June is Pride month, and we are so lucky to have a lot of very talented drag queens and kings in the Chippewa Valley! Get to know a little bit about some of them below, and be sure to come see their incredible show at Chippewa Valley Pride on June 12 in Phoenix Park at 3pm!
Hello! My name is Sapphire! I have been doing drag for about 5 years now. I started in La Crosse, Wisconsin at players bar and moved to Eau Claire about 2 years ago where I regularly perform at Scooters. I am a former Miss Lacrosse Pride “2017”. I have traveled all over the state of Wisconsin and some of the surrounding states. I love drag! It is a way for me to perform for others and bring them happiness, while I get to be another version of myself, as Sapphire. The art of drag has pulled me out of some of the hardest times for me. Drag has taught how to be strong and stand up for the things that are wrong. I hope that this pandemic has taught us all to be nicer to one another. Happy Pride 2021 !!!
Khloe Wold - I have been doing drag for about 12 years now. I love drag because it allows me to express my creativity. I get to encompass all my passions in one place. I love doing hair, makeup, and fashion. Plus who doesn’t love dress up and to play a different character? I’ve always been inspired by the strong women in my life and this was just a fun way I can honor them. Doing drag led me to my career of doing hair and makeup. I never thought being a gay boy in the Chippewa valley I would find a drag family and a safe space to express myself. We have such amazing and talented performers here and I’m so proud of them all. I am the show director here in town and enjoy being involved in all the events. The past few years I’ve been working really hard on booking new and upcoming talent and giving them a stage to show the community their talent. I have performed all over the Midwest but their is nothing like performing right here in the Chippewa valley. The community has really embraced us and I couldn’t be more proud of my family. I’m so lucky to not only have my biological family be supportive but to also have a family of entertainers we’ve created.
1. Stage name: Vaughn Illa (Pronounced like "Vanilla")
2. How long you've been doing drag and what you love most about it: Including the "Year that didn't happen" aka. 2020, I've been doing drag for 4 years now. What I absolutely love about it is being that "Something different" in comparison to the others that grace the stage. Vaughn is a comedy king and that being said, I really enjoy making people laugh and just sharing the joy where I can.
3. A short bio about you:
You've seen the best Eau Claire has to offer... Now here's something completely different. Vaughn Illa - Everybody's favorite Drunk Uncle of Eau Claire. This king is always ready with a smile and a free cookie if you're lucky. He's bringing polka back and some dad-at-a-barbeque realness. He's a bit of a "weirdough" but it's always going to be an interesting and unexpected time when Vaughn Illa stumbles onto the stage. See him at Scooter's the 1st Friday of every month.
Monica Bluebyl - I've been doing drag for 9.5 years. Being a drag queen has given me the stage and the platform to be the closest version of myself possible. When you see me on stage, that's me at my happiest, I love entertaining. My drag persona isn't a character, it's an extension of myself. It's who I want to be. Confident, beautiful and making people laugh.
3. Drag is the artform that I think I've always had in me, even as a little kid. When I'm Monica, I have way more confidence than Trevor, even though we are the same person. I don't like washing the makeup off at the end of the night. It's mildly heartbreaking because I have to say goodbye to the version of myself that I love the most. If I had to leave behind a lasting legacy, I'd just want people to remember that I was myself authentically. That I was strong enough to be my genuine self no matter what the cost was. And that hopefully I helped others be strong enough to be their authentic selves as well. That's a legacy I can look back at and be proud of.
Oliver Khloesoff -
1. Year started: July 2013
2. Why I love it: It's a self esteem booster and having never had the guts to get into theater growing up and was taste of that
3. Bio: Growing up, I knew I was part of the LGBT+ family at an early age. However, growing up in "Pleasantville" Wisconsin I knew not to address it as IF it was even discussed, was "wrong." So I just went through the "normal" motions till I got to college and got to start to meet the real me... 12 years from freshman college still figuring it out but a lot closer than when growing up.
I’m Cordelia Corndog. I’ve been doing drag for 4 years now. What I love about it is the transformation. Becoming someone totally different but who is still me. I love that.
I’ve been Performing at ECCT (Eau Claire Children’s Theater) for almost 20 years so performing is just in my blood. I have an event I put on at ECCT called Drag and Desserts and this year is out 5th event! 😁
I also love everything Disney and if I could I’d live at Disney World lol.
My stage name is Benny Nyland. I’ve been doing drag for 3 years. I’m a transgender man and drag was the thing that helped me to finally recognize that fact. I’m part of the Nyland clan which is one of the larger drag families in Eau Claire. We are spread out now but we still keep in touch. My favorite thing about drag is the way it reaches people differently. For someone like me it gives them a family. For others it’s their biggest creative outlet. For still others it’s a hobby that gets them out of the house. But that’s the thing about drag is no matter what drag is to each person we come together and make this show and have fun with each other and with the crowd. As I said this is my chosen family and I’m grateful to have found them and be a small part of this awesome form of art.
My stage name is Elizabeth S. Huntie AKA Li Li. I have been doing drag for about three years now and I had my first show about two years ago. What I love most about drag is the way that you can have fun and play with gender. It’s an almost unlimited playground for you to perform and make a theatrical art piece.
I’m Eau Claire’s baby queen. Out of drag I am your average recent high school graduate, in drag I’m a bubbly, odd, and theatrical creature. I love to spread love and joy in my art and to entwine drag and activism. I also try to give people a theater production in my performance. The S. in my drag name stands for Stone because I’m the drag daughter of Jem Stone.
I'm Ophelia Junque Been performing for 20 yrs. I've been miss gay Chippewa valley twice. Done lots of community theater. Show director for the real queens of Eau Claire.
I love performing in drag and seeing the look in the audience eyes. The joy the fun the experience. The more I perform the more I learn about who I am.
Devine Intervention - I have been doing drag for 3 years and my favorite thing about it is being able to express myself in a way that I didn’t think was possible and to be able to show emotions through the performance. Its also a blast you should try it!
I grew up in a small town that was very close minded...and I’d say I was pretty sheltered on most things queer. Moving to Eau Claire changed my life and opened up my eyes to so much and I couldn’t be more thankful to the community there! Eau Claire also was a big stepping stone for my career as a body piercer and was a very good home base for that! I was able to continue learning and honing my craft and running a very successful business for the 4 years I lived in Eau Claire! The Family I made there is everlasting! I recently just accepted a job position in Massachusetts to work at a studio there so my adventures continue but I will always consider Eau Claire home.
Don't forget to join all these incredible individuals and performers at Pride this year!