Queens head south for night of fashion and fun

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”BIG hair, fabulous fashion, great dance numbers and risque comedy.”

That is what the public can expect to see at Queens Go South! in Invercargill in November, organising committee member Beth Duffill-Brookes said.

Presented by CHROMA, the Queens Go South! show features five of New Zealand’s leading gender illusionists and drag queens, Joanne Neilson, Amanduh La Whore, Mia Slapper, Miss Cinnamon and Bella Bloom.

CHROMA is an Invercargill-based organisation which supports the LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex) communities in Southland through advocacy, events, education and support.

Duffill-Brookes said the drag show would be the charitable trust’s first major event since it was established last year. The show would be a way to help integrate the LGBTQI+ community into the wider community, she said.

“It’s a way to say we are here, we are part of your community and [for the public] to see part of our culture.”

The show was rated R18, but the morning after the live show, people of all ages were invited to have coffee with the Queens at the Ascot Park Hotel and learn more about the LGBTQI+ community, she said.

Lead performer Joanne Neilson said she was looking forward to performing in Invercargill.

“Great costumes, gorgeous looking women, who are not always women.

“It’s always a bit of fun. You never know what you are going to get.

“The more responsive the audience, the more fun we will have with them.”

As part of the show, Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) second year Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology students would stage a fashion show with garments they had designed for transgender people.

SIT fashion student Stephanie Travis said there would be a mix of daywear and show pieces.

“A lot of sequins, a lot of glitter and big, bold colours – very over the top.”

Travis was also designing a costume for each of the Queens to wear during the show.

She was excited by the opportunity because she intended to focus on designing clothing for transgender people once she graduated, she said.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for me to get my name out there as a designer and show people you don’t have to follow the traditional trajectory of working in menswear, womenswear or children’s wear.

“I feel very privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity.”

CHROMA was presenting Queens Go South! with support from Community Trust South, Invercargill Licensing Trust, Southern Institute of Technology, ICC Creative Communities, Ascot Park Hotel and the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust.

CHROMA chairman Dr David Sarshalom said he was thrilled with the level of support the event had received from community funders, as it was something which had not been done in the city before.

Queens Go South!, Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill, November 2. R18. Tickets go on sale in mid-August.

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