Drag Queens Fill First Ave for Puerto Rico

Flip Phone and drag queen Phi Phi O’Hara team up for a First Avenue show in Minneapolis with all proceeds benefiting victims of Hurricane Maria

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico earlier this fall, people on social media wondered aloud what they could do to help. One of them was drag queen Phi Phi O’Hara, a former contestant on the counter-cultural reality TV hit Rupaul’s Drag Race whose husband is Puerto Rican.

Flip Phone founder Chad Kampe, the man behind the city’s most popular parties, reached out to O’Hara, asking her if she would help put together a charity show with proceeds benefiting Puerto Rico. O’Hara agreed. And now, on Monday, Queens United/Reinas Unidas will fill First Avenue with about 20 drag queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race—including Acid Betty, the towering, neon-bright empress from New York; Minneapolis’ own Hollywood witch Max Malanaphy and Drag Race season one winner BeBe Zahara Benet; plus queens from Puerto Rico, including Yara Sofia, Madame LaQueer, and Cynthia Lee Fontaine.

It’s easily Flip Phone’s biggest extravaganza yet. So how did the show end up in Minnesota? Timing, for one; Kampe reached out before anyone else made the offer. The state’s location—in the middle of the country—also makes it a good half-way point for queens on the coasts.

O’Hara felt spurred to act by her husband’s family members still on the island, she told Billboard, and her relationship with queens hailing from the vibrant drag culture of Puerto Rico. Proceeds go to a relief initiative co-run by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony called Somos Una Voz, providing shelter, medicine, food, and internet to victims. Billboard will broadcast the performances for those who can’t make it to Minnesota.