SPRINGLICIOUS…Don’t call it a Drag Show! It’s a Cabaret
Yes friends, the alumni of Springlicious are back with Springlicious 6: The Transformation. On June 4, the cast will kick off a brand new show format by transforming a new cast of Kings, Queens, Faux Guys and Faux Dolls in a cabaret style show. The event will be held by this year’s sponsor, Balançoire, from 6pm-9:30pm.
But how was Springlicious conceived? Six years ago, the GLIDE Pride Team pitched an idea to include a drag show to the GPT’s (GLIDE Pride Team) social calendar. With the help of their co-chairs Reggie Johnson and Lamonte Bishop, team members collaborated on ideas to make it a drag show with a purpose. They added elements to honor Reverend Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani’s legacy, support LGBT causes and raise money for other GLIDE Congregational Life groups. Once the pieces came together, like a great drag outfit, GPT members Martin Soto and Stacy branded the event’s name “Springlicious.” The rest is history.
The inaugural year’s cast consisted of a rag-tag group of performers, divas and entertainers. The premier performers included Sasha Scion, Sapphire Shade and Terri Harpo among others. One performer was asked why they signed on to participate:
“I wanted to participate in something that would allow all types of people within the LGBT community to have a voice. All too often, even within our diverse community, there is a tendency to overlook the trans community and this show was designed to give us all a voice.”
For Sapphire Shade, the motivation was about giving guidance to a younger generation that was not able to process where they were in their gender identity and to let them know that what they were experiencing was indeed normal and should be celebrated. Sasha brought her passion for performance and stars were born. The first show, Springlicious, was produced under the guidance of then GPT Chairs, Reggie Johnson and Lamonte Bishop. The cast included members of Glide’s LGBT community, the “Mammas Boyz,” as well as other local performers from as far away as Sacramento.
It seemed appropriate to host the event in the Castro and The Cafe signed on as our first venue sponsor. The event also had the backing of Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani who supported the group wholeheartedly and have attended every year. The shows that followed were Springlicious Couture (2012), Springlicious Legends (2013), Springlicious Presents Soul Train (2014). In 2015, the event moved to the Infusion Lounge and boasted ticket sales of 200+ for Springlicious Presents Blinglicious.
Springlicious had a spin off event in 2013, called called Gospelicious. This event launched as a welcome party for the then new Associate Pastor, Rev. Theon Johnson, III. The event featured gospel music, the cast of Springlicious, including Lady Montreese, Amber Lynn, Tamia, and Lady Dominique among others, The event was held at GLIDE Church. The playlists include music from negro spirituals to contemporary gospel favorites and highlighted the performers’ spirituality and love of performance. Gospelicious has now become a staple event in Freedom Hall in the fall months with Terri Harpo leading the charge.
Over the years, the GLIDE community and its friends have been avid supporters of Springlicious. With the help of corporate and anonymous sponsors, the event continues to reach larger and more diverse audiences which include the greater Bay Area. Special guests this year will include Cruisin’ da Loo and Serenity and appearances by alumni of San Francisco’s Imperial Court. We invite you to come and witness this most amazing gender exploraganza! Ticket sales can be found on Eventbrite at springlicious6.eventbrite.com.
The GLIDE Pride Team is a community group at GLIDE Church. Our mission is to educate the world on social justice, unconditional love and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. We take pride in leading GLIDE’s efforts in promoting equal justice for LGBTQ-related causes, supporting community organizations in the greater San Francisco area and other GLIDE community groups.
By Paula Farmer, GLIDE's PRIDE Leader