San Francisco names Oasis owner D'Arcy Drollinger as 1st Drag Laureate

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Thursday, May 18, 2023
San Francisco names D'Arcy Drollinger as 1st Drag Laureate
San Francisco has announced its first Drag Laureate, Oasis nightclub owner D'Arcy Drollinger.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You've heard of a poet laureate, now San Francisco has its first Drag Laureate. During a time of unprecedented legislation targeting drag performers across the country, the city has chosen to embrace the art form. And the winner is... Oasis nightclub owner D'Arcy Drollinger.

"It's amazing. I feel so honored to get to be the first," Drollinger told ABC7 Mornings anchor Reggie Aqui. "It felt a little like it was tailor-made for really did track with what I've been doing for the past 10 years in San Francisco," Drollinger said.

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First announced in November 2022 (and notably, covered in a city budget that did not face the deficit the current year is facing), the position comes with a $55,000 stipend over the course of the 18-month term.

Drollinger is already one of the most well-known performers and prominent LGBTQ + business owners in the city. Drollinger owns the Oasis nightclub in SoMa, which claims the title of largest drag-owned club in the United States.

Drollinger was chosen by a vetting committee made up of city agencies and community groups including longtime drag advocates like the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Imperial Court of San Francisco. The Drag Laureate is expected to create drag-centered programming and help promote the long history of drag in the city, but beyond that, it's largely up to Drollinger to define the role.

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Drollinger's appointment comes at a moment when more than a dozen states have introduced or passed legislation that would limit or ban drag performances.

"San Francisco created this position before the drag community came under attack...I feel like it really is a testament to where San Francisco puts the drag community in our culture," Drollinger said.

The city's first Drag Laureate is already issuing a challenge to the people of San Francisco.

"Be a little more fabulous every time you walk out the door. If you're a little more fabulous, you inspire other people to be a little more fabulous, and if everyone is a little more fabulous there's that much less room in their heart and their brain for hostility, hate and violence."

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