A group of dragtavists held a “No Border Wall Protest Drag Show” over the weekend at the border, in Brownsville, Texas, to raise money and awareness for LGBTQ asylum seekers.
“Who’s ready to have a political time?” drag queen Beatrix Lestrange asked the audience, according to NBC.
“We’ll try to bring joy, positivity, beauty, drag, culture to whatever this is,” she added, pointing to the border wall behind her.
Trump recently declared a national emergency to fund the border wall, after Congress blocked his initial efforts, leading to a government shutdown. Earlier this month, Congress passed a spending bill that allocated funding to add to the border wall in Texas, with construction set to begin this month.
Queens performed to songs like “American Idiot” by Green Day and “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, and raised around $650 for RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants.
“The vision was to perform in front of this wall, and project our beauty, and our glamour, and our empowerment against this symbol that stands for hate, racism, and xenophobia,” Lestrange said.
She added that she hoped the show brought attention to LGBTQ immigrants in particular, who are “already fleeing really horrible conditions.”
“They’re fleeing homophobia, transphobia, violence, trauma, only to come to the doorsteps of our country and encounter more of that.”
In November, a group of LGBTQ migrants who had splintered off from a larger group arrived at the U.S. border, saying they had decided to go off on their own due to the discrimination they faced from others in the caravan.
That same month, results from an autopsy of Roxsana Hernández, a transgender woman from Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S., who died while in ICE custody, showed signs of abuse. She was HIV-positive, and was reportedly held in an “icebox” cell, where she was denied adequate food, water, and medical attention after she became ill.
This month it was reported that a transgender woman, known by the names Aurora and Camila, was deported back to El Salvador from the United States, where she was fatally attacked in January.
Lestrange encouraged other cities to take action in a similar way as they did in Brownsville.
“If we can do this in front of the border wall, then they can do something similar. Do it now, because tomorrow is too late.”