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S.F.’s first drag laureate is ‘very, very fabulous’

The city of San Francisco — boasting a long history as one of the nation’s most progressive communities — has named the nation’s first drag laureate.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed gave the new position Thursday to D’Arcy Drolligner, 54, a drag performer and business owner in San Francisco who runs Oasis, a club near Civic Center.

The job description for the new role?

“I’m going to have to be very, very fabulous,” Drollinger told The Times. “I look at this job as being an ambassador, building bridges between the drag community, LGBTQIA+ communities with other civic organizations and businesses.”

San Francisco won’t be the only city with a drag laureate for long. West Hollywood’s application deadline to be that city’s Drag Laureate passed in late April, meaning the city will soon select a person for the role.

The naming of Drollinger as drag laureate comes at a time when drag performances have become increasingly politicized, with politicians — including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — targeting drag shows with legislation aimed at keeping kids away from the performances.

In Los Angeles, the Dodgers announced this week that a street performance organization that uses humor, drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance, won’t be honored with the team’s Community Hero Award in a pregame ceremony because of pressure from conservative Catholic organizations.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, the drag laureate will receive a $55,000 stipend over an 18-month term from the San Francisco Public Library. The laureate is meant to serve as a spokesperson for the LGBTQIA+ community in the city and “embody San Francisco’s historic, diverse and inclusive drag culture, elevating the entire community on the national and international stage,” according to the Mayor’s Office.

D’Arcy Drolligner will continue with his drag performances alongside his laureate roles.

(Courtesy of Rachel Ziegler)

The stage is exactly where Drollinger likes to be.

He said he plans to continue his drag performances at Oasis while serving as the city’s drag laureate.

Drollinger’s venue now features a “Sex And The City” drag parody.

“I play a mean Samantha Jones,” Drollinger said.

Drollinger opened Oasis in 2014 and continued operating the night club through the pandemic.

“I worked really hard during the pandemic to stay afloat and give jobs to drag performers,” Drolligner said.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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