Drag queens to the rescue! Two Brewers, one of the most (in)famous gay bars in England, has announced that it will host a 12-hour marathon of drag performances, and donate the proceeds to organizations fighting the wildfires in Australia.
Two Brewers—specifically, the location on Clapham High Street, in London (there are several locations)—was a finalist in the Best of GayCities 2019 for “best drag bar,” and is well-known for its shows. These are not the mundane, entertainment-for-bachelorette-parties shows, as some drag bars have pandered to the masses. This place is the real deal. These queens are the crème de la crème of the drag scene in the U.K., with featured performers like RuPaul’s Drag Race UK finalist Baga Chipz, and Mary Mac, who is currently in the West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. For those who are blithely unaware of the esteemed West End, it is like London’s version or Broadway, so having a role in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a big deal.
But back to the fundraiser: the dragathon will commence on January 26, 2020, and the proceeds will be donated to WIRES, the Australian Wildlife Rescue Organisation, and also the firefighters of New South Wales, which is the state that has experienced some of the worst destruction. New South Wales is where most of Australia’s koalas live—or, more accurately, where they lived, as tens of thousands of koalas (and hundreds of millions of other animals! and hundreds of humans!) have been killed, and koalas will now be classified as an endangered species.
Anyone can make a donation online.
The fires in Australia are catastrophic. To put it in perspective: the 2019 wildfires in Brazil’s Amazon consumed 17.5 million acres of rainforest. When combined with the millions of acres of Brazilian rainforest burned to make land for growing crops and raising cattle, the ecological damage was terrifying for the planet. France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, threatened to eliminate European free-trade agreements with Brazil, thereby crippling the country’s economy, if the Brazilian government did not cease the destruction. These fires in Australia, which have been burning since September 2019, have consumed 25.5 million acres, as of the writing of this story. And there is no hope in stopping the fires any time soon.
Here’s the kicker: because the fires are in rural areas, most of those firefighters are volunteers, who have been taking time off of work from their actual jobs, and fighting the fires with no pay. There are volunteer firefighters in rural areas all around the world, but this situation in Australia is not a house fire in a small town—this is an absolute disaster, on a global scale. These firefighters in Australia should not have to be supported by drag queens in London, who are lip syncing for tips that will be sent to Australia, because the Australian government wasn’t paying those firefighters to fight the greatest natural disaster on the planet. Australia, pull yourself together! The world is in desperate shape if our salvation relies on a lip sync performance by Baga Chipz.
It should be noted that New South Wales is also home to the beautiful city of Sydney, which is preparing for the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebration in February. Sydney is not in the range of the fires, and Mardi Gras will proceed as planned, although there may be the ominous smell of smoke in the air.
As was mentioned earlier, people outside of London can make donations online. When donating to charitable causes, it is crucial to pick organizations that will actually utilize the funds responsibly through grassroots efforts, not just because they post photos of burned koalas. Although those poor koalas, it’s just awful. Attention everybody in London: Go to the Two Brewers, and tip generously!
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