Mx. East Bay Drag and mx. retrograde perform at Rise Up Fest!.

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Rainbow Youth Program

The poster for Rise Up Fest!.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

This past Friday, August 30, Pinole Valley High School’s very own Mx. East Bay Drag and mx. retrograde performed at Rise Up Fest! — a fundraiser to help benefit homeless Queer youth put on by Rainbow Community Center’s youth program.

The event was hosted by youth director Daphnee Valdez with help from youth staff members Niq Muldrow and Christian Aguirre at the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church and featured a variety of vendors and amazing performances from talented Queer artists.

Mx. East Bay Drag; consisting of PV alumni Pink Melancholy (Paul Aguirre), Starry Blush (Athena Fibanocci), and Leo Hosley; and sophomores Champagne Lolita (Camille Rhodes), Genie (Asia Gant), and Manifest Destiny (Nix Tiger); opened the show with a fresh and exciting performance of a mash-up of well-known pop hits, including Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and “Ariana Grande’s “God is a woman”. The group had previously performed these tracks at the second incarnation of their hit drag competition show, Mx. East Bay Drag Race, which was held back in March at De Anza High School.

Our Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) was also one of the vendors, and their table was managed by senior Frank Ochoa.

Former Mx. East Bay Drag member and third runner-up of Mx. East Bay Drag Race Season 2, mx. retrograde (Mason Montano a.k.a. me) followed with a haunting performance of Madonna’s “Goodbye to Innocence” — a rare track for a one-of-a-kind individual.

The remainder of the night consisted of performances from singer-songwriter VEC, drag king Alex U. Inn, dancer Jada Love Mercado, and singer Lae’liana Brooks in addition to silent auctions, raffles, and giveaways.

In the end, the event was a success and raised almost $5,000 to help house, clothe, feed, and provide transportation for Queer youth in need.