Portland drag queen Poison Waters returns to Bend this weekend to host her 11th annual drag show benefitting the Human Dignity Coalition, Oct. 12 at Liquid Lounge. The prolific performer, who co-hosts for Darcelle XV & Company shows and regularly serves as the emcee for non-profit fundraising events, will be joined by performers from Portland and Eugene — Diva Simone Slaughters, Meesha Peru, Karess Ann Slaughter, and Daphne Bertha Storm.
The Human Dignity Coalition is a Central Oregon non-profit that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights.
Tickets to the 11th Annual HDC Drag Show are $15 per person ($30 for VIP), $25 per couple and are available online.
Poison took some time to chat with the me from sunny Hawaii about her upcoming show and why she loves performing in Bend.
Describe this year’s show in three words.
Delicious, energetic and fanDRAGulous!
Why do you keep coming back to Bend?
Our connection with Central Oregon has been so inspiring and rejuvenating! The love we receive is so amazingly appreciated; the energy the crown feeds us makes us want to work harder and do more for HDC and Bend.
How has the show changed over the years?
The venues have certainly changed and with that the mood or tone of our performance has as well. None better than the other, some more “nightclubby,” or some years “underground” and other years “mainstream.” I’ve been so lucky to have basically the same cast all these 11 years, only substituting a few “girls” a few times when schedules conflicted. But always the partnership between the Portland and Eugene performers…that’s a staple!
Tell us a little about the friends who will be joining you.
Meesha Peru is a friend of over 20 years, living in Portland, originally from Lima, Peru. She brings a sexy Latina flair to our show and has never missed one! Diva Simone Slaughter is also a decades old friend and has performed at the majority of our HDC shows. She is THE queen in Eugene and always brings a sassy and classy element to the party! Karess is also from Eugene and brings the urban young element to the show; a petite dancer and one sexy queen! Daphne Bertha Storm is from Eugene and is the Cher of the Willamette Valley — she loves all things Cher!!!
What do you love most about performing drag?
I love most the connection with the audience. Feeling their support of my artistic abilities, getting my sense of humor…being able to entertain people while also helping worthy groups raise needed funs? What’s not to love?!
If you weren’t in Bend to perform, how would you be spending your time here?
Bend is a beautiful place and we’ve gotten to wander a bit, shop and dine over the years but never enough time to do the outdoorsy stuff. I’d love to hike and maybe even try horseback riding!
Why is the work of the Human Dignity Coalition important to you?
The work of HDC is important to me because while I live in Portland and have many resources available to me and folks working toward equality on our behalf, I know the residents of smaller communities throughout our state deserve the same…HDC does such a great job protecting, educating and advocating on behalf of our Central Oregon communities.
I’m so thankful and honored that our little show has grown to be THE drag event in Central Oregon and that so many people come out to support HDC and us! The wild party that Bend throws along with us is so much fun and easily one of my favorite annual events! Myself and the entire cast feel at home in Bend and are always happy and eager to return!