Portland, Oregon just made LGBTQ+ history and raised nearly $300,000 for charity simultaneously. Queer-owned apparel company Wildfang teamed up with legendary drag club Darcelle XV to put on Drag-A-Thon July 10-12, a record-breaking 48-hour continuous drag show benefitting Trevor Project and bringing attention to the “criminalization of drag in 15+ states across the U.S.”
The show took place at the Darrell XV Showplace in Portland’s Old Town neighborhood. The club, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was started and owned by Darcelle XV, also known as Walter Cole, who died in March and left behind a legacy of advocacy and philanthropy. Cole was the Guinness World Record holder for “oldest working drag queen” until his death at 92.
Started in 2012 by CEO and founder Emma McIlroy, Wildfang has been a pioneer in gender-neutral and empowering clothing. Through its 11 years in business, the clothier has donated over $750,000 to organizations including ProjectQ, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Tegan & Sara Foundation, RAICES and Girls Inc. Wildfang takes part in the 1% Pledge, where businesses pledge to donate 1% of annual profit back to their communities and nonprofits. Continuing with their philanthropic dedication, Wildfang and Darrell XV’s Drag-A-Thon initially hoped to raise $250,000 for Trevor Project and ended up surpassing their goal by $43,000.
The star-studded Drag-A-Thon featured famous faces in the drag community and beyond. Drag icons Peppermint, Lala Ri, Eureka O’Hara and Darcelle XV’s own Poison Waters were joined by dozens of West Coast drag performers and celebrities including Busy Phillips, Fred Armisen, Cameron Esposito and John Cameron Mitchell. The show kicked off July 10 at 3:30 p.m. and powered through 48 full hours of drag and entertainment. At the conclusion, Wildfang and Darcelle XV were presented with a plaque and official acknowledgment of their record breaking status by Guinness. The Drag-A-Thon surpassed the previous record by over 10 hours.
Accolades continue to pour in for Drag-A-Thon, including from the Queen of Drag herself, RuPaul.