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Events: May 2021

Articles for the Month of May 2021

My Drag Story

My Drag Story

Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in association with FEM Presents 

Curated by Anthony Carthew and hosted by Hannah Conda

With  Priscilla, Queen of the Desert  stamped on our national identity and Drag Race sashaying across screens there’s no doubt drag has sunk its six-inch heels into the mainstream.

Fabulous glamour, outrageous shade and shouts of ‘Yaas queen!’ or ‘G’day darl!’ are now familiar scenes not only along our inner-city rainbow strips but across our suburban landscape of pubs, clubs and backyards. 

From the heady days of Oxford Street’s “Golden Mile” to the diverse fabulousness many decades later – our nation’s alumni of drag artists have proudly carved a cheeky and quintessentially Aussie path through our cultural playbook. 

The ultimate expression of queerness, drag has often been a defiant voice for our communities - in a passionate celebration of pride and rage against injustice. 

Premiering to rave reviews at the 2021 festival, My Drag Story uncorsets a brand spanking, glittery new line up of drag legends and up-and-coming royalty including Bee Dazzled Shanks Prince of Redfern, Dizzy BilityDorreen Manganini, Minnie Cooper and the one and only Miss 3D.

Event duration: 90 mins (no interval)

(From left to right: Bee Dazzled Shanks Prince of Redfern, Dizzy Bility, Minnie Cooper, Miss 3D, Hannah Conda, Dorreen Manganini)

Bee Dazzled Shanks Prince of Redfern
You better be ready when his royal blaxcellence BeeDazzled Shanks sashays in! The Prince of Redfern has an eye and mouth for all things sexy. He led the First Nations Float for Mardi in 2019/20, performed at Moogahlin’s Koori Gras Black Cabaret from 2017 - 2020 and Blackout for Spring Out in Canberra 2020. BeeDazzled delivers Acknowledgements of Country at various queer Sydney events and you can see him at NAIDOC Nylon on the Central Coast 3 July.

Dizzy Bility
Dizzy has coined herself “Sydney’s famed deaf and blind drag queen”. Hailing from humble beginnings in Western Sydney, her drag journey began with amateur competitions at Arq Nightclub and Midnight Shift. After graduating from the Australian Institute of Music with a major in Musical Theatre, Dizzy combined her love of drag and music to create sell-out cabaret acts at King St Theatre in Newtown and her own YouTube series. She is currently working on her next cabaret venture and can be spotted around town as party hostess including performing at Poof Doof, Sydney. 

Minnie Cooper
Minnie is the Queen of Oxford St, producing award-winning shows and driving Sydney’s party goers wild with excitement. She has produced and choreographed many large-scale spectacles at events such as Mardi Gras, Sleaze Ball and Flash Mobs and has worked with stars including Jimmy Barnes, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, Kylie Minogue, Tina Arena, Dannii Minogue and Australia’s most famous drag performer, Carlotta.

She has won more DIVA awards than just about anyone, including Entertainer of the Year 4 times, Sydney’s Favourite Drag Queen and Choreographer of the Year just to name a few. In 2016 Minnie was semi-finalist on Australia’s Got Talent and in 2019 appeared on Channel 7 as one of the judges on “All Together Now’.

Minnie's most recent projects include hosting the online streaming program “Live from Stonewall” and appeared in Season 4 of "Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father" on Netflix.

That is why the call her the “Super Duper Minnie Cooper!”

Miss 3D
Miss 3D’s early years were spent as a Ballarat school teacher before escaping to achieve her Australian Ballet School diploma. Her incredible drag career took off in 1977 when she moved to Sydney connecting with the legendary Doris Fish. A stellar run followed at Sydney’s infamous venues including Stranded and Cappricios where she joined forces with the one and only, Miss Cindy Pastel. New York beckoned, and she found herself at the notorious Anvil Club delighting the Yanks with her unique twist on Aussie drag. Decades of Sydney drag domination ensued – including at Patches and the Albury where she created the famous “Show Bags” with Cindy and Pat Gently, at countless events and parties such as her Glamour World nights, Dragtrade, Rat Parties Mardi Gras, Pride and Sleaze to name a few. Her daytime was just as colourful – cake decorator at SweetArt for over 30 years. 44 years later she is still performing every week and is currently working on her own documentary.

Dorreen Manganini
One of the iconic Faboriginals of the Sydney and Melbourne Indigenous drag community and a descendant of the Gomeroi Nation – Dorreen moved to Sydney in 1984.

A talent quest at the Albury Hotel and a chance meeting with the legendary Simone Troy saw Doreen create history becoming the first Indigenous drag performer to grace the main stages of Australia. Over the years she’s performed in hundreds of shows, was one of the Divas who performed in Sydney and Melbourne venues and won multiple Rainbow and DIVA Awards. She was the only Indigenous Queen to perform at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics and was honoured in a book and magazine articles as part of Mardi Gras 40 year celebrations.

Known for her sharp tongue, sexy pins and customised version of “I Will Survive”, she loves a lager and tequila chaser and a bloody good laugh!


Making its grand return in 2021, DJ competition Spin-Off is being reignited for Mardi Gras Pride Weekender in search of Australia’s next generation of LGBTQI+ DJs. 

Express Yourself - Queer Discovery

Express Yourself - Queer Discovery

Presented by Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in partnership with APRA AMCOS

Celebrating the momentous reopening of The Metro Theatre, beloved Australian singer/songwriter Alex The Astronaut leads the line-up on this special Mardi Gras Pride Weekender edition of Express Yourself, which will serve as the first night of live music at the venue since early 2020. 

Alex's 2017 single ‘Not Worth Hiding’ became the anthem of the marriage equality debate in Australia and cemented her as one of our nation’s youngest LGBTQI+ role models. She will be joined by emerging artists including rapper and producer BVT, alternative pop-rocker Hope D, occult pop queen Clara Fable, and super singer/songwriter duo No Frills Twins. Presenter, producer and DJ Faustina Agolley will be on hosting duties for the evening. 

The judging panel will comprise of folktronica singer Gordi, national treasure Marcia Hines, APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston, Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger and special guest judge Starley. 

A joint initiative between Mardi Gras and APRA AMCOS, Express Yourself – Queer Discovery is a series of music showcases aiming to foster and provide a platform for emerging LGBTQI+ artists. Each showcase sees these artists perform alongside an established headliner to a room of industry heavyweights and the general public. At the end of the series, a panel of judges will select two emerging artists to perform at a future Mardi Gras event. 

Event duration: 90 mins