On Saturday June 8th, if you come in the afternoon for the Multi-cultural festival with two (that’s right, 2!) stages of entertainment, and stay through the evening for the parade, you can meet some fabulous people, such as…
Stage Emcees: Emi Grate and Lailah Lancing!
Emi Grate, appearing at the 1st Street Stage, is a Brooklyn-based drag artist and event producer, originally from Mandalay, Burma. She is the current-former-reigning Mr(s) BK. The influences on her work range from arts, crafts, folklore and mythology from East and Southeast Asia to Richard Wagner, Bertolt Brecht and John Cage. She is widely known for her community organization and identity politics, her interpretations of Celine Dion’s music, her mischievous sense of humour and for not lipsyncing in some of her signature acts. You can find her across all social media, including Venmo: @emigrate_drag
Out, Loud, and Proud Transwoman, Singer/Songwriter, and nightlife personality Lailah Lancing, appearing at the 9th Street Stage, has been a staple in NYC for nearly 3 decades! In her career she’s been a part of all things fabulous from The 90’s club scene, Legendary NYC Drag staple Lucky Cheng’s, The Burlesque craze, and the cabaret circuit. She currently has a bi-monthly cabaret/comedy show at Park Slope’s very own, New York Times acclaimed, gay bar EXCELSIOR.
This year’s Grand Marshals: Desmond is Amazing and Wendy Napoles; Alphonso B. David; and Kate Barnhart!
Desmond is Amazing (Desmond Napoles) is an 11-year old drag kid, LGBTQ+ advocate, outspoken gay youth, editorial and runway model, public speaker, performer, designer, and founder of the first ever drag house for drag kids, Haus of Amazing. He is an inspiration to many and a representation of hope for the future to come.
Desmond’s motto is “Be Yourself, Always”.
Wendy Napoles is Desmond’s mom, costumer, biggest supporter, and Dragager (a Drag Momager).
Alphonso B. David is an attorney, law professor and policy advisor with significant litigation and management experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and is the first openly gay man to serve as chief counsel to the Governor of New York.
In 2015, Mr. David was appointed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as Counsel to the Governor. In this role, Mr. David functions as the Governor’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor, and oversees all significant legal and policy deliberations affecting New York State including evaluating proposed legislation; implementing laws and policies; and formulating the State’s posture in both affirmative and defensive litigation.
Kate Barnhart is a long-time AIDS activist and member of ACT UP/NY who has been arrested multiple times for acts of civil disobedience protesting issues related to AIDS, healthcare, and police brutality. She has worked with at-risk youth since 1994, including six years working with young felons at CASES, an alternative-to-incarceration program. Since 2001, she has worked with homeless LGBT youth. She spent five years serving as Director of Sylvia’s Place, an emergency shelter for LGBT homeless youth, and is currently the Executive Director of New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth, an organization she helped found in Oct. 2008. In her free time, Ms. Barnhart rescues and rehabilitates stray cats.