September 11, 2013 | by Steve Charing
A benefit for trans awareness
Chrissy Lee Polis, gay news,Washington Blade

Chrissy Lee Polis is set to appear at an event later this month promoting trans awareness. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In April 2011, Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman who was 22 at the time, was beaten by two females, one a 19-year-old and the other age 14 at a McDonald’s restaurant in Rosedale, Md. The attack was caught on video and received national and international attention.

To highlight awareness of transgender people in Baltimore, a benefit titled “The Real Me” will take place on Sept. 28 at the Universal Nightlife and Entertainment facility, formerly known as The Overlea, 6809 Belair Rd. in Baltimore. A portion of the funds will go to area transgender awareness organizations. Polis is scheduled to make an appearance.

Co-hosted by Melody Lyryshal and Miss Mixers Anita Minett, “The Real Me” will feature a number of local drag performers including Dee Attitude, Phoenix King, Tamia Gisele Mykles, Jalah Nicole, Franz Fiddler and Danielle Revlon.

“I was asked at Queen of Pride what I would do if I won,” explains Melody Lyryshal who is organizing the event.  “I said I wanted to bring awareness to the transgender community. I lost that night, but that did not mean I could not make a difference. A crown did not decide what I could do for the community. I did.”

Tickets will be $10 at the door and $8 in advance.   They can be purchased at gofundme.com/4880fk.

8 Comments
  • "a portion with be donated to trans awareness organizations?" Which orgs and what portion?

    Furthermore, most trans women don't affiliate with drag. We find it in line with performing blackface and perpetuates ideas within the Hetero and LGB portions of the community around fetishization/erotiziation of clothing and flambouance. It mocks many of us that have identifies as women throughout our lives and go to significant social and financial costs to be recognized as our gender identity. It conflates drag and transsexuality as one and the same, and perpetuates ideas that this is a choice… a performance… that we simply like to dress up, put on exaggerated make up, and strut a catwalk… Only to resume a male identity and privilege when not "performing". It is highly problematic. Again, many of us see it as a kin to performing blackface.

    • Hi lexie! We actually do have to MTF trans performers for this show. We are by no means representing transgender as a choice to dress up and perform not in the least I assure you. We are doing this as a drag show because we feel this is a great way to raise money for a great cause, and a lot of the community frequents the drag scene.

  • I am sorry Chris, but you should NOT attend this drag event. Drag is never about being "The real me"…to the contrary it is about overt impersonation. Nothing wrong with drag, except that transgender and drag are two entirely different things. Drag performers do not transition gender; they go to work their "real" birth-gender selves.

    It is precisely this association that retards progress relative to transgender equality. Drag is about using gender "as a tool"….a prop and indeed some drag performers are very beautiful. The main life-quality issues however are not related to drag performances but to an authentic gender transition, primarily from discrimination. Drag performers do not seek to be taken seriously as females, but as performers. This goes in complete conflict with we who are transgender.

    I understand why this appears to be a good cause but not if drag performers are used in place of transgender women. Not at all.

    • Hello! I just wanted to reply and let those who are unsure of our event that we do have transgender performers as well as non transgender, and gender queer. The organization we are donating to is through the glccb and it is called tranquility. The drag show is an outlet to raise money because as a drag queen I know they are well attended events, and I have hopes that we will raise a lot of money from it for tranquility. If anyone has any questions please feel free to call me 443-231-8475.

    • This event is not to degrade my friends and family that are Transgendered. This event is SOLELY to utalize different venues in the Baltimore area to help bring AWARENESS and FUNDING to those who need it. Drag is only a vine to reach out and raise money. Some of the performers in this benefit are, in fact, transgendered and have been part of my “family” for many years. We ask that you please attend the event before making comments not pertaining to this Benefit for Equality.l

    • Miss Omally,
      We are sorry that you feel this way about our event. Chris, we strongly recommend that you please come out and support with us. As to the fact that you, Miss Omally, feel that some “drag performers” go day to day as their “birth names”, you are wrong. Some of my closest family members and friends might consider themselves “drag” but in fact are Trans. And we as a community support them no matter what. Others I have known have used drag as a way to be “The Real” them, seeing what its like to live and breathe as the opposite gender. Knowing that when they put on the hair and makeup, they feel content and better than what they would if they grew a beard or shaved their legs. So before you go and make false accusations about a certain event (we do appreciate your concerns) please attend the event and see what what and why we are doing this.

      Love and Lipstick
      Anita Minett
      Drag Performer

  • you are spot on. playing dress-up and changing sex….hardly equivalent.

  • Dearest Lexi,
    We actually have some performers in this Benefit for Transgender people, who in fact, ARE trans themselves. We ask that you please attend the event before making false accusations about something not pertaining to our Trans Equality event. This is not to benefit us, this is to benefit the trans community and their allies.

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