City council officials in WeHo have decided to develop a “Drag Laureate” program designed to help promote the city’s LGBTQ inclusivity and gay nightlife district. The program was co-sponsored by Councilwoman Lauren Meister and City Councilman John Duran.
Council members voted last week 5-0 in favor of the idea. Council notes say, “The Drag Laureate would serve as an ambassador to West Hollywood businesses, especially the businesses in the City’s historic LGBT district, and promote arts and culture in West Hollywood.”
According to a memo to the council ahead of yesterday’s meeting, “West Hollywood has been one of the centers of drag culture for decades. Drag performers are often the main attraction at restaurants and bars, star in arts and cultural events, or even lead storytelling and crafts at Drag Queen Story Hour (which takes place at West Hollywood Library.)
“The Drag Laureate would serve to highlight and promote the contributions of drag artists to West Hollywood by acting as an ambassador to businesses in the city, especially those in the city’s historic LGBT district.”
It continues: “If approved, staff will further develop the proposed scope of the program, guidelines, and selection criteria and return to City Council for further discussion and consideration. The selection of the Drag Laureate will be facilitated by a selection committee made up of stakeholders from the community and local businesses, including representatives from the local LGBT bars and restaurants.”
Following the vote, Councilman Duran told GayCities:
“Drag is synonymous with West Hollywood for the past 100 years. Chicago gangster Mickey Cohen set up the first drag club on our Sunset Strip in the 1930s as a form of entertainment. Little did he know he was helping birth the LGBT community’s presence in West Hollywood.
“The drag laureate will be an ambassador for the City to promote our LGBT businesses and nightlife in the historic Boystown district on Santa Monica Blvd. COVID may be part of our current reality, but we will not be glum. We will continue to be flamboyant, colorful and outrageous as always.”
No word yet on WHO that Drag Laureate will be, but I think World of Wonder could offer up a few suggestions…
(Photo of random drag queens via free photo agency Pixabay)