag show!
It took place at Canadian River Brewing Co, thanks to the efforts of Rural Oklahoma Pride, an organization set on serving the LGBTQ+ community in rural areas of Oklahoma.
Let me tell you, the community in Chickasha truly came out to make this moment one to remember!
The co-founder of Rural Oklahoma Pride, Bryan Paddack, said he and his partner, Jacob, created the organization and this event to help provide some fun entertainment, but more importantly, to offset the stigma towards the LGBTQ+ community and let those living in rural areas within the state know they are not alone.
“I’m from this community and bringing something like the LGBTQ+ community to this community is just an awesome opportunity to express not only entertainment but the freedom of what we do.”
“We created it [Rural Oklahoma Pride] for people that didn’t feel like they can come out in their communities. In a small community like Chickasha, we struggle with being able to be ourselves,” Paddack continued.
Harmony DeLovely, a drag performer known far and wide in the Oklahoma drag community for their activism and initiative, said that moments like these are unique, needed, and help fight the unfair stigma placed upon drag performers.
“We want to show any small town in Oklahoma that we are entertainers. This is theatrics. This is us performing, and there’s nothing dirty or predatorial, nothing like that, about it. It’s just artistic expression,” DeLovely said.
Holly Dunham, the co-owner of Canadian River Brewing Company, said that when they were first approached with the idea, they were on board instantly but were unexpectedly blown away by the community response. She also said they would love to host another drag event, but that may prove difficult.
“We would love to, and I was telling Jacob, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to because the crowd is so big, he may have to get a bigger venue. We would always love to do it again here, but I think he’s going to have to find a bigger place next time. I think this is great; we’ve had a great turnout,” Dunham said.
Paddack said that Rural Oklahoma Pride is looking at areas like Ada, Muskogee, and Lone Grove to bring the drag experience to next.
For more information, you can follow their Facebook page here.
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