Shi-Queeta Lee, one of Washington’s most active and industrious drag queens, found inspiration in an unlikely place. A 2009 stint on “America’s Got Talent” in which she and her Diva League cohorts were harshly criticized, made her realize there was an opportunity for education.
She says she was “stunned” by the blunt assessment her troupe received from judge Piers Morgan, who said “a bunch of lip-synching old drag queens who can’t dance is not what America needs right now.”
Lee, inspired by gay cable channel Logo’s designation of January as “drag history month,” says drag tradition, both here and nationally, needs a shot in the arm. She hopes to give it one by filming a flash mob video — a YouTube fad in which a person starts dancing alone but is joined by dozens and sometimes hundreds of others by the end. She says it’s also a way to unite D.C.’s local drag community.
“The drag shows around here have kind of been falling down,” Lee (aka Jerry Van Hook) says. “The gay community hasn’t been coming to the shows as much. It’s been more the heterosexual community.”
Lee and a small army of local drag queens — she invited all the locals who regularly perform — are taping Saturday at noon at National Harbor. Several rehearsals have been held with varying numbers of attendees at each.