Keirra Ka’oir Summers On Self-Expression And How The Drag World Gives Back

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Keirra Ka’oir Summers On Self-Expression And How The Drag World Gives Back

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For a long time, society and the government have challenged the LGBTQIA+ community’s right to marriage, pronouns, identity, and more. Most recently, Florida’s attempt to ban drag shows has been the latest fight for the LGBTQ+ community. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis created the bill, describing its intentions as “protecting kids’ innocence.” A section on the official government website details the bill banning children from drag shows. Although the Supreme Court has since paused the bill, it’s still a direct attack on the drag community.   

Keirra Ka’oir Summers , a 2024 Miss Heart Florida Newcomer winner, has been a part of the drag world for two years. However, she has been going to drag shows since she was just a child; her mother taking her to her first one. The show was Summers’ first insight into a community she would eventually be involved as an adult. “Oddly, the one thing that stood out to me was how good she [the drag queen] smelled at the time,” says Summers. As an innocent child, Summers didn’t fully register the complexity of identity at the time. Summers joyfully giggled as she expressed how much she enjoyed watching the show with her mom. Summers says, “children don’t think what we [adults] think when we watch drag shows. Actually, these shows do a lot to help the community.” 

The drag community has raised money for charities to help children for years. Summers and his community raise money for organizations like Toys For Tots all year round. Summers adds, “I recently raised $1,000 for an organization helping kids without guardians find a place to stay.” Florida’s bill creates the illusion that the drag community is placing children in harm’s way by being themselves. In reality, most of the shows are dedicated to helping support the youth. The state’s attempt to restrict shows as much as possible will likely impact the ability to continue raising funds for non-profit organizations and charities that need funding to support their mission. 

“The ban has lowered the amount of people coming out to support,” says Summers. Protestors have been outside of drag shows to show their support for the bill. Last year, a Texas mom took her children to a show when she was criticized for her parenting in front of her children. The video, now deleted on Twitter, showed a heated exchange between protesters and the Texas woman. The ban that is “supposed to protect children” is now becoming hostile despite children being present. Summers says, “no matter what, we won’t stop. We’ve been doing shows and raising money for the youth for years.”

Drag is a robust community rooted in love and freedom. Summers says, “I love that I get to put on a different face, brighten someone’s day, and raise money for the youth.” Transforming into drag has allowed Summers to find beauty in his identity, even in unappealing moments. We must remember that, as humans, we all have the right to our identity and how we choose to express ourselves. Moreover, we need to acknowledge that children also have identities. Are we protecting children by blocking drag shows? “They’re trying to revert it to how things were. Knowledge is power. And they don’t want us to have the power of being ourselves.”

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