Compass: The Road to Pride 

Velvet Lenore. Photo via Velvet Lenore, Facebook

There are several performances to look forward to during this year’s Palm Beach Pride. But to prepare for two straight days of dynamic performances, it takes months of focus and swallows dozens of hours. 

Though performers’ final productions are extravagant and lush, the preparation is challenging and time-consuming — but worth it, said Palm Beach County drag queen Velvet Lenore, who is mentoring many of the kid performers at Pride this year. 

“It gets tough sometimes because my dancers live anywhere from Port St. Lucie to Fort Lauderdale,” Lenore said. “So we do a lot of driving.” 

The nearly 100-mile drive is all for the sake of costumes. She searches the state to find the right fabric for outfits while her husband, Michael, takes over making different props. Once Lenore hunts down enough for her team, she rounds them up for a pizza party where her kids can create and customize their outfits. 

The pizza is well deserved, considering the hours of practice the group puts in. According to Lenore, their practices typically last six hours — and have happened three or four times per month ever since January. That’s a total of around 72 hours. 

Kataleya Davenport Dupree, Miss Palm Beach Pride 2019 and longtime friend of Lenore, said, Lenore “does whatever it takes” to make each performance come together smoothly, including this year’s Pride.

One step Lenore adds to the preparation process is prayer. She said that this is an essential step, especially when she performs with large groups. 

 “We always make sure we have a second to have a little church before a performance,” she said.

Lenore and her team this year are once again doing a themed performance. The theme: Janet Jackson’s “Made for Now.”  

“We chose this theme because of the message in the song,” Lenore said. “She is basically saying, ‘I’m made for now, don’t judge me for my past mistakes, this is who I am now.’”

Compass, the LGBT center of the Palm Beaches, will be holding its annual Palm Beach Pride on March 30 and 31 at Bryant Park. Look out for other performances from Elite Drag Kings, Dupree, Porter and Sayles, and more. Visit CompassGLCCglcc.com for more information on Palm Beach Pride.  


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