Glittering gowns, twinkling tiaras, and fierce attitudes. The fabulousness of South Florida’s drag history is on full display for Pride month.

I Am What I Am: A Tribute to South Florida’s Drag Pioneers opened at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale and is open to the public through the end of June.

The display spotlights six people who are used to being in the spotlight: Nikki Adams, Tiffany Arieagus, Cathy Craig, Daisy Deadpetals, Electra and Latrice Royale. They were each recognized at the exhibit’s opening party. After her emotional moment on stage, Tiffany Arieagus was overtaken by the moment.

“It’s amazing. Unbelievable. It’s overwhelming,” she said.

History Fort Lauderdale curated the exhibit. Their deputy director, Ellery Andrews, said this is just what we need in these times.

“It is a fantastic moment in current events, and historic events, to honor Pride and honor our drag artists and honor our drag pioneers. We have such a fantastic deep and rich history [in our area] that it just makes sense to do it.”

In addition to displays honoring the six icons listed above, there is also a Wall of Fame featuring area divas at the height of their glamor. Also on display are dresses, jewelry, videos, and other memorabilia that make up the fabric of Fort Lauderdale’s drag scene.

“It shows a history of what we do and what it can be,” Arieagus said. “We should always look to the future, but how can you know your future if you don’t know your past.”

Arieagus said she’s never called it drag, only entertainment. It was entertainment she’s provided over the decades that she said not only brought joy to audiences, but also to herself.

“It fills so much empty space. Sometimes you can get caught up in your problems. When I go on stage I have no problems. All I want to do is enjoy, and make the audience enjoy and feel the love.”

I Am What I Am runs through June 30 at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale during regular hours, and is free to explore.


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