The Heard Museum throws its doors open every First Friday, giving the public the opportunity to see the institution's world-renowned collection of Indigenous art for free.
And for this month's event, to celebrate Pride Month, the museum is putting on Pride Night at the Heard, including hosting a drag show featuring only Native queens, on Friday, June 3.
"I would like to say I’m very honored to be hosting the first-ever drag show at the Heard Museum," says drag queen Pyraddiction. "It's very exciting to be a part of history."
Because of TV programs like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and platforms like YouTube, audiences can see that drag queens come from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, including the Native community. The term “two-spirited” is an Indigenous term that means embodying both genders and may be the equivalent to the modern-day term “nonbinary.”
Sam Toledo is the digital content manager for the Heard Museum and a longtime fan of the art form.
“I grew up on the Navajo Nation and have been in the Phoenix area for a little over 10 years,” she says. “I frequent drag shows in the Phoenix area often and the community it creates with all types of people is amazing. Coming from the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I've always wanted to organize a drag show with all Indigenous drag queens, and next Friday, that's coming true."
A number of queens will perform, including Miss New Mexico Pride 2022, Tomahawk Martini, Mx Titos Pride 2022, Te D. DeMornay, K.Yasss Savage, Ritavon DeMornay, and Felix.
"You can expect a free, family-friendly show filled with a cast of six beautiful performers that showcase their art form," Toledo says.
It's an opportunity for drag queens to be out performing in the community after two years of having to observe Pride Month amid a pandemic.
"For me, Pride 2022 is the year of being visible," Pyraddiction says. "As a community, we want to uplift and showcase all the diversity within the community. We must continuously highlight all members of the LGBTQIA2S+, whether it be from showing support to our trans brothers and sisters, our BIPOC brothers and sisters, and also supporting the youth that is sadly being targeted by multiple states and infringing on their rights to be who they are. Pride 2022 will be another year of all of us in the community lifting our voices up to be heard and pioneering, as our elders who came before us once did."
The show will start at 7 p.m. in the Steele Auditorium, but before that, at 6, LGBTQ Native poets will read their work. Add in food and drinks for sale at the museum's cantina, and access to the museum's collections, and the evening is shaping up to be a can't-miss event.
"I have been performing for almost four years in the local Phoenix community and being a visible indigenous entertainer is something I have always strived for, and I also have worked really hard to get where I am today," Pyraddiction says. "I do hope that this is not the last of its kind in regards to drag events we will have here at the Heard."
The Heard Museum is located at 2301 North Central Avenue. First Friday hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Visit the museum's website for more information.